7 Best Business Budgeting Tips for 2014

More and more businesses are growing optimistic about their prospects, according to various reports. A study by the Federation of Small Businesses found that self-confidence has increased in every region of the UK and that firms are finding it easier to access finance.

So with hope on the horizon, we have put together 7 top budgeting tips to help you squeeze those accounts a little bit more in order to get 2014 off on the right foot.

Remember; times may be tough but however much you can save will help you in the long run to keep your company afloat.

1. Use a Gantt chart

These are actively used in project management and it will help you to track deliverable dates for budget completion. The tool will let you know if you have taken on too much work in too little time; think of it like an expanded timeline.

2. Re-evaluate your services/suppliers

Have you been using the same stationery supplier for years? Have you never changed utility provider? Do you always buy the office milk/tea/coffee from the same store? Now is the time to shop around for the best deals, so don’t be afraid to speak up and ask “Am I really getting the cheapest price, or would I be better off elsewhere?”

3. Use software apps

If you aren’t tech-savvy, jump on board and learn. There are so many apps that can help you save time and money. FreshBooks is great for invoicing, inDinero is renowned for keeping your transactions in check, and Xpenser is a platform for expense reports.

4. Overestimate

When budgeting your accounts, it is far safer to overestimate the outgoings than to underestimate them. OK it may slow your growth down by six months but you’ll be thankful for the small pot of savings if one of the laptops suddenly broke, or a client cancels a contract.

5. Sort out your cash flow

Too many businesses have great profit margins but lack the understanding of a good cash flow. You need to pay attention to how much cash you’ve got coming in and how much you’ve got going out. You might show a profit on an accrual basis but you need money at the front end to pay your workers and other bills until you get paid yourself.

6. Outsource

Are there any in-house tasks that are arduous? These could be outsourced to save you time and money. Bookkeeping and marketing are examples of demanding tasks that could be subcontracted. It may cost you to hire someone else to do them but ultimately, you will save a lot of time and we all know that time is money.

7. Take your time and practice

Budgeting your business is not something you can calculate one evening in a matter of minutes. It does require a lot of time and deliberation because your company’s revenue depends on it. It may seem impossible to estimate your finances for the forthcoming year but practice makes perfect and in time you will get the hang of it. Rome wasn’t made in one day!

So there you have 7 budgeting tips to help your business succeed in 2014. Now don’t try to budget everything right down to the last penny. It will drive you insane and you cannot accurately forecast the financial future. Think of it as giving your firm a direction to move in and making sure it stays on that path.

This article was written by the tax experts at Barlow-Andrews; one of the UK’s leading chartered accountants and business advisors.

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