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How to Plan Your Start-Up Business Budget

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How to Plan Your Start-Up Business Budget

As the economy continues to improve, more and more people are growing increasingly confident in starting up their own business. The internet provides a great platform for most businesses to start for relatively low expenditure; reducing the need for physical premises which can be very costly. While it does seem a hugely attractive proposition, there are still things the potential start-up needs to plan meticulously to ensure they don’t fall at the first hurdle. Failing to do so usually means the business will fail, when in fact a stricter hold on the planned finances may mean success.

Planning is Key to Success

At the face of it, starting a new business can be a daunting prospect. As well as planning the overall business model, you need to see if you have the capital to get the idea off the ground in its infancy. While the initial outlay for a business is often relatively straight forward for people to calculate as they intuitively understand that they will need to pay for rent, desks, computers and the like, the piece that people find more difficult to model and understand is their cash flow and working capital.

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In particular, holding and ordering stock can cause real issues. When stock has to be paid for (for new businesses generally on delivery), and in what quantities it has to be ordered often impacts an early stage business’s cash flow far more than the more easily understood items such as rent, salaries and the like. Obviously if you don’t have sufficient capital to fund the period between paying for your stock and receiving the cash from your sales of that stock, then you won’t be able to continue trading. So this is critical to understand and think about before starting a business. Also, if your customers pay later than they are supposed to and you have staff that are due to be paid, do you have the capital to cover this? These are all things that, although difficult, when planned properly are very manageable issues that your business can sustain.

Free Start-Up Business Budget Planning Tool

We’ve recently had a number of people on our Excel training courses trying to build financial models to understand how a business that they are looking at might work. Given that, we have created a simple model that can be used to map out all associated costs in the start-up of a new business.

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    This business plan template is designed to allow you to quickly and simply assess approximately how much capital you need to launch your start up idea. The sheet overleaf ‘Inputs’ asks you to answer a number of straight forward questions and will then automatically generate a set of financial forecasts for your business and estimate how much capital is will require. This is shown on the ‘Outputs’ sheet.

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      It’s been designed with web based businesses in mind but can easily be used for any small business. If you’re a physical retailer or a cafe your website development and advertising costs won’t be much but equally you’ll have physical fit out costs and ongoing marketing and promotion so just use those boxes for the equivalent for your business.

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      To use the tool, click the link below, make a copy and fill in your details. It’s that easy.

      Start up business plan template supplied by Acuity Training

      Please note: these forecasts are for illustrative purposes and should not be relied upon. This financial model is general in nature and you should take appropriate specific detailed professional advice before deciding to start a business. These forecasts should not be treated as a recommendation or endorsement of your business idea and Acuity Training Limited accepts no responsibility actual or implied.

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      Featured photo credit: Business man/Kim Andre Ballovarre via flickr.com

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      Last Updated on January 5, 2022

      33 Painless Ways to Save Money Now

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      33 Painless Ways to Save Money Now

      In a difficult economy, most of us are looking for ways to put more money in our pockets, but we don’t want to feel like misers. We don’t want to drastically alter our lifestyles either. We want it fast and we want it easy. Small savings can add up and big savings can feel like winning the lottery, just without all of the taxes.

      Some easy ways to save money:

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      1. Online rebate sites. Many online sites offer cash back rebates and online coupons as well. MrRebates and Ebates are two I like, but there are many others.
      2. Sign up for customer rewards. Many of your favorite stores offer customer rewards on products you already buy. Take advantage.
      3. Switch to compact fluorescent bulbs. The extra cost up front is worth the energy savings later on.
      4. Turn off power strips and electronic devices when not in use.
      5. Buy a programmable thermostat. Set it to lower the heat or raise the AC when you’re not home.
      6. Make coffee at home. Those lattes and caramel macchiatos add up to quite a bit of dough over the year.
      7. Switch banks. Shop around for better interest rates, lower fees and better customer perks. Don’t forget to look for free online banking and ease of depositing and withdrawing money.
      8. Clip coupons: Saving a couple dollars here and there can start to add up. As long as you’re going to buy the products anyway, why not save money?
      9. Pack your lunch. Bring your lunch to work with you a few days a week, rather than buy it.
      10. Eat at home. We’re busier than ever, but cooking meals at home is healthier and much cheaper than take-out or going out. Plus, with all of the freezer and pre-made options, it’s almost as fast as drive-thru.
      11. Have leftovers night. Save your leftovers from a few meals and have a “leftover dinner.” It’s a free meal!
      12. Buy store brands: Many generic or store brands are actually just as good as name brands and considerably cheaper.
      13. Ditch bottled water. Drink tap water if it’s good quality, buy a filter if it’s not. Get 
          a reusable water bottle and refill it.
        • Avoid vending machines: The items are usually over-priced.
        • Take in a matinee. Afternoon movie showings are cheaper than evening times.
        • Re-examine your cable bill. Cancel extra cable or satellite channels you don’t watch. Watch the “on demand” movie purchases too.
        • Use online bill pay. Most banks offer free online bill paying. Save on stamps and checks, and avoid late fees by automating bill payment.
        • Buy frequently used items in bulk. You get a lower per item price and eliminate extra trips to the store later on.
        • Fully utilize the library. Borrowing books is much cheaper than buying them, but in addition to books, most local libraries now lend movies and games.
        • Cancel magazine/newspaper subscriptions: Re-evaluate your subscriptions. Cancel those you don’t read and consider reading some of the other publications online.
        • Get rid of your land-line. Do you really need a land-line anymore if everyone in the family has a cell phone? Alternatively, look into using VOIP or getting a cheaper plan.
        • Better fuel efficiency. Check the air pressure in your tires, keep up with proper auto maintenance, and slow down. Driving even 5MPH slower will result in better fuel mileage.
        • Increase your deductibles. Increasing the insurance deductibles on your homeowners and auto insurance policies lowers premiums significantly. Just make sure you choose a deductible that you can afford should an emergency happen.
        • Choose lunch over dinner. If you do want to dine out occasionally, go at lunchtime rather than dinnertime. Lunch prices are usually cheaper.
        • Buy used:  Whether it’s something small like a vintage dress or a video game or something big like a car or furniture, consider buying it used. You can often get “nearly new” for a fraction of the cost.
        • Stick to the list. Make a list before you go shopping and don’t buy anything that’s not on the list unless it’s a once in a lifetime, killer deal.
        • Tame the impulse. Use a self-enforced waiting period whenever you’re tempted to make an unplanned purchase. Wait for a week and see if you still want the item.
        • Don’t be afraid to ask. Ask to have fees waived, ask for a discount, ask for a lower interest rate on your credit card.
        • Repair rather than replace. You can find directions on how to fix almost anything on the internet. Do your homework, and then bring out your inner handyman.
        • Trade with your neighbors. Borrow tools or equipment that you use infrequently and swap things like babysitting with your neighbors.
        • Swap online. Use sites like PaperBack Swap to trade books, music, and movies with others online. Also, look for local community sites like Freecycle where people give away items they no longer need.
        • Cut back on the meat. Try eating a one or two meatless meals every week or cut back on the meat portions. Meat is usually the most expensive part of the meal.
        • Comparison shop: Get in the habit of checking prices before you buy. See if you can get a better price at another store or look online.

        Remember that saving money is not about being cheap or stingy; it’s about putting money into your bank account rather than giving it to someone else. There are many ways to save money, some you’ve never thought of, and some that won’t appeal or apply to you. Just pick a few of the ideas that sound doable and watch the savings add up. Save big, save small, but save wherever you can.

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        Featured photo credit: Damir Spanic via unsplash.com

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