A small business owner’s work day is never done. From lunch meetings to keeping employee morale up to all the daily duties in between, it’s hard to keep in mind everything you need to get done as a business owner without having a huge to-do list taped to your forehead.
One of the most important things that should be kept at the top of that forehead to-do list is budgeting. Unlike some of the tasks on that list, budgeting isn’t something that you can avoid doing until a later date and it’s not something that should be swept under the welcome mat (the one with your company name and logo on it) in front of your office.
Here are four tips to keep in mind to budget for your business:
1. Pay attention to your ROI. Know your ROI and only spend on items you know will yield a return. Work out a spending budget that spends less than you expect to make and live by that.
Always try to keep some of your profit made reserved to cover contingencies. If your sales are higher than you expect one month, don’t be tempted to splurge everything you have next month. Keep to your written budget and put the additional profits aside. That way, if sales fall unexpectedly in the future, you’ll have those reserve funds available to cover the deficit.
2. Don’t over-hire. The growth of a business can be hindered by spending too much on staff and not enough on revenue generating expenses. Try and find that perfect balance of having the right amount of employees.
Having too few employees causes each team member to take on too large a work load, whereas having too many employees with not enough to do is bad for your business’ spending because you’re paying for unnecessary labor. Keep the morale up of the team you do have and make sure they’re always inspired to work at their fullest potential but don’t feel overwhelmed.
3. Stay organized. Keep track of your paperwork whether you need to invest in a nice filing cabinet or begin storing it all via cloud storage. Make sure you keep everything! Track year after year and pay attention to trends so that you can leverage what you’ve learned throughout the years.
4. Utilize social media as a means of marketing. If you’re short on spare dollars in the advertising department, you better be pretty excited about creating Facebook and Twitter brand pages for your business! Creating an account on either of those two platforms or working on a company blog are great ways to advertise who you are as a business.
It’s also a wonderful way to get free feedback from customers in the form of comments or tweets. It’s a priceless resource and it doesn’t hurt your company’s wallet.
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @deborahsweeney and @mycorporation.