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How to write a proposed budget for the upcoming year

One of the most important things you will need to do for your business is make an accurate proposed budget at the end of each year for the upcoming year. This will give you, in writing, a description of how much money you expect to spend on business activities.

Your projected budget should include such things as advertising, payroll, supplies, events, and so forth. However, making an accurate budget can seem like a daunting task, especially for newer businesses who are not quite experienced yet.

What should your budget include?
Your proposed budget should cover at least one to two years of business operation and expenses. The most basic budgets will include the following for your specified time period:
- Your projected sales and revenue
- Your projected total costs required to reach the projected sales and revenue
- The profit or the loss from operations based upon the first two numbers
- The total of profits and losses over time

How to write a proposed budget for the upcoming year
Creating an accurate budget is particularly difficult if your business is new or you are adding new departments. The following are some tips for creating a proposed budget for the upcoming year:

Use budgeting software
The best way to make your budget is through an Excel spreadsheet or by using a computer program designed specifically for budgeting or tracking expenses. You can start by using a traditional paper and pencil, if you are unsure of the numbers and will be changing them around a lot, but ultimately you should put your budget in a spreadsheet or program of some sort. This will help to increase the accuracy of the numbers as well.

Keep a close eye on your budget
Just because you have made a projected budget doesn't mean it is set in stone. It is important that you keep a close eye on your budget and spending so you can track the accuracy of it. Try and stay within the budget as much as possible, but realize that most of the time, your budget will be set too low.

It is a good idea to look over and evaluate your budget each month, particularly the larger numbers. Compare the actual results with your projected budget, then make adjustments elsewhere if necessary. Accurate notes will also help you to better plan for more accurate budgets in the future.

Make adjustments as necessary
As you watch your budget, if you notice that there is no way you can stay within your projected budget, adjust it accordingly. This can include adding more money to certain expenses or taking money from other areas that you over budgeted on.

Consider the past.
If you are just starting out a business, you should have a projected budget before you begin operations. But if you have already been in business for at least a year, you should be able to look at your past expenditures and be able to have a fairly good idea of what you can expect to spend in the coming year. For example, if you were way under budget for your advertising last year, take that into consideration. Or, if you have a new product that has increased your revenue, that should be figured in as well.

Creating a budget is an important part of business finance. While there will most likely be room for improved accuracy, the above tips will help you to create a proposed budget for the upcoming year.

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