Not another budget blog…
The past few days has been all about the budget. Since George Osborne delivered his speech last Wednesday, business websites and publications have been awash with advice articles and information about what each individual change will mean for businesses and individuals. But before you navigate away from this page, this blog isn’t another one of them! Budgeting isn’t just for the government; it’s a process that all successful businesses go through. It is widely recognised that putting a budget in place allows you to create a focus for the direction of your business and provides targets that will help it to grow. So we’re amazed how few businesses take the time to really apply the process properly.
Here are three key things to think about in relation to business budgeting.
1 – Make people accountable. As a business owner, you carry a lot of weight on your shoulders. But you cannot be accountable for every single decision that is made or every penny spent. A key skill of a successful business person is the ability to delegate. So if you have managers or people in positions of responsibility in your business, make sure you hand the reigns for their particular part of the budget over to them. Yes, this requires you to enlist a great deal of trust. But in order for staff in senior positions to be able to take responsibility and truly ‘manage’ their element of the business’ activity, it is necessary.
2 – Take a wider perspective. Sitting down and putting together an annual budget isn’t just about putting figures next to planned expenditure. The fact is that the very process of planning your business outgoings for the next twelve months prompts you to think about what direction you want to go over that period of time. Take the opportunity to really think about what you do and why. Just because you’ve always done something, it doesn’t mean you should continue to do it, and vice versa.
3 – Review, review, review. Just as the Chancellor delivers an annual budget, so should business owners. Reviewing your budget/business plan periodically is just as important as putting one together in the first place. Otherwise, how will you know where you are up to and whether you are on track to meet your objectives? Put a note in your diary to review your budget and where your current business expenditure is up to on a monthly or quarterly basis. Be strict with yourself and make sure you pay your business budget the time and effort it deserves!
Reviewing your finances and setting out a budget isn’t everyone’s idea of fun. But the process can and does deliver measureable results. At Agenda, we’re firm believers in the process of budgeting and business planning, having seen the focus it can help to create and the growth that then follows. For assistance in putting a budget in place for your business, or to review an existing budget and/or business plan, please get in touch.