Budgeting for Your Small Business

Now that you have your basics figured out for your business (or, hopefully you are getting there!), you need to think about the costs. How much is it going to cost you to start and run your business?

Obviously, most of you are going to have some start-up costs, some more than others. Some of these will include: Attorney or CPA fees, licensing, supplies, web hosting (if you are going to have a website), among other things.

We spent about $1500 upfront to start Covenant Wedding Source, LLC. Our biggest costs were (these are approximated amounts): Computer and printer ($650), website design ($570), LLC start-up costs ($200). We had put $1000 in the bank when we started and Jesse said that that was my “nest egg” to work with. He paid for the computer and LLC start-up costs and I was responsible from there on out. It was very helpful to have a separate account just for our business money so that I was forced to be very strict about what I spent. I would weigh any purchase, no matter how small, very carefully. Do I really need this? Can I get this somewhere else for less money?

I recommend that you open a separate bank account, if possible. I also recommend that you establish some sort of budget. If you are going to have steady money coming in (which would be the case if your business is a service and you have the same regular clients-such as a cleaning business), you definitely should create a budget and put a certain percentage of your money towards tithing, savings, advertising, supplies, and so on. You will find that there are often a lot of miscellaneous expenses which can come up unexpectedly and so it is always best to keep enough money in savings to pay for such unexpected things. If your business is like mine in that you are mostly selling products, it is harder to have a strict budget since you cannot project exactly how much (or how little, as is sometimes the case!) will be coming in. What works for me is to just have a set amount of money that I always try to keep in savings just in case something comes up. Then, with the money that comes in, I pay for all my basic essential operating costs first. With the leftover money, I will decide what is the best use of it. I will usually put some of it into savings and some will go to pay for nonessential items (such as things that will serve to make my life and the business easier, but that I could live without). This budgeting system is run entirely in my head and it works for me. You might need to do yours on paper. Do what works best for you. Since Jesse does all of the bookkeeping, he is able to evaluate my spending each month and I always ask him for his input and guidance on this. It is helpful to have him to bounce ideas off of and to receive counsel from. I suggest that before you make any major purchase, ask for some counsel and guidance from someone else.

My advice is to always keep a good amount of money in savings and always pay for your essential costs first. Constantly be evaluating the money that is coming in and going out. Is there a way for it to come in faster and go out slower? That’s the goal.

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