Goals and budgets are important.

I don’t know about you but several times a year, every quarter or so, I begin to contemplate successes, learning lessons and bends in the road…and start thinking about and planning for what’s next for me and my business.

Since I started following the 12 Week Year, this has become a more frequent contemplation… every 12 weeks, to be exact.

In the midst of that thinking, goal setting and plan making…I start budgeting.

And I budget everything. All of my resources. My time, my projects, my launches, my marketing mix, and most of all… my money.

Get yourself A Plan

Budgeting can be complicated or it can be super simple.

Most people hear the word budget and head for the hills.

But it does not (and should not) be that way.

When you look at budgets as goals with dollar amounts… they aren’t that scary. Right?

Another way you can look at them is as a map. Or you can look at them as a map. A money map for what you want your business to achieve in the near future.

That’s not all that scary either…

Stop Running… It’s Hurting Your Business

Although most people budget at the end of the year, you can budget any time.

In fact, I recommend that you do because when you wait for that one magical time of year, it’s really easy to get regretful and overwhelmed.

Regretting that you didn’t get anywhere close to achieving your goals or that your budget wasn’t anywhere close to what you projected.

Overwhelmed by all of the possibilities. So we tend to run away.

However there’s a saying, that I kinda dig,

Failing to plan is planning to fail.

Nobody wants to be a failure. Nobody likes regrets. Nobody wants to be overwhelmed and stressed out… so let’s get to it and create a plan.

Cut yourself a bit of break, reflect on what you’ve done well, what you would like to not do at all, what you would like to do better…

Again sometimes 12 months is too big to consider right at the moment so concentrate on the next 12 weeks (the next calendar quarter).

Just think about your goals and turn those goals into money goals aka a budget.

budget template

Three Step Plan (Plus Your Budget Template)

I’ve talked about budgets a few times (here, here and here) but this time I’m going to take it one step further and hip you to a quick spreadsheet. Don’t let the spreadsheet overwhelm you – just take it one step at a time.

Grab the budget template here –
copy it and a few other goodies to your Google Drive.

Step 1 – Goals: create your goals for the remainder of the year, next year (or just next quarter).

Step 2 – The Dollars, Part 1: add a dollar amount to these goals on the income side… what are you launching, when, and how many do you plan to sell? If you have recurring clients or returning clients, when do they pay you and how much? << all of this is your income/incoming cashflow

Step 3 – The Dollars, Part 2: add your expenses. Note: there are two kinds of expenses… (1) those that you have month in and month out are fixed expenses. This should be easy to figure out. And (2) those that vary with activity… these are your variable expenses).

For the variable expense, concentrate on how your marketing, etc from your launches and new income streams will potentially impact the expenses (money going out).

For example, do you plan to run Facebook ads during a launch? Or do you plan on hiring a new person for your team once you get to a certain level of income or once you reach a certain number of clients?

That’s it.  You have done your first budget. That wasn’t so hard… was it?

Your turn… do you use budgeting as a tool to help you grow your business systematically? What’s your process? Let me hear it in the comments below…

Until next time,
J

Notes:
Grab the budget template and more here
Budgeting 101
Budget Versus Actual… How Are You Really Doing?
Oh So Sexy: Goal Setting And Budget

About The Author

Joyce M. Washington is a Certified Public Accountant & Business Strategy Coach who teaches consultants, coaches and creatives how to go beyond the numbers and grow their businesses.

Visit her at: TheCommonCents.com to grab 7 Steps To Better Books or come chat with her at The Cents Community on Facebook.

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