Why you need a budget for your business


Budgets are essential for tracking the financial health of your business. Your budget is your planned income and spending. It helps you to allocate funds for particular items and activities.

Your budget also helps you to:

  • set business goals
  • make good business decisions
  • get finance.

Create your budget

Download our template to create a budget for your business.

Monitor your budget


You’ll need a basic bookkeeping system set up to keep track of your finances. Throughout the budget period, keep an eye on how you’re tracking against your budget.

Actuals – comparing actual results to budgeted amounts

Record your business’ actual income and expenses during the budget period. Calculate the difference between your budgeted amounts and your actual results.

Find out how to set up a basic bookkeeping system.

Use your budget


Use your budget analysis to help you make business decisions.

If you’re spending too much:

  • look for ways to cut costs
  • avoid spending money on anything that isn’t essential to running your business.

If you have extra funds, think about:

  • ways to reduce debt
  • creating a financial safety net
  • growing your business.

Tip: analysing your budget will help you find seasonal patterns. You can see if decisions like changing prices or adding a new product or service, are the right ones.

Understand budgeting versus forecasting


Your budget is your planned revenue and spending. It allows you to allocate funds. Consider preparing a budget quarterly or yearly.

Forecasts are usually more frequent, often monthly. A forecast predicts past and current trends in your financial statements. This gives you a more realistic idea of how your business is going and help you to avoid problems.

Cash flow forecasting is one of the most important forecasting tools for business. It can also help you keep on top of your bills. It’s useful if you’re trying to get finance – it shows lenders you can pay them back.

Read next

Find other free financial templates.

Check our glossary of financial terms.

Find out how to review your business finances.