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Small Business – Building Your 2008 Budget

Posted on November 29, 2019 in Uncategorized

It’s the beginning of the year, so what should you be thinking about? No, not the New Year’s Party… your 2008 budget. Actually, you should have already thought of it, completed it, and shared it with your managers, but since there are many procrastinators in the world (including yours truly), there are many budgets yet left undone.

A budget is more than an exercise in futility if you do it well. It allows you to be aware of hidden or unexpected costs, it gives you a benchmark to reach, and most importantly, it shows the world (lenders, venture capitalists, analysts) that you have a good idea of how your business operates and what the costs are to run it.

Business Development

Start with your business development group – they need to provide you with the expected revenues and costs of gaining those revenues. The revenues will provide you a benchmark against which you will judge your business development group. Often they will fight giving you particularly aggressive numbers. After all, who wants to be held to a high standard. Push back, ask them what they will need to attain higher numbers. Often it will be another employee or a more extensive marketing budget.

  • Employees – salespeople, business development people, customer support
  • Travel – often a big component of the business development budget and often under-estimated (includes meals and hotels)
  • Entertainment – any entertainment needs for clients (usually meals)
  • Advertising – any media should be included in this.
  • Press Relations – press can often be the best way to get your message out. Make sure you have a good PR strategy.
  • Marketing – branding, marketing materials, mailings, collateral (brochures, etc.)
  • Conferences and Trade Shows – this should also include any time from non-business development people
  • Other – any other costs that may be specific to your products or industry

Production

In terms of the budget, I am considering production to be the people who do the work. If you own an accounting firm, these are your accountants. This budget should be based of the revenue forecast. Your production team needs to give you a budget for what they will need to meet the revenues forecast

  • Employees – this may be both people completing the work and their support (such as quality assurance, although in a large enough company, QA may have its own budget).
  • Materials and Supplies – what are the inputs needed to product your products. Even accountants need paper.
  • Equipment – any new equipment that is expected to be purchased throughout the year to accommodate the group.
  • Travel – if your business requires production employees to travel to meet with customers, a travel budget should be included.
  • Other – any other costs that may be specific to your products or industry

Information Technology

The IT group will be supporting the rest of the staff. They should have a good handle on any equipment that needs replacing. They should also get a list of computer and/or telephone equipment requested by production so that they will be prepared for installation.

  • Employees
  • Materials and Supplies
  • Equipment/software
  • Other

Human Resources

If you have over 15 people and are still growing, you should probably have at least one HR person, if even on a part-time basis. Regardless of whether you have a specific HR person or it is part of another’s duties, you need to have a budget.

  • Employees – either the cost of your HR person or a consultant if you are outsourcing
  • Travel – any travel to conferences or recruiting trips
  • Recruiting -advertising, recruiting firms, flying in potential employees, moving expenses, signing bonuses
  • Benefits – cost of providing benefits, such as a 401K program, healthcare, etc.
  • Employee Relations – holiday parties, gifts, company sports teams support
  • Other

Management and Overhead

Your management and overhead are the costs that are shared resources for all groups in the company. This is purely an expense and should be kept to a minimum if possible.

  • Employees – any employee who is a shared resource among all groups, president, finance person, etc.
  • Travel – management usually has some travel needs
  • Rent and Utilities – some utility costs are variable, cell phone costs for instance may be driven by number of salespeople. Heat, A/C, and power tend to flutuate more with the weather than the number of employees.
  • Office Cleaning and Maintenance
  • Taxes, Licenses, and Permits
  • General Office Supplies
  • Legal and Accounting Costs
  • Other
  • If you are able to build a good budget and meet it, it shows that you are knowledgeable about your business and understand the costs and drivers. If you are unable to build a budget that has any meaning, it indicates a business out of control. For both your benefit and that of any investors, it is best to spend some time working on the budget and the rest of the year meeting it.

    An In-Depth Analysis On Building Supplies

    Posted on November 28, 2019 in Uncategorized

    No building can be completed without the presence of building supplies. In the modern age, these supplies form an important part of construction. In all kinds of buildings, whether commercial or residential, supplies hold the key. The need of building supplies date back to the ancient age, when sand, clay, wood, rock, leaves and even twigs were used for purpose of construction. These naturally occurring substances have always helped mankind in making his shelter. But with changing times, man made products and supplies started coming into practice, and somehow replaced the conventional supplies of building construction. Nowadays, metals like tin, aluminum, concrete, glass, plastic etc. are more prevalent. But the use of bricks and clay is still widespread in various departments of different countries.

    There are various agencies and companies available in the market, which are proficient in providing all kinds of building materials, starting from the conventional supplies, to the most advanced, state of the art ones. Since construction is a major industry, the construction materials and supplies should be selected carefully. Many fraudulent companies and agencies tend to increase their profit by providing cheap and bad quality supplies. The results of construction with such materials can be catastrophic. It can lead to premature decay and deterioration of the building base and foundation, as well as the structure. It may also happen that the building fails to support its weight, and can collapse in a very short time. So it’s always advisable to do a thorough detailing about the companies and agencies you are about to deal with.

    Nowadays, since there is so much concern about the environment, one can also find eco friendly building supplies in the market. Since all the materials used for construction are not available forever, it is necessary to search for alternative building supplies that can be used to create magnificent forms of architecture. The whole idea behind utilization of eco friendly product is reduction of pollution, waste and environmental degradation, and efficient use of the non-renewable energy. The basic materials of eco friendly construction include bricks, clay, and terracotta and so on, which also help in promoting the concept of green building, which is becoming very popular day by day, amongst the common masses.

    By judicial use of the perfect building materials, it is possible to create something special out of nothing. That is why the construction and building industry is one of the most lucrative and thriving businesses in the modern world. Therefore, building supplies is as important as any other thing in this industry.

    The First Block in Any Business Building Endeavor

    Posted on November 26, 2019 in Uncategorized

    The point of business in general is to serve customers. A customer is a person who purchases goods or services and recompenses the provider, in some acceptable form or fashion, for those items obtained. If you happen to be a businessman who is into the latest craze of affiliate marketing, you can have a business without maintaining any of your own personal goods or services to provide, but you can’t have a business without having customers. If you happen to be in the personal services business you can potentially maintain a business without having any other employees except yourself. In fact, you can even have a business without any suppliers if you happen to have products you grow or create yourself. You can be in a business without owners, in the traditional sense of ownership by employees or stockholders, and if you have a monopoly on the market you might even have a business without any competitors. But, even without goods, services, other employees, suppliers, owners, or competitors, you simply cannot have a business without a customer. This is the basis behind the phrase “the customer is always right”, and the reason why the customer always comes first in any successful business model.

    If you plan to sell more goods or services to your customers, you’ll need to acquire more supplies and suppliers. If you plan to develop your business to serve more customers, employees will become an essential part of that development. As the business grows and expands, more employees will eventually force you to consider adding structure, a hierarchy of reporting and supervision. This, in turn will also obligate you to consider establishing ownership in order to develop your employees and motivate them to become a part of the business’ success. With growth, and definitely additional goods and services, you’ll obviously enter new markets previously considered fringe areas. These new areas might have existing competitors, or you may even entice new competitors to enter your market who see your success and desire a part of it. No matter how small your company remains, or how large it grows and develops, the business will not exist without customers.

    Keeping this in mind, any business should be focused upon, and built around the customer. All decisions made concerning the future and well-being of the business should be completed with the customer at the forefront of the resulting judgment. Without this consideration, any business will eventually, without exception, end up failing. All successful businesses that have managed to remain in existence, and even those that have developed into large organizations, have the customer in the center of their business model. This is the first block in any business building endeavor.

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