It’s the holiday season which means the end of year has arrived. You are probably overwhelmed with that holiday party you’re planning, the thank you cards you’re sending your clients, and coming up with a New Year’s promotional idea to start the year off right, but it’s also the time to start thinking about your actual 2016 budget plans.
With so much to do and so little time, you would be wise to bring on board a virtual assistant or virtual receptionist in order to take some of the weight off your shoulders. In fact, that is the perfect way to free up your budget for next year because they cost less than hiring a staff member and don’t take up any resources.
With only a few weeks left in 2015, use this time to set up your 2016 budget so that you can prepare for big expenses, take advantage of business write offs, find ways to grow your business, and be prepared when the unexpected surprises pop up.
Where to begin
Start by looking at what you’ve spent this year. When you create a budget, you can basically copy and paste the current budget into the next year’s budget and start modifying the items that way. Take out anything that won’t occur next year and start adding in the new expense for next year.
Are there areas you over-budgeted for last year that you can cut back on this year? Are there areas you way over spent on and you know that next year will be similar? Look at the budget from this year as a starting base for next year so that you can see what the next year will bring. Don’t forget items such as:
- Email marketing software subscription
- Accounting services
Once you’ve created a starting platform, you can look at areas to cut back, add on, and what should remain the same.
Where can we make better decisions?
It’s time to start cutting expenses that aren’t paying off. For example, if no one buys from your emails then it’s a good time to cut that email software you’re paying for. If you have a salesman that doesn’t generate enough sales, it might be time to part ways. If you’re still paying for expensive TV ads rather than utilizing social media and free sources, cut back. Free up your budget in as many ways as you can so that your dollars can go to areas that are potentially increasing.
Where can we spend this year?
Once you’ve looked at what can be cut down and what is leftover, you can start planning for where that money is going to go. It’s always better to spend your money on paper before you spend it in reality. Having excess because of cuts made or increased sales gives you a chance to save for emergencies, invest in areas that could use a boost, and prepare for your business’s future.
If you are trying to grow the business but need more manpower, you can set some money aside for growth before deciding how to spend it. You don’t have to simply hire more full-time employees, but rather, consider hiring freelancers or temporary help.
If you were considering hiring a receptionist, hire a virtual assistant or virtual receptionist to start handling administrative tasks because it’s a much more cost-effective solution and won’t cost you a workspace or equipment. Along with manpower, a good place to invest extra money is in your marketing efforts whether that be a marketing consultant or publicist.
Now that you’ve accomplished your goals and found ways to cut back, create a formal budget with line items that can be adjusted daily showing your income, expenses, and sales taxes. This will be great at the end of the year to see where all of your money went so that every year you can set out to spend even better.
Start your 2016 budget for your small business to make sure the cash keeps coming in and the expenses really count.