Set Up and Maintain a Budget for Your Startup

small business owner reviewing customer tickets
You’ve developed your vision, a solid business plan and opened the doors to your new business venture, but now you need to hire staff or purchase additional equipment. While these are all great signs of growth for your new business, creating a budget for your startup is a critical first step to launching a successful business.

The challenge many new business owners face is how to project expenses for your organization without any performance history to base those projections off of. Below we’ll help you discover five simple ways you can jumpstart your business with a budget that can grow with you so you can get to work faster.  

1. Profit and Loss Statement 

This type of budget examines your net worth after whatever expenses you may have in initially setting up your business. Without a performance history, you can use your profit and loss statement to help determine how much you have to work with now as you prepare to move ahead.   

2. Determine Your Fixed and Variable Costs

In the early stages, it could be simpler to identify your business’ fixed and variable costs without the added factors of sales and expenses. For example, are you planning on working out of your home? If so, first consider determining any additional, ongoing costs associated with working from home such as faster Internet or a new computer.

If you prefer or need to work in a more traditional office space, factoring in the fixed costs of your expenses such as rent and utilities will be key in developing a well-thought-out business budget. 

Identifying your variable costs could provide you with more room to work within your budget. Advertising, buying coffee for prospective clients, and similar expenses are variable. While nice and could have some long-term benefits, excluding these from your budget can be helpful to keep overhead expenses low when starting out. 

3. Project Your Sales & Profit

As your company gets off the ground, including your projected profit into your initial budget can allow you to see where you can grow and cut back in certain areas of your expenses. Also, you can include these factors within your first quarter by projecting for your ideal profit scenario. If you want to cut out the guesswork in your budget, it’s simple to incorporate your incoming sales and profit into your startup budget. It could be important in this stage to also include a “break-even” point to calculate when you’re sales are meeting your expenses.

4. Determine Where You Can Make Cuts

Now that you have a better sense of your fixed and variable costs as well as your profits, it should be clearer where you can make cuts in your budget. Take this time to see if you need to fixed expense goals such as employees to freelance or contractor work or perhaps it’s time to ramp up your advertising. Reexamining your budget for the next quarter can make your business more agile for the months ahead. 

5. Create a Cash Flow Statement

Clearly knowing how much revenue is coming in and out of your business is paramount in growing and keeping it afloat. You can determine your cash flow generally by taking your monthly revenue and subtracting your total fixed and current variable costs to determine a total overall balance. 

Your cash flow statement is a living document, meaning it is expected to change month to month or quarter to quarter. Scaling your business can be simple with an initial budget of your expenses and growing it with your business. Using your budget to determine your cash flow statement could enable your startup more room when looking to grow your team and upgrade your equipment or systems. 

  • This content is general in nature and provided for informational use only. Content may be used in connection with the advertising and marketing of products and services offered by SouthState Bank, N.A. and its subsidiaries and affiliates. This is not to be considered legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You should seek individualized advice from personal financial, legal, tax and/or other professionals, as appropriate depending on the specific facts of your situation. We do not make any warranties as to the completeness or accuracy of this information and have no liability for your use of this information.

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