Effective budgeting is a necessary step in properly managing your small business's financials. Without a detailed and accurate budget, you will have to contend with a substantial amount of financial backtracking and unexpected expenses that crop up regularly. This can create unnecessary stress, and it may even lead to the demise of your business. These are some of the most commonly overlooked expenses in a small business environment. Ensure that your budget has properly allocated funds for these items.
Dues & Memberships
In many industries, membership in various associations and organizations may be beneficial or even required. You may need to pay annual dues to renew your business license, to obtain continued education, training that is required, and more. Make a list of all of the organizations that you belong to or want to join, and research their membership fees and training requirements. By budgeting for these expenses, you will prevent them from becoming a true burden on your budget.
Office Supplies & Equipment
Office equipment like copiers and printers are a necessity, and they often have a rather short lifespan. In fact, you may find yourself replacing them every few years. Some items, like copiers, may be leased rather than purchased, and you need to budget for the leasing fees. In addition, office supplies like toner, pens, paper, staples and more can add up, and you should allocate a healthy sum to these expenses each month. Finding a company to regularly buy from can save you a lot of time when deciding what you need, and money if they can partner with you.
Small business owners generally need to pay for various types of insurance, and the cost of premiums can be high. For example, you may need to pay for your own health insurance premium as well as health insurance premiums for your employees. You may also need to purchase liability insurance and renters or property insurance. If you drive vehicles in your business, a commercial auto insurance policy may also be required. Life insurance for you and your employees may also be something you need to consider budgeting for. Because these premiums can be so expensive, it is imperative that you properly plan for them in your budget.
The combination of these three expense items can account for several thousand dollars or more in your budget each year. You can imagine the incredible strain that your small business would face if you overlook their inclusion in your budget. Likewise, there may be other important work items that you are not properly budgeting for. Remember, an effective budget will allocate funds for all purchases that you need to make, and it often will even include a surplus allocated to unexpected expenses that may crop up as well.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger from Los Lunas New Mexico who spends most of her free time hiking & biking. For more information contact West Coast Office Equipment or Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.
I hope you enjoyed this article about office essentials you need to keep in mind while determining your budget.
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