Sometimes the way you run your business should mimic how you encourage your athletes to maintain their workout regimens. Numbers play a big part in workouts, as members use their past WOD data to determine weight percentages and PRs. Numbers should always be at the forefront of your mind as a business owner, too.
A budget is the best place for you to keep track of your most important numbers. Ashley Dahl, a small-business coach, has her clients put a large focus on budgeting as she feels it is one of the most important aspects of running a successful business.
“I think new businesses can underestimate the value of really watching expenses,” said Dahl. “That’s where having clarity around where the money is going can be very helpful. Like with office supplies, people can be spending a lot and then when they see the impact that it has on the business, like not being able to do an upgrade, it can help to prioritize.”
Planning a budget out ahead of time can decrease stress. A budget should be operated on a calendar year, and the summer months are the best time to start considering what will be in store for the coming year.
“In the summer, you can get a sense of what is coming on the horizon and if there are trainings or gym upgrades you might need to invest in,” said Dahl. “Starting in mid-fall, start playing around with actual numbers. You can start drafting what you expect the expenses to be, what are the implications for revenue, and then by the time you are hitting December you have a budget in place.”
Once you have the budget in place, monitoring it becomes key to increasing the longevity of your Box’s life. A monthly check-in on progress and what marks have or haven’t been hit is the ideal time frame Dahl suggested working with.
“Monthly monitoring gives you an opportunity to see if you are on track or not and leaves time to adjust,” said Dahl. “It’s like if during a particular workout you are thinking this isn’t feeling quite right, you have to make a modification. When you start to budget regularly, the stress starts to reduce and you begin to realize how normal it is to have to make adjustments, rather than thinking you got it all wrong.”
A budget, if utilized correctly, can be a great addition to your business plan. It is a way to get an inside look on where each and every dollar is going, and in the long run, can be a way to save you money.
“You just need to generally see how your money is playing out to get a sense of if you are spending a reasonable amount of it in certain areas,” said Dahl. “You want it to be a useful tool.”