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Expenses Businesses Forget to Budget For

An estimated eight out of ten small businesses fail within the first few years. One of the primary reasons for this relates to financial challenges and poor cash flow. While there are many steps that you can take to line up funding you need to get your new business off the ground, the reality is that your quest for startup funding is only as beneficial as your budgeting efforts allow for. More than that, once your business has become successful, budgeting continues to be important to its overall profitability. However, business finances can be complex, and more than 50 percent of small business owners outsource this task to a controller. If you are preparing to launch your business or you are already an experienced business owner, you can more easily create an effective budget when you include all expenses that will affect your business in your budget. There are some expenses, however, that many business owners fail to allocate funds for. By learning more about these expenses, you can more easily update your budget successfully.

 

Insurance

There are various types of insurance that businesses need. If you have a larger business with several employees, you may be required to provide them with health insurance. With this as a requirement, you may budget appropriately for it. However, you may also need insurance for your commercial vehicles, rental or property insurance for your place of business and more. You should budget appropriately for the premiums for these policies as well as for the deductibles. You never know when you will need to file a claim, but you should always be financially able to do so.

 

Marketing and Advertising

Marketing and advertising are the lifeblood of many businesses because they drive sales. As important as they are, some businesses regularly fail to allocate a healthy sum of money to this expense. As a result, marketing can be irregular and not as effective as it could be. As you update your budget, consider all ongoing marketing expenses, such as hosting fees for your website. In addition, create a complete marketing plan for the next year, and allocate funds necessary to execute this plan in a timely manner.

 

Professional Lunches and Social Events

In many business environments, socializing and networking is necessary. It can cost money to attend hosted lunches for industry organizations, to take clients to lunch and more. A savvy business owner will properly allocate a healthy amount of money to this expense category. This will prevent you from running in the red when you take advantage of a great networking opportunity.

 

Property Cleaning

The cleanliness of your facility can impact the health and well-being of your employees as well as the image you project to clients and customers. You need to budget for cleaning supplies and services on a regular basis. In addition, periodic commercial carpet cleaning may also be necessary to keep your venue looking and smelling great.

 

Property Repairs and Maintenance

Property repairs and maintenance may not be a regular expense that recurs each month. In fact, several months may elapse between when your company is burdened by these expenses. However, such expenses can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars when they arise, and they must be properly incorporated into your budget. Make a list of all major repair projects you have in mind, such as kitchen cabinet refacing for the break room. In addition, allocate some funds to cover periodic equipment breakdowns. When you take these steps, you can ensure that you have funds available to keep your property maintained in great condition.

 

Taking steps to improve your budgeting efforts can go a long way toward improving your cash flow and preventing you from running in the red. You may feel that many expenses are unexpected and cannot be planned for. However, you know that appliances will break down, that carpets need cleaning and that networking opportunities cost money, for example. By allocating some of your funds to each of these areas, you can create a more realistic budget that covers all of your expenses. These should be included in your initial business plan before you launch a startup, and they should continue to be included in your regular budget.

 

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Planning Ahead: 4 Things Sellers Should Invest In This Spring

There might be snow on the ground and a wind chill outside right now, but winter will be over before you know it. With the change in weather spring, one of the busiest times of year when it comes to real estate. If you are planning on selling your home, there are some things you should invest in to help ensure that your home is in ideal condition and able to attract buyers for the right price.

1. An Inspection

This is something of a catch-all. A home inspector will survey your home and see what issues there might be with the house that you haven’t noticed. This could include faulty wiring, pests and leaky faucets. Remember: as inspectors, they won’t be able to fix all these problems themselves, but they will be able to find them in hopefully enough time for you to remedy them before you sell.

Expected Cost: Between $315 and $400.

2. Professional Cleaning Service

You might think you keep your house clean, but trust us—there’s a difference between the cleanliness standard needed for living in a house and selling that house. Even if you always scrub the shower, sweep the living room on a consistent basis, and never leave a single dirty dish or saucepan out, living in a house tends to make it look, well… used. It’s not negligence; it’s just the way things work.

That’s why it’s often a good idea to contact a professional maid service to clean up your house, particularly when your home is up on the market. Note that your house should most certainly not be in a state of disarray before the cleaners come. Instead, you should clean up as best as you can and let them handle the finishing touches so that your house can go from looking great to looking perfect. Also, schedule the appointment as close to when you list the home as possible. Otherwise, you risk the house getting dirty again and you’ll need to schedule another appointment.

Expected Cost: Between $25 and $35 per hour.

3. Yard Care

Curb appeal is something that cannot be taken for granted when selling a home. You could have the most pristine, gorgeous manor on the inside, but if the yard is decayed and decrepit, buyers won’t even make it to the front door. That’s why you should invest in proper lawn maintenance. You’ll need to find people who can mow a lawn, trim hedges, pull weeds and more once the sun starts coming out.

Yard pest control is also an important thing to keep in mind. Moles leave unsightly holes, and hornets and other stinging insects can make entire sections of your yard impassable. Beyond that, while It might just seem like an outdoor problem at first, if mice, mosquitoes, termites and more aren’t taken care of, they can migrate inside, spelling disaster for the value of your home. Find professional, trusted exterminators who can take care of any potential pest problems, and you’ll save yourself a lot of stress.

Expected Cost: Between $35 and $50 per visit

4. New Paint Job

Paint is meant to provide color and liveliness to a house, which will make it more enticing for potential buyers; however, it can backfire. For instance, paint that has faded or chipped away is not very enticing. Whether it’s on the outside of your home, inside, or both, get the paint touched up if it needs it. Meanwhile, while you may enjoy having a home painted a bold color that stands out, potential buyers might consider it an eyesore and walk away. To attract more buyers, get your walls repainted in a more neutral, widely appealing color.

Expected Cost: Between $1,700 and $3,600.

We hope you follow this advice as you prepare to sell your house. Though selling your home might seem arduous and stressful, it can be made much easier by tackling these issues as soon as possible. Not only will your new home buyers appreciate the effort you took to make their new residence as livable as possible; there’s a good chance that you will be able to sell it for a higher price.

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How Staying Out of Debt Will Change Your Life

From the moment that you turn 18 years old, credit cards, loans and other borrowed funds are dangled in front of you. You may not have a job yet, but creating debt is encouraged by creditors as you learn to navigate these adult waters. However, living a debt-free life has many more opportunities for the individual. Consider how staying out of debt will change your life when you curb those spending habits.


Career Freedom

With a lot of debt comes large bills. You’ll be encouraged to find a job that pays the debt off, but the career itself may not be appealing. Living debt free means that you can pick a career that you’re excited about. As long as there’s a livable wage, you can choose a profession based on interest instead of the salary level. Feel fulfilled by the career, but don’t remain there if those feelings change. You have the freedom to try several different jobs across the years because debt isn’t keeping you harnessed to a particular pay scale.


Lack of Stress


Staying out of debt changes
your life because financial stress isn’t part of your world. There are many other issues in the world to worry about, but your financial health won’t be one of them. Part of living a debt- and stress-free life is maintaining an emergency fund. Issues can infiltrate your day, such as a car accident. Being prepared with a generous emergency fund allows you to pay for items as you recuperate from these emergencies. People who don’t take these situations into consideration will ultimately go into debt because they’ll rely on credit when emergencies arise. Ideally, keep 6 months of income in a savings account for those unusual occurrences.


Lifestyle Goals Attained


Because you aren’t fixated on paying off debt, you can set goals for that next vacation or major investment. Use
virtual bookkeeping services in order to keep track of your everyday spending and saving habits. When you want a certain balance in your accounts by year’s end, the service calculates the proper monthly savings amount for you. Saving up for a 6-month long cruise is a challenge, but it’s possible when you set a goal and remain in your budget. There’s no need to overspend on other items, such as cable television, when you have an unforgettable vacation to look forward to in little time.


Perpetually High Credit Score


Your credit score relies on the responsible use of borrowed funds. Because you don’t carry any debt, the score will often rise as a result. You still need to use credit in order to keep that score high and active, however. Buy an item that requires some use of credit, and pay it off at month’s end. The credit reporting agencies will note this behavior and increase your score. If you ever need to purchase an expensive item, such as a car or property, the score and history will be perfect for low-interest borrowing. Some debt, such as a mortgage, is actually good for your credit rating.


Cash is Real


Your life can change with a debt-free outlook because the concept of cash is real. You aren’t relying on credit with its virtual balance on a computer screen. According to Time Magazine, the cash moving in and out of your wallet and checking account is a true representation of
your net worth. If you don’t have the physical funds, the purchase won’t occur. For people living on credit, the concept of cash is far from tangible. Living in a reality-based financial world will keep you debt free as you save up for that fantastic vacation or coveted, home-entertainment system.

 

If you find yourself in debt at some point, be aware of the balances. Create a game plan to pay them off in a reasonable amount of time. Everyone makes mistakes at some point, but you can achieve a debt-free lifestyle with some attention to detail and spending willpower.

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