Budgeting For Your Startup/Project: Everything you need to Know.


Budgeting for your startup is one of the important decisions every new business owner has to make; this is because there are heavy costs involved in long-term assets that are essential to the start-up’s success.

Budgeting also helps in partnerships, strategic management decisions, and mergers and acquisitions. Budgeting for a start-up also realized the primary goals of the entrepreneur and investors of getting a return on their investment and realizing their business goals.

Budgeting for your start-up process

Budgeting for your startup involves four steps that each new business owner should take:

  • Business/ Project Idea development.
  • Analyzing the Business/Project Proposals.
  • Creating a budget for the Business/Project
  • Monitoring and auditing the Business/Project after kickoff.  

It is very important to have money. You can either go to a bank and ask for a loan or go to a friend who has money. You can also get money from your parents. It is essential to have money to start up a business because it is the only way for you to have the resources to make a business a success.

Step 1. Business/ Project Idea development.

The first step to budgeting is generating a business or project idea. The sources of the business idea can come from business plan strategic goals, entrepreneur’s vision of their business, management proposals, and Investor’s proposals. Surprisingly, employees are also a good source of business/ project ideas they see feasible for existing businesses.

The business idea has to meet several key goals; it must be feasible and achievable, and it must also be achievable through available funds. It also has to be sustainable for a foreseen future to meet its bottom line.

capital budgeting

Step 2. Analyzing the business/ Project proposal.

When analyzing the business or project proposal, the bottom line is the cash flow; for these reasons, you will need a cash flow forecast to see the profitability and sustainability of the project.

It’s also important to analyze the capital requirements of the business proposal and decide whether to accept or reject them.

Step 3: Creating a budget for the business/ Project.

Creating a business or project budget is based on cash flow and profitability. These decisions are based on the timing of the cash flows and profits. Your resources also play a role in determining if the business or project is worth taking. 

So many ideas may seem profitable and have sustainable cash flows but don’t make sense strategically. It would help if you also considered that.

Step 4. Monitoring and Auditing the Business/ Project after kickoff.

This is the most important step of the budgeting for the start-up process. You must keep tabs on your business and project after kickoff. As the business owner or project monitor, you should analyze actual cash flows with projected cash flows. If the cash flow forecasts don’t match or are not close, you should have a clear explanation of identifying systematic errors, forecasting process, and adjusting accordingly.

Categories of projects and businesses that need capital budgeting.

If your business or project falls under the following categories, you should follow up the business and project capital budgeting using this guide:

  • The project was meant to maintain a business.
  • Shifting of business processes or products
  • Business and project expansions.
  • New product development/ startup
  • Mandatory business projects
  • Other projects (Explained below)

1. Project meant to maintain a business.

If you have a project meant to maintain your business, you need to budget its capital; the main reason is that the project will run concurrently with your existing projects. This means you will have to consider if the existing projects or processes will continue or you will drop them. Comparing both projects’ cash flows will help you determine which projects to continue and which ones to drop.

2. Shifting of business processes or products.

There are many reasons to consider when replacing business processes and products. This can be the reduction of cost allocations. For example, you might have a piece of machinery that has a high cost of maintenance, and you might need to replace it with new machinery that will reduce the cost and maybe make the process more efficient. A careful analysis is needed to make in such a scenario.

3. Business and project expansions.

When working on business or project expansions, investors are faced with a complex decision process. This is because they need to make sure there is a demand and they will be able to sustain the expansion. They also need to understand the cash flow implications of business and project expansions. 

capital budgeting

4. New product development.

There is a high uncertainty when working on a new product; this is why complex business planning and capital budgets are analyzed to realize the feasibility of new product developments. 

5. Mandatory business projects.

Safety-related and environmental are some of the mandatory business projects. For example, a new project or start-up may be created to reduce carbon emissions, and maybe machinery changes for the same purpose. 

Examples of safety concerns include a piece of machinery that is dangerous to work with. Maybe the management may be incurring higher insurance costs and would like to reduce insurance costs and remove dangerous equipment in their day-to-day activities.

6. Other projects.

Other projects include difficult to analyze projects using other methods such as research analysis and require capital budgeting. These projects include high-risk endeavors; the management may also decide to start a new project as a pet project to increase their perks. These projects require capital budgeting and are suitable for using this guide.

Capital Budgeting tips for your start-up or new project.

Without money, you can use a computer and a printer to create your start-up resources such as adverts, business cards, letters and proposals, sales agreements, etc. You can sell your services online if you have an Internet connection or sell to your local people if you have a printer to print your services or product adverts.

The advertising campaign is the most crucial stage in producing any commercial product. It is the stage at which the product is presented to the customer. In other words, it is the stage at which the commercial product is marketed.

The Internet is the best place to start getting your business out there. You can start a business with limited resources and proper capital management, but you can consider expanding your business if you want to make a living out of it.

I’m leaving you with these five tips to consider when making capital budgeting decisions.

  • Budget your capital based on cash flow, not profits.
  • Cash flow is based on cash lost if the project drops.
  • The timing of the cash flow is also a determinant factor.
  • Tax consideration during analysis is very important.
  • Do not consider the costs of financing the project.

1. Budget your capital based on cashflow not profits

Budgeting decisions are made using incremental costsOpens in a new tab., and not profits. These incremental costs are shown in cash flow projections. Incremental cash flows also show changes in cash flow if the project or start-up idea is not implemented. Costs such as sunk costs should not be included in capital budgeting; an example of these costs includes business consultancy fees. 

capital budgeting

2. Cash flow is based on cash lost if the project drops

There are certain costs that should be included in capital budgeting even if you already own them, this is called opportunity costs. They include assets such as land and machinery that you already own. These costs are included because the assets could have been used in other activities or sold.

3. The timing of the cash flow is also a determinant factor.

The time value of money is an important factor to consider when budgeting for a new project or start-up. Time value of money means you should give high priority to projects that have a cash flow received earlier. 

4. Tax consideration during capital budgeting is very important.

The value of a start-up or new project is based on the money you or the business keeps, it’s not based on money used to pay taxes. taxes should be considered during capital budgeting for a new start-up or new project.

5. Do not consider the costs of financing the project.

When estimating incremental costs, don’t include the cost of financing the start-up or project. Financing costs are included in the rate of return when capital budgeting for a new start-up or project.

What is a good startup budget?

A startup budget is usually a budget for the initial stage of a business. It is very important to have a good budget because you need to set aside money for the initial stages of the business. It is very difficult to start a business if you don’t have a budget. You will have to think of all the financial requirements and spend accordingly.

The amount of money you allocate for your startup budget will depend on the type of business you are in. You may need a budget for marketing or inventory. The cost of starting a business depends on many factors, and you need to plan accordingly. A startup budget is a good way to get started. You can use this budget to buy business supplies, hire employees, and pay for advertising.

What are three examples of a start-up expense?

Start-up costs are a vital part of a business.  They are fixed expenses that a business incurs when it first commences operations. These costs include legal fees for incorporation, business licenses and permits, accounting services, rent and office space, and stock. These and numerous other costs are incurred when a business first begins operations.

When should you start a start-up budget?

The traditional rules say you should start a budget when you have received the first installment of your paycheck. But there are times when that doesn’t happen, and you need to start a budget without knowing how much money you will get.

What’s included in start-up costs?

When you are starting a business, you will need to pay a lot of money for computers, furniture, and office equipment. In addition, you will need to pay for marketing and advertising. It can be a lot of money to start your own business.

Is a cell phone bill a startup expense?

Yes, it is. Your cell phone bill is a startup expense. A cell phone bill is no larger than a startup expense than any other business expense. The most common startup expenses are rent, equipment, and inventory. As long as you run a business, you will have cell phone bills, like rent, equipment, and inventory expenses. 

Can I buy equipment before starting a business?

You can purchase equipment before starting your business. This equipment includes office furniture, computers, copiers, fax machines, printers, scanners, etc. You can also purchase inventory so that you can get started immediately.

James Ndungu

James is a one-on-one business consultant who helps CEOs, executives, and solopreneurs build their personal and professional branding.

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