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Chapter 4. Creating Your Business Plan, ... > Creating Your Budget Spreadsheet

Creating Your Budget Spreadsheet

You must know whether you are making money and whether you can pay your bills. This requires keeping track of hundreds of financial details—from the amount you spent on office supplies at the store yesterday to the cost of seeing your client in the city via public transportation to the amount of a client's check you just received. The information keeps coming, day after day, and you need to accurately track it to know how your business is doing financially. With so much important information—from income to your marketing expenses, from how much you spent in a month to how much you earned—you need to formulate a document for storing and tracking your budget in a way that allows you to view many pieces of information at once. To do this, you will set up a budget spreadsheet.

We will start with a spreadsheet that first gives you an overall idea of your startup financial picture. Then, much of that information will continue to be tracked and recorded on a paper or computer spreadsheet. I recommend that this be a computer spreadsheet using a program such as Excel or Lotus 1-2-3. However, you need to be comfortable with the program. See Chapter 6, “Getting Technology You Really Need (and Only What You Need),” which discusses technology options, if you're having trouble deciding which spreadsheet to use—or whether to use your computer or paper.


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