The Best Free Business Budget Worksheets
Published: October 15, 2021
Keeping track of expenses as a business owner can be taxing. You have to document every detail to make sure you stay within your spending limits while promoting your products or services, delivering on promises, and developing new offerings.
A business budget worksheet can help you stay organized.
Having a template to work from will cut down on the time it takes to write down the details of a budget, help you prioritize projects and allocate resources to get them done, and reveal trends of the money you spend versus the results achieved.
Depending on the complexity of your company, you may need to oversee a number of individual budgets while managing the overall spend. The business budget worksheets below range from specific templates — from product marketing to website redesign — to comprehensive ones that cover all aspects of your marketing plan.
Let's dive in so you can take control of your budget like never before.
How to Write a Business Budget
1. use budget templates.
Creating a business budget from scratch can be overwhelming—you need to capture the details of each month's projected budget, actual spend, and the cumulative total of each.
If you've never written a business budget or are looking for a specific marketing worksheet, you can start with HubSpot's Marketing Budget Templates . This download includes eight well-designed and detailed templates to easily manage your finances, with options for Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. A quick overview explains how to use each template so you can easily start filling in your own information.
2. Set Your Strategy and Goals
To make the most of your budget, you have to know what goals you want to achieve and the strategy to get there. If you're working to bring in more sales (a goal) and plan to improve your website to attract leads (the strategy), you'll have to put funds towards the redesign project.
Check out these strategic planning models that can help map out your long-term goals if your business is just getting off the ground. That way, your budget will reflect the financial resources needed to accomplish your objectives.
3. Gather the Numbers
Every company has different needs, so no one budget will be exactly the same. A branding and creative budget, for example, will have vastly different line items than a website redesign budget.
No matter what budget you're putting together, you'll need all of the relevant expenses for a comprehensive overview. Here are the basic numbers you may want to include:
- Revenue projections: Consider your historical financial performance and projected growth income.
- Fixed-cost projections: The costs that don't change (i.e. employee compensation, office rent, business software, insurance, and utilities).
- Variable-cost projections: The costs that may change month-to-month (i.e. overtime compensation, supply costs, or software that varies by usage).
- Annual project expenses: The cumulative costs of implementing all of your company goals for the year.
- Individual project expenses: The costs associated with each project, which should be tracked in individual budget worksheets.
- Target profit margin: A ratio that reveals how much money a company makes. Knowing your bottom line — and including it in your budget — is a helpful reminder of what you hope to achieve within the year and a good benchmark when analyzing your monthly financial trends.
Depending on the budget, you can also include cash, inventory, accounts receivable, net fixed assets, or long-term debt.
How to Manage a Business Budget
No budget is an island. All companies are impacted by poorly-managed budgets, especially a small business just starting out.
When your budget is just one piece of the puzzle, you'll likely need to get it approved by a manager or executive team before spending any money. If you're running a business on your own or with a small team, it's smart to find a trusted colleague or financial expert to look over your numbers. They may be able to point out areas to cut costs, reallocate funds, or create larger profit margins.
Want to make sure you're on track? Figure out how much you should put aside for a marketing budget that meets your goals.
Once your budget is in place, checking in on it once a year isn't enough — you need to review it monthly (at minimum) to make sure your expenses aren't out of control. Once you set your annual budget, revisit it at the beginning and end of every month. If you like to be in the know, you can even set a time to review it mid-month to double-check that everything is on track.
When a new project pops up, simply add it to your existing business budget worksheet and make adjustments to the overall expenses. The same thing applies if you wind up dropping a project. Company priorities change constantly, and your budget needs to adapt along with the shifts.
Business Budget Worksheets for Small Businesses
You poured through past financial records, made future projections, mapped out your upcoming projects, and have all of the information you need to build a well-rounded budget. Now it's time to choose the best business budget worksheet for your goals. Luckily, all of these options make it simple to stay on top of your finances.
HubSpot Marketing Budget Templates
If you want a worksheet for each marketing niche, HubSpot has you covered. One download gives you access to eight budget templates: a master marketing sheet, product marketing, content, paid advertising, public relations, branding and creative, website redesign, and events.
Small Business Budget Templates
Simplicity is the theme of these business budget worksheets by Smartsheet. Each Excel template is free to download, with options for multiple products, business expenses, startups, and more.
Business Expense Template
Need a polished business expense budget? Microsoft Office has you covered with this well-designed Excel template that outlines costs for employees, marketing, office space, travel, and training. Just fill in the blanks and send it for approval.
Year-Over-Year Budget Template
For a simple look at how your incomes and expenses change from year to year, this Excel template from Quickbooks is all you need.
Freelance Budget Templates
Working for yourself often means combining personal and business expenses. That's why these Excel templates from Business Load include income projections alongside personal costs. You can even budget what you'll contribute to taxes, your 401k, and emergency fund all in the same sheet—because you likely have more than enough to manage.
Sample Business Budget Worksheet
Personally, I'd rather endure the monotony of writing lines than spend all day organizing numbers in a blank spreadsheet. But having an example to work from makes it easier to make sure everything is on track. If you share that mindset, here's a filled-in sample of a business budget worksheet to get you started.
The sample shows the budget needed for a website redesign project, with each expense categorized to keep it organized and easy to read. You can see where the budget went over (UX testing) and where savings happened (CMS software).
Setting up your own business budget using these templates is so quick and easy, you can have your numbers in order in no time. The sooner you begin, the better off your budget (and business) will be in the months and years to come.
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An HR Glossary for HR Terms
Glossary of human resources management and employee benefit terms.
What is a business necessity.
The definition of business necessity refers to the legal concept used to justify an employer’s employment criteria that disproportionately affect a group of individuals. The justification resides in the possibility that a company has legitimate reasons to operate under such restrictive employment practices.
What Are Examples of a Business Necessity?
Business necessity practices are quite common today. The following are some examples of hiring practices that could be protected by business necessity:
- Educational requirements. Many job listings mention a minimum requirement for completed education. For example, physician and doctor’s positions require applicants to complete an advanced medical school degree, which excludes a large number of people.
- Experiential requirements. Companies may also require job applicants to have a certain number of years of experience in a similar field. This ensures that applicants are properly prepared for the tasks that will be assigned to them. However, this also negatively affects the chances of a large number of potential applicants.
- Travel requirements. Some jobs require employees to travel long distances frequently throughout the year. If that’s the case, they may look for someone with good enough health to make those travel commitments. This may affect the chances of some candidates’ eligibility for the job.
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What Does “Job-Related and Consistent With Business Necessity” Mean?
“Job-related and consistent with business necessity” is the term companies will use to justify their unique hiring practices. It essentially means the company is able to demonstrate that its hiring criteria are necessary for the success of the business.
How Do You Prove Business Necessity?
To prove business necessity, businesses must offer viable evidence that the exclusionary criteria are strictly related to job performance and do not have a disparate impact. The business necessity rule stems from Griggs v. Duke Power Co. , a Supreme Court case.
Since that case, key factors have emerged as a way to assess the legality of employment and hiring practices. From these factors, employers must be able to prove that:
- The level of disparity caused by the employment criteria is relatively low.
- There is a factual relationship between the employment criteria and the successful performance of the job.
- The employment standard is determined by a “neutral” entity that is not related to the employer.
- The job has a direct impact on public safety.
- The employment criteria are not based on natural or unalterable characteristics of applicants.
- There are no alternative employment criteria that could be less disparaging for applicants.
How Can You Prevent Discrimination With Business Necessity?
It is discriminatory and unlawful to influence employment decisions based on discrimination of age, sex, race, and disability. These discriminatory practices cause employers to rely on assumptions and stereotypes about the applicants based on those unalterable characteristics, which is unethical.
Of course, very few employers will intentionally use business necessity for discrimination. To best avoid any accidental discrimination, HR professionals should be able to answer the questions listed above and prove their company’s hiring practices are in no way discriminatory. It can also help to write out the company’s hiring practices and include rules and procedures that prevent discrimination in the hiring process.
What’s the Difference Between BFOQ and Business Necessity?
A bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) is an employment qualification an employer may enact that allows for hiring individuals based on their race, sex, age, or nationality. For example, a job posting for a restaurant server may require applicants to be at least 18 years of age so they can legally serve alcohol.
In this regard, BFOQs are like business necessities but allow businesses to hire based on factors that would not be legally covered by a business necessity.
Free Business Plan Templates in Excel
By Joe Weller | September 27, 2020
In this article, we’ve rounded up an extensive list of free business plan templates and samples for organizations of all sizes. You can download all of the plans in Excel.
Included on this page, you’ll find business plan templates in Excel , business plan checklists in Excel , business plan financial templates in Excel , and more.
Business Plan Templates in Excel
These Excel business plan templates are designed to guide you through each step of a well-rounded strategy that supports your marketing, sales, financial, and operational goals.
Business Plan Template in Excel
This Excel business plan template has all the traditional components of a standard business plan, with each section divided into tabs. This template includes space to provide the executive summary, target audience characteristics, product or service offering details, marketing strategies, and more. The plan also offers built-in formulas to complete calculations for sales forecasting, financial statements, and key business ratios.
Download Business Plan Template
Excel | Smartsheet
One-Page Business Plan in Excel
To check the feasibility of your business concept, use this single-page business plan template. The template allows you to jot down the core details related to your idea. This template also includes room for you to provide concise information about what you do, how you do it, why you do it, who your idea serves, your competitive advantage, your marketing strategies, and your success factors. At the bottom of this one-page plan, you’ll find a table to conduct a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis. Find more downloadable single-page plans and examples at “ One-Page Business Plan Templates with a Quick How-To Guide .”
Download One-Page Business Plan
Excel | Word | PDF | Smartsheet
Sample 30-60-90-Day Business Plan for Startup in Excel
This 90-day business plan is designed for startup companies to develop a 90-day action plan. This template gives you room to outline the following: main goals and deliverables for each 30-day increment; key business activities; task ownership; and deadlines. This template also includes a built-in Gantt chart that adjusts as you enter dates. Visit “ 30-60-90-Day Business Plan Templates and Samples ” to download more free plans.
Download 30-60-90-Day Business Plan for Startup
For more free business plans in a wider variety of formats, visit “ Simple Business Plan Templates .”
Business Plan Checklists in Excel
These business plan checklists are useful for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and business owners who want to organize and track the progress of key business activities.
Business Planning Checklist with Timeline in Excel
Use this checklist to keep your business planning efforts on track. This template enables you to add tasks according to each phase of your plan, assign an owner to each task, and enter the respective start and end dates. The checklist also enables you to create and color-code a visual timeline when you highlight the start and end dates for each task.
Download Business Planning Checklist with Timeline Template
Business Plan Checklist with SWOT Analysis in Excel
Use this business plan checklist to develop and organize your strategic plan. Add the name of the business activity, along with its status, due date, and pertinent notes. This template also includes a separate tab with a SWOT analysis matrix, so you can evaluate and prioritize your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Download Business Plan Checklist with SWOT Analysis - Excel
Business Startup Checklist in Excel
This checklist template is ideal for startup organizations. It allows you to list and categorize key tasks that you need to complete, including items related to research, strategic relationships, finance, development, and more. Check off each task upon completion to ensure you haven’t missed or overlooked any important business activities. Find additional resources by visiting “ Free Startup Plan, Budget & Cost Templates .”
Download Business Startup Checklist Template
Business Plan Financial Templates in Excel
Use these customizable templates to develop your organization’s financial plan.
Business Startup Costs Template in Excel
Use this template to estimate and track your startup and operational costs. This template gives you room to list line items for both funding and expenses; you can automatically calculate totals using the built-in formulas. To avoid overspending, compare budgeted amounts against actual amounts to determine where you can cut costs or find additional funding.
Download Business Startup Costs Template
Small-Business Budget Template in Excel
This simple business budget template is designed with small businesses in mind. The template helps you track the income and expenses that you accrue on a monthly and yearly basis. To log your cash balances and transactions for a given time frame, use the tab for cash flow recording.
Download Small-Business Budget Template - Excel
Startup Financial Statement Projections Template
This financial statement projections template includes a detailed profit and loss statement (or income statement), a balance sheet with business ratios, and a cash flow statement to analyze your company’s current and future financial position. This template also comes with built-in formulas, so you can calculate totals as you enter values and customize your statement to fit the needs of your business.
Download Startup Financial Statement Projections Template
For additional templates to help you produce a sound financial plan, visit “ Free Financial Templates for a Business Plan .”
Business Plan Marketing and Sales Templates in Excel
Use these downloadable templates to support and reinforce the marketing and sales objectives in your business plan.
Sales Forecast Template in Excel
This sales forecast template allows you to view the projected sales of your products or services at both individual and combined levels over a 12-month period. You can organize this template by department, product group, customer type, and other helpful categories. The template has built-in formulas to calculate monthly and yearly sales totals. For additional resources to project sales, visit “ Free Sales Forecasting Templates .”
Download Sales Forecast Template
Marketing Budget Plan in Excel
This marketing budget plan template helps you organize and plan your campaign costs for key marketing activities, such as market research, advertising, content marketing , and public relations. Enter the projected quantity and cost under each campaign category; the built-in formulas enable you to calculate projected subtotals automatically. This template also includes a graph that auto-populates as you enter values, so you can see where your marketing dollars are going.
Download Marketing Budget Plan Template
Other Business Plans in Excel
Use these business plan templates to conduct analyses and develop a plan of action that aligns your strategy with your main business objectives.
Business Action Plan Template in Excel
Use this basic action plan template to develop a roadmap for reaching your goals. Add a description of each action item, assign the responsible party, and list the required resources, potential hazards, key dates, and desired outcome. You can use this template to develop an action plan for marketing, sales, program development, and more.
Download Business Action Plan Template
Business Plan Rubric in Excel
Once you complete your business plan, use this rubric template to score each section to ensure you include all the essential information. You can customize this rubric to fit the needs of your organization and provide insight into the areas of your plan where you want to delve more deeply or remove unnecessary details. By following these steps, you can make certain that your final business plan is clear, concise, and thorough.
Download Simple Business Plan Rubric
Competitive Analysis Template in Excel
This template enables you to analyze the competitive landscape and industry for your business. By providing details related to your company and competitors, you can assess and compare all key areas, including the target market, marketing strategies, product or service offerings, distribution channels, and more.
Download Competitive Analysis Template
Excel | Smartsheet
For additional free templates for all aspects of your business, visit “ Free Business Templates for Organizations of All Sizes .”
Turbo-Charge Your Business Plans with Templates from Smartsheet
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Business Necessity Letter (for PERM Audit)
The filing of a labor certification application with the U.S Department of Labor (DOL) is typically the second step towards the permanent residence process. Prior to submitting a labor certification application, the U.S. employer is required to obtain the Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD) and conduct a PERM recruitment process as outlined by the DOL for the available position. The PERM recruitment process must certify to the USCIS that there are not sufficient U.S. workers able, willing, qualified and available to accept the job opportunity in the area of intended employment.
Recently DOL has been issuing PERM audits to the U.S employers seeking documentation to establish the business necessity especially in the following circumstances:
- Positions requiring a master's degree or equivalent (e.g., bachelor's degree and five years of progressive post-baccalaureate work experience).
- Positions requiring less than a Bachelor’s Degree.
- Positions requiring a degree (i.e., bachelor’s or master’s) but not necessarily any work experience.
- Positions requiring certifications that aren’t typically required for a job.
- The foreign national beneficiary got his or her training or experience required for the position with the petitioning employer.
With the PERM electronic filing procedures, DOL has broad discretion on when, how and why it may conduct an audit. In the past, audits typically focused on providing backup recruitment or substantiating any foreign language requirements included in the application. But now, audits increasingly focus on "business necessity" and whether the requirements listed in the application for the position are specifically required by the company. DOL wants to ensure that the U.S employers don’t replace current U.S. workers with foreign nationals.
Under the business necessity standard, the employer must establish that the job requirements are reasonably related to the occupation in the context of the employer's business and are essential to perform, in a reasonable manner, the job duties. Carnegie Evaluations’ experts assist the U.S employers with such a Business Necessity expert opinion to address the business necessity for an offered position and establish that the job duties and requirements bear a reasonable relationship to the occupation ascertaining why the position’s prerequisite qualification is appropriate and necessary to perform the job in a reasonable manner in accordance with DOL guidelines and regulations.
Academic Evaluation/Education Evaluation
Work Experience Evaluation
Specialty Occupation (Position Evaluation) Expert Opinion
Professor Interaction (Virtual Site Visit) Expert Opinion
Wage Level Analysis
L-1A Executive / Managerial Expert Opinion
L-1B (Specialized Knowledge) Expert Opinion
Employment Based 2nd Preference (EB-2A/EB-2B) Expert Opinion
CPT/OPT Expert Opinions
EB-2C or National Interest Waiver (NIW) Expert Opinion
TN (for TN Visa) Letter
Extraordinary Ability (for O-1 / EB-1A Visas) Letter
E-3 Specialty Occupation (Position Evaluation) Expert Opinion
E-2 Treaty Employee Expert Opinion
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