Budgeting & Forecasting

From pricing strategies to gross profit margin calculators, our budgeting and demand forecasting tools help you estimate your business’ revenues and expenses.

Business Fitness Analysis

The Business Fitness Analysis (BFA), which culminates in the Business Fitness Report (BFR), assists the business owners to identify their own high-level business needs. The BFA is a questionnaire that requires mainly YES/NO answers and takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes to complete. It does not seek any private or business financial information and covers the following areas: financing/finances, business continuity, business management, wealth creation, and employee benefits.

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Cash flow budget template

The cash flow budget template is used to project your business's cash inflows and outflows over a six-month period of time. It has many important uses. It can predict the ability of your business to create the cash necessary for expansion or to support you. It can project your business's cash inflows and outflows and predict your business's cash flow gaps – periods when cash outflows exceed cash inflows. It can also be used to prepare a formal cash flow budget for your lender to help assure the lender that you will have the cash available to pay back the loan.

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Current ratio calculator

Your current ratio, a comparison of current assets to current liabilities, is of particular importance to you if you're thinking of borrowing money or getting credit from one of your suppliers. Potential creditors also use this ratio to measure a business or entrepreneur's liquidity or ability to pay off short-term debts. Bankrate has created and provided a free, online calculator which you can use to calculate your current ratio at any given time.

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Financial resolutions for the small business owner

Just like individuals draw up a list of New Year’s resolutions to steer their life in a desired direction, the small business owner should jot down resolutions that’ll make for a successful financial year. But where to start? With the basics, of course. Here are four financial resolutions that you can make for your business every January or at the start of every financial year.

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Highlights from the national budget speech 2018 – South Africa

On the 21st of February 2018, the former Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba delivered the 2018/2019 national budget speech. The article looks briefly at the key highlights of the 2018 National Budget speech, and provides links to the full speech, tax guide, and a comprehensive summary of the budget speech highlights to allow for a more in-depth analysis of the speech.

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How to determine how much you need as a personal budget

Deciding on how much you need as an entrepreneur can be overwhelming and disempowering too. In most cases, we tend to just ignore the issue of how much we really need to keep living and hope we will be able to pay all expenses at month-end. Budgeting creates a space for you to know what you need and prioritise the money you have. This article shows you how to create an accurate personal budget to make sure you never take money from your business for personal use.

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How to finance your business

Money makes your business go. But don't try going to a bank to get it when you've just started in business. Banks normally make loans only to businesses with operating histories. This article will give you some alternatives, some strategies, and some things to think about as you go about finding the money to make your business work.

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How to increase your profit margin

A profit margin is an indicator of a company's pricing strategies and how well it controls costs. Differences in competitive strategy and product mix cause the profit margin to vary among different companies. The easiest way to remember it, is that the margin is the difference (financially) between what everything costs and what you charge. If your margins are too low, you will never make a profit and on the other hand if you set your margins too high, you run the risk of never making a sale. This article looks at how best to increase your profit margin.

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How to select an accountant or bookkeeper

You can get an idea of an accountant's level of skill by looking at their experience and qualifications. But how can you tell if they can be trusted with your sensitive financial information? You can always ask business colleagues and acquaintances if they know a good bookkeeper and hope you get a personal recommendation. But what other options do you have? This article looks at the factors you should consider when making this crucial business decision.

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Initial cash requirements template

This template will enable you to compute the amount of cash you will need to start your new business. The template is broken down into two parts. The first part computes the amount of cash you will need from day one of planning your business to day one of opening the business for customers. The second part of the template computes the cash needs for the first three months you're in business.

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Know where to cut costs

The most obvious strategy for staying in the black during tough economic times is to control costs. But how do you know where to cut down without compromising on the quality of your products and the efficiency of your business? When looking for ways to manage expenses, you first have to determine if you are incurring losses, breaking even or just barely making a profit. If you are losing money, it may make sense to trim enough costs to offset those losses.

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Managing debt

For a growing business, having a manageable level of debt can be an effective way of doing business. While some small business owners are proud of the fact that they've never taken on debt, that's not always a realistic approach. The question for many small business owners is: How much debt is too much? The answer to this question will lie in a careful analysis of your cash flow and the specific needs of your business and your industry. This article will help you analyze whether taking on debt is a good idea for your company.

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Managing your salary and wage overhead costs

The largest overhead cost of any company is its salary bill. The cost is influenced by, amongst others, market trends and demands, staff retention policies, benefit options and employee requirements. Budgeting for annual salaries is always the most time consuming part of any budget process. The anomalies and possible variances are always tricky and very difficult to cater for. Budgeting for new staff is easy, but the cost implications of the staff are more difficult. Here is how to manage your salary and wage overhead better.

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National budget speech 2019 – highlights

On the 20th of February 2019, the Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni delivered the national budget speech for 2019. As Mboweni highlighted in his speech, the aim of the 2019 budget is to achieve a higher rate of economic growth; increase tax collection; establish reasonable, affordable expenditure; stabilise and reduce debt; reconfigure state-owned enterprises; and manage the public sector wage bill. Find out more about the budget and the impact it will have on your life as a citizen and entrepreneur.

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Ninety-day cash needs template

This template is made up of a set of worksheets which will enable you to compute the amount of cash you will need to start your new business and keep it, as well as your personal expenses, going for the first 90 days. The template is broken down into three parts. The first part computes the amount of cash you will need from day one of planning your business to day one of opening the business for customers. The second part computes the business's cash needs for the first three months. The third part covers your personal living expense cash needs for that same period.

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Pricing Q&As

Whether you sell a product or service, the price you charge your customer will have a direct impact on the success of your business. Unfortunately, pricing is one of the least understood facets of running a small business. Many small business owners calculate their basic costs, and then pick a price arbitrarily. Arbitrary prices, however, mean arbitrary results. Taking the time to evaluate all the factors that will impact your price will help ensure you develop an effective pricing strategy.

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Simple steps to creating an SME budget

If you are planning on starting your own business, or if you are an SME business owner who is interested in small business asset funding, you will need to draw up a budget at some point. This budget might be for small business funding to improve your product offerings or even small business finance for finding better premises. If you are looking into funding for your small business or want to start a business, it is vital to know exactly how to draw up a budget. Here are some simple tips on how to create an SME budget.

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Six essential tips for sound budgeting for small business

A business without a working budget is like a car without a fuel gauge – it will drive for a while, but will run out of fuel when the driver least expects it. Gerrie van Biljon, executive director at Business Partners Limited, provides small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with six essential tips for sound business budgeting: be realistic, keep it simple, do it yourself, do it regularly, budget for your extra cash, and be ready for Plan B.

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Starting costs calculator

Starting costs, or business start-up costs, refer to the expenses entrepreneurs acquire when first starting up their businesses. What is included in your start-up costs as well as how much the costs actually are will depend on the type of business you would like to set up and the industry you want to enter. This start-up costs calculator will help you determine and outline the costs you will need to start your business.

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Tactics to avoid lowering your prices

Many small businesses find themselves feeling pressure to lower their prices. There are a handful of times when dropping prices makes sense; for example, when your cost of doing business has dropped and you want to pass along these savings. But if your existing prices are set to cover expenses and necessary profits, lowering them could damage the bottom line. What's the answer? Consider using these tactics to attract and retain customers without getting out the red pen.

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What is your product or service worth?

In a competitive market environment business owners are prone to sell themselves short, because they do not take the time to determine a fair and justifiable price for their services and products. There are various methods of determining the worth of your product or service. For example, there are so-called "value drivers" that support the charging of a premium for your service or product, if it solves an expensive problem for the client or saves the client money. This article expands on the concept of value drivers as well as other pricing strategies.

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