Develop the Budget
The final step in getting off to a good start is to develop
your budget. You should create on even if the company does
not ask you to. The company budget may be several months
off depending on when the fiscal year starts. If it still
a ways away I would create one anyway.
Here are some things to keep in mind...
If you inherit a budget - stick to it as much as you can.
Chances are that you may not be able to change much of it in mid
Make changes if it is expected. If you have a
mandate to make changes, then it is likely that you may deviate
from the budget - you need to ask.
Create a Budget starting from zero. In other
words justify everything. Do not put something on the
budget just because it was there last year. Think long and
hard about why things are on the budget and remove or never add
the ones you cannot defend.
Think "Return on Investment". Ask
yourself "Would I spend the money on this item if you owned
the company? The longer you have to think about it the
greater the possibility that you could avoid the
expenditure. This is the way the CFO and CEO think.
Also think how you could spend the money on something else.
What can you live without? After you have
created the budget - cut it. Not literally, but be ready
to take a few things off the table if asked. Know what
they are and offer them up if needed.
Don't forget the little things. if you put new
hardware on the budget, don't for get to add a little for
implementation or training. You should generally add at
least 5-10% contingency dollars to each major hardware purchase.
Be sure to add one wish list item. Place something on
the budget that you would love to have if the money were freed
up somewhere else. Maybe you had to budget for software
that was needed for one specific project. If the project
does not end up needing it, you already have a budget item to
spend it on.