What’s worse than not having the budget to start a project? Running out of funding halfway through. This is worse because going out of budget signals two things to your investors and clients, as well as your staff: (1) that you are not cost-efficient or wise with budgeting, and therefore, (2) you do not deserve more money. So how does the financial manager of any costly affair handle things? You need a production budget.
A budget template is naturally something you should have in your organizational toolkit for every new venture and project. If you are in the manufacturing industry, this will be used routinely with every new product. In the film and theater industry, this happens during preproduction, production, and postproduction stages.
Overwhelmed? Here are some free budgeting resources to keep you in line with your resources.
Many businesses just starting out dream of a time they (or their loyal investors) will one day be wealthy enough that production costs will no longer be a factor. You can dive gung ho into a project, and when funds run out, you snap your fingers and increase your financing.
This hardly ever comes true and is in fact a disservice to the production process.
Consider the Manufacturing Budget. Having an endless supply of funding may sound good, but it will not help you to be a better businessperson or a better innovator. It will allow you to develop wasteful habits and make costly errors.
The most innovative and effective companies had very lean budgets. It was in their efforts to bring about great change from within their means that they achieved success.
Before you rush to create an Excel Budget spreadsheet, first consider the details.
Are you in show business? Often you will be doing production after production irregularly; each project’s budget is to be considered in its own right.
If you are in the industrial trades, you are not working on a project-by-project basis. You will have to calculate production and overhead costs over the entire fiscal year, even on a quarterly basis.
If you’re new to all this budgeting fuss, the Production Company Budget Template (above) will help you get a grounding on the basic idea of managing a budget, as well as the suggested tools and forms you can use to do it.
As with all suggested plans and strategies, your company’s mile may vary. If your production house or manufacturing plant is small-scale, it would be wise to focus first and foremost on your production budget.
The big-timers will be giving a lot of attention to their Marketing Budget because they have mastered the production process. Don’t skip ahead. Use these free templates to give yourself solid footing first in the production (or preproduction) phase.