Last Updated: June 1, 2023 • Visit Blog Homepage


As a dog daycare owner, your goal is to provide the best care possible for the dogs in your care while also running a financially successful business. There's one rule of business that you need to make sure you understand well, if the amount of money coming in isn't greater than the amount of money going out, you're not going to be able to stay in business for too long. One key aspect of achieving this goal is effective budgeting. When done correctly, budgeting helps you prioritize your spending, ensure that you have enough resources to meet your business needs, and ultimately maximize your profits.

1. Identify Your Business Needs

Before you can start budgeting, you need to identify what your business needs are. This may include things like staff salaries, utilities, rent, food, and supplies. Make a list of all the expenses you anticipate having each month, and then rank them in order of importance. This will help you determine which expenses are essential and which ones can be cut if necessary. If you're just starting out, there's a good chance that you're not going to have to worry about employee costs yet. That's a good thing, since employees are expensive. However, if you're already a booming dog daycare or boarding kennel, you'll want to sit down and make sure you're spending money in the right places.

2. Determine Your Income

Once you have identified your business needs, you need to determine your expected income. This includes any money you expect to receive from customers as well as any other sources of income such as grants or loans. Be sure to be realistic about your income projections and take into account any seasonal fluctuations. If you don't already have a year of past data to look at, you can try using this dog daycare and kennel financial spreadsheet. It will give you a good idea of what kind of income you can expect during your first year of business. Play around with the numbers to find the sweet spot of money going out versus money coming in.

3. Develop a Budgeting Plan

Based on your business needs and expected income, you can develop a budgeting plan. Your plan should outline how much money you will allocate to each expense category, and ensure that you are spending your resources in a way that is aligned with your business goals. You might think that having a budget isn't a requirement, but you're entirely wrong. Even small businesses benefit from having a set budget (just ask Harvard) from which they use to make financial decisions.

4. Track Your Spending

Once you have a budgeting plan in place, it is important to track your spending. This will help you see how your actual expenses compare to your budget, and make any necessary adjustments to your spending plan. Use a budgeting tool such as a spreadsheet, or software specifically designed for small businesses, to help you track your spending accurately. It might come as a surprise when you finally get all your expenses laid out in front of you. Did you realize you were spending $150/month on phone and internet when you barely even use your wi-fi and most people call your cell instead? Cut the cord and save some cash!

5. Regularly Review Your Budget

Regularly reviewing your budget is key to staying on track with your spending plan. Reviewing your budget will help you identify any areas where you may be overspending, or areas where you can cut back. It is also a good idea to review your budget in light of any changes in your business needs or income. Make it a point to sit down with your business team on a monthly basis and go over the budget. This will give you a good idea of where you were spending too much and maybe where you weren't spending enough. Without a budget to start from, you wouldn't even know where to begin.

6. Be Prepared for Emergencies

No matter how well you budget, there may be times when unexpected expenses arise. It is important to have a plan in place for dealing with these types of situations. Consider setting aside a portion of your budget each month for emergencies, or having a line of credit that you can draw from if needed. Rainy day funds are especially important for small businesses. If you're running on a shoestring budget, you might be putting yourself at risk.

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