Of the many difficult tasks for restaurant owners and managers to complete, few live up to the stress of creating a budget template. In this article, we walk you through how to create an Excel budget template to streamline your budgeting process.
We tend not to give restaurant administrators the credit they deserve. While the front of house and kitchen staff undoubtedly do a very physically and emotionally demanding job and should be respected as such, the mental taxation that owners and managers experience should not be forgotten. Their jobs carry just as much weight as those working the floor (if not more), as administrators are responsible for the continued success of the business on a financial level, whereas floor and kitchen staff maintain this success on a customer relations one.
One of the areas that administrators devote much of their time to is the budgeting and financing of the restaurant. This is easily one of the most mentally taxing aspects of their jobs, as one wrong number or incorrectly placed decimal point could potentially bankrupt the business. As you can imagine, the stress of getting the budget template right is heavy. However, it doesn’t have to be. See, something that administrators can do to ease the burden of the budget template process is employ spreadsheets for their budgeting needs, providing a checklist of each of the points they need to hit before their work is done and not forget anything important.
In this article, we are going to walk you through some of the steps necessary to ensure that you can not only create a budget template spreadsheet for all of your budgeting needs but that you create one that is user-friendly and functional for your specific business. We hope that you will find these points helpful in your journey towards better, more efficient budgeting, helping to spare you some of the administrative headache going forward.
1. To Theme or Not to Theme? - One of the things you should consider before you begin typing a single word into your blank budget template is whether or not you want to go with a pre-existing Excel theme. These themes are sort of like ready-made packages of different fonts and colors that Excel comes equipped with. They can be incredibly useful in helping to differentiate things like different categories (we’ll get to that in a minute), different product groups, or different spending frequencies. Of course, these are not essential, and you can create an effective template without them.
2. Work it Out on Paper First - Before you type one word into your new budget template spreadsheet, you need to make sure you have all of the necessary information at your disposal. What we recommend is taking a notepad or notebook and writing down all of the relevant information that might end up in your budget. From there, determine what needs to be considered each time you use one the budget template spreadsheets. Once you have all of that figured out, you can continue with building your budget template. Setting everything up on paper first is a good way to make sure you hit all of the important points without messing up things like formatting.
3. Divide into Categories - Now that you have all of the necessary information in front of you, it might be a good time to break everything down into smaller, more organized categories. You can start with the big ones, like “Spending” and “Profit,” and then go on from there to name different categories of spending, different areas where you make a profit, and so on. Doing this makes your budget template spreadsheet not only more organized but easier to look at, which psychologists have been saying for years helps with information retention and memory.
4. Start with Category Headings - You can finally begin setting up your template. We’ll discuss how to save it as a template a bit later on, but for now, you’re going to carry on as if it were any other spreadsheet. So, here’s what you’re going to want to start with: the category headings. After you’ve given the entire budget template spreadsheet a heading and space for the date to be added, you’ll want to go ahead and type out the category names as you’ve outlined them already, leaving some space to enter information for each of those categories underneath. Don’t worry about spending loads of time deciding how much space to leave right now; you can always go back and add more space as needed.
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5. Enter the Remaining Data - Now that you have the category headings and overall budget template heading in place, you can go ahead and input the rest of the category data as if you would like any other spreadsheet. If you didn’t leave yourself enough space, simply go into the taskbar and find where it gives you the option to add a row or a column. Don’t stress yourself out if you accidentally clicked the wrong thing, though; the “undo” button is a glorious tool for a reason.
6. Save as a Template - Is everything entered how you want it? It looks good? Awesome, then all you have to do to get things up and running is save your spreadsheet as a template. This process starts the same way that every other save file would, so go ahead and click the “File” menu. From there, you’re going to want to click “Save As” instead of regular “Save.” Once you do this, you will have the option to save the budget template spreadsheet as a few different things. As you might have guessed, you’re going to want to choose the option that lets you save it as a template. After this is done, you’re set! You can now open your budget template in Excel and begin filling out the important budget information every week, month, or quarter using the template you’ve created!
That’s it for our 6-step guide on how to create a killer budget template in Excel. Hopefully now you are far more confident in your ability to create one of these templates on your own to streamline your budget processes in no time flat! If you have any questions, be sure to let us know (unless they’re technical questions about Excel, then call Microsoft - they’re the experts!). While you’re here, take a look at this killer article we wrote dealing with technology that businesses can use to boost awareness.