Capital Budgeting Considerations for Small Businesses

The process of capital budgeting is critical for small businesses. Capital budgeting is all about helping you make the best decisions for your company. Here are a few things to consider about capital budgeting when running a small business.

Finding Opportunities

The first step in capital budgeting is to identify all of your business's potential opportunities for projects and investments. This is sort of a brainstorming process, as you will need to write down all of your potential options. Things like building a factory, distributing a certain product, or anything else that will take a large initial outlay to accomplish should be evaluated. Make a list of all of the opportunities that are in front of you before moving forward.

Evaluate Opportunities

Once you have this list, you need to evaluate each item on it. Look at the list to determine if an opportunity meshes with your company's goals and principles. Some options can be immediately eliminated because they are infeasible. Others might sound appealing at first but then impractical to pursue at this time. Eliminate any options that do not meet your company goals or that clash with your individual beliefs.

Cash Flows

As a small business owner, you will undoubtedly understand the necessity of having a constant source of cash flow. The next step is to perform a cash flow analysis for each option that remains in the capital budgeting process. Use detailed methods to determine the most realistic figure for how much each project could bring in. When attempting to predict cash flow, do not choose the best possible result for your numbers. Use a figure that is less than the best-case scenario because the best-case scenario rarely unfolds immediately.

Then you will need to do a cash flow analysis of how much this project will cost to run. You need to make sure that your numbers are as realistic as possible. Determine every possible cost that you can think of for this project.

Once you have the two numbers, compare them. If the cost is going to be bigger than the reward, this is not a project to pursue. You need to determine how much profit you want to make from a project before pursuing it.


It may be to your advantage to hire consultants for this part of the project. There are many different experts from different fields that could be very valuable in helping you make a decision. Consult someone that has done these types of projects before and see if he or she has anything to offer in the way of advice. While the price for a consultant might seem high, it could be well worth the cost. A consultant can help you avoid projects that do not have any potential and help you accurately estimate cash flows.

Choosing a Project

At this point, you should make a decision and get moving. If your business is relatively small, you may want to focus on one project at a time. Choose those projects that make sense financially.

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