How to Build a Business Budget

Follow along as we take you step-by-step through the budget-making process for a local pizza restaurant. Learn the basics of building a detailed business budget in Excel or Google Sheets just like the pros!

Meet Your Instructor

Nic Barnhart

CEO, Pareto Labs
Finance/Analytics, ZipRecruiter




Learn the basics of budgeting, what it is and why it is important.


Setting Up The Model

Understand the structure and line items that go into a budget and the importance of selecting the right assumptions that drive the revenue and expense estimates.


Top Down: Estimating Revenue

Create assumptions for monthly sales using high level estimates and generate formulas to determine the top line budget.


Top Down: Estimating Cost of Goods Sold

Create assumptions for the cost of goods sold using estimated margin percentages and generate formulas to determine the gross profit budget.


Top Down: Estimating Operating Expenses

Create assumptions for the operating expenses using estimated percentages of sales and generate formulas to determine the operating income budget.


Bottom Up: Estimating Revenue


Estimate monthly sales based on detailed inputs and assumptions about where customers come from, how many there will be, and how much they will spend.


Bottom Up: Estimating Cost of Goods Sold

Estimate the monthly gross profit based on detailed assumptions about the costs of producing each type of product and delivering it.


Bottom Up: Estimating Operating Expenses

Estimate the operating income by including detailed inputs about the anticipated costs for every overhead expense line item.


The Variance Report

Learn how to build a monthly report that compares the actual business performance to the budgeted performance so you can tell if you are on track.

What people are saying about this course…

"Presentation of the information was very good and easy to follow."
Clayton J Belleville, MI
"I really enjoyed how you included Joe's Pizza, I found it helpful having that as an example. I also found it beneficial that you did step by step explanations in excel and included ways to do keyboard shortcuts."
Bleue S
"You make budgeting so easy!"
Jen S Dripping Springs, TX
"I think this gave a simple and concise way to build a budget with a template that helps guide and make a good visual presentation."
Jacqueline M AVP of finance, HR & Operations
"I didn’t know how a budget worked, it was always an elephant in the room. But thankfully after going through this course I am pumped to create my first budget!"
Idris B Business Owner