Build a Budget

Build a 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!


  • 01 Introduction

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

  • 02 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.

  • 03 Top Down: Estimating Revenue

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

  • 04 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.

  • 05 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.

  • 06 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.

  • 07 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.

  • 08 Bottom Up: Estimating Operating Expenses

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

  • 09 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.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Nic Barnhart

    Cofounder & CPO, Pareto Labs
    Finance/Analytics, ZipRecruiter

    Nic Barnhart is a cofounder and Chief Product Officer at Pareto Labs. Prior to that he was in finance and analytics at ZipRecruiter and head of operations at a health tech startup acquired by Aetna. Earlier in his career, Nic started a business to teach kids basic finance concepts and founded a nonprofit organization to fund efforts to combat human trafficking. He earned a B.S. from the United States Air Force Academy and an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.