Budgets, January & mid-February Sales

So, finally finished doing an interim budget for 2010.  I’ll need to finish up / clean-up last year’s books a bit more to go ahead and hammer the final numbers down, but it’s been a pretty interesting morning.  Particularly since I’m plugging in numbers for hiring someone full-time at last (other than me!) towards the end of the year and potentially even earlier

Budgets are an interesting part of business; and really, I was pushed into doing this year’s at last by a friend who pointed out I needed one to keep me on-track.  I’ve been using a variety of interim solutions (revenue, cashflow, major expenses, etc.)  to keep an eye on where we were, but I haven’t actually looked at my year 2 budget since I put it together in January 2009 because the actuals were all over the place.  We kept on missing revenue targets (both upwards and downwards) to a degree that it felt better to manage it on a month-to-month basis.

However, that’s okay in the beginning but now that things seem to have smoothed out and we have a better “feel” of the business, we need the discipline of a budget and targets.  In particular, I need to start looking at targets not just for 2010 but 2011 and 2012.  I really need to go back and ask those hard questions of where I want the business to go.

The truly interesting bit is that our January and mid-February sales are coming in close to our estimates for growth; averaged out.  January did incredibly well for us but excluding GottaCon; our revenue for February’s down.  That’s not unexpected since we did “pull” sales from February into January due to the ZMan Games Sale.  So unless something major changes, it looks like we’ll be about where we forecast.

That’s the good news because if we do hit our expected growth rates, I can rely on the budget instead of adjusting on a regular basis.  Of course, if we miss on the high-side, that’s nice, but as always, controlling costs is more important.  That is what will drive our eventual profitability.