Iremember the first time I made a budget. I had just started a new job, my first time as a manager. My boss, the dean of the school, said, “Sid, we have $50,000 to spend on computer systems this year. Please prepare a budget.”
Wow! All the exercises in school, all my thinking as I started the job and wrote out a plan for my work, hadn’t prepared me for that. $50,000 for my first budget. And it was up to me to plan it well. If I did, then the computer labs for students would run well for the year, professors would be able to do research on their new computers, and—most challenging of all—I would build a network for the school’s administrative staff. I don’t think I need to tell you how nervous I was.
This book is written for the young manager I was then, just a few years out of college with a liberal arts degree. It’s the book I wish someone had dropped into my hands on that day. It’s also written for you if you’re working your way up from line supervisor to manager, or if you’re working day and night to make your small business succeed, or if you’re setting up a new department. It will help you if your business is growing, or shrinking, or launching a new venture. Managing our money well is a key ingredient for business success.
My first budget succeeded and, three years later, I launched my own business. Since then, I’ve been training new managers and consulting for all kinds of businesses. I’ve learned a lot from my large customers, written books on best practices, and taught these methods to the new managers and small business executives who are willing to learn and want to succeed. I hope I can do the same for you.