A new year means a new budget. For utility managers, budget planning is one of the most stressful times of the fiscal year. Creating a utility manager budget is often not as simple as knowing how much money you can spend and avoiding going over that figure. A lot of consideration must occur before funds can be allotted to specific areas. From storm response efforts to hauling options, managers must factor in nearly every element of utility repair and maintenance.
Follow these budget-setting tips for utility managers to help ensure your projects are successfully completed without draining all of your financial resources.
Estimates can help you get a general idea of what costs to expect but you should generate precise totals to make sure your budget can cover them. Refer to previous projects to get a more succinct idea. You should also look at how the market is faring. Those trends can dictate prices. Anticipating higher costs can help you prepare better.
Consider Every Cost
If you know the details of all the projects you must complete next year, then you should have a good idea of what personnel, equipment, and materials you will need. Again, referring to previous projects can help you zero in on all the expenses. Some basic costs that factor into project budgets include:
You need people to work on your projects and the only way to get them is to pay them. Figure out how many workers each project needs and the lengths of each project. From here, you can deduce how much room your budget needs to cover their salaries and any additional taxes and fees.
If your company does not own the equipment required to complete a project, then you must rent it. In addition to rental fees, you should factor in fuel and maintenance costs, even for your company's equipment. If no one on your team can operate the equipment, then you should adjust your labor costs to account for more workers you will need to hire.
If your project requires replacing utility poles, then you must purchase the poles. If your project requires installing new transformers, then you must buy the transformers. All of the materials that you need are expenses you must fit into your budget.
It is sometimes easy to forget about the costs of business that you can not see. Insurance, for example, is necessary to protect your company against claims and lawsuits. As such, you have to make sure you are covered at all times. Budgeting your insurance premiums can prevent plenty of headaches that could occur down the line.
Plan for Emergencies
The unexpected can strike at any moment. Equipment failure, injured workers, and more can jeopardize your project's success as well as your budget. Plus, you might have overlooked an expense that will need covering. Allowing for these contingencies can cushion the impact of unforeseen expenses.
Mitigating your expenses should be a routine activity. It can help you avoid extra costs throughout the year. For instance, streamlining repeated processes can reduce the number of opportunities for things to go wrong. Your team can finish its work faster and safer. Injured workers could cost your company money from workers' compensation claims. They can delay projects, which can yield even more expenses that could drain your budget. Frequent safety training can also help decrease injuries and save your company money in the long term. Reducing expenses should not mean taking shortcuts to save a few dollars. Those shortcuts could cost your company a fortune.
If you struggle with setting a budget, you can look for help online or within your company. Look at previous budgets if they are available. Samples can be great learning tools to help you accomplish your goals.
Obtain Affordable Utility Hauling
You should look for affordable utility hauling before you need it. Having a company you can rely on ahead of time can save you from being aggravated and having to pay more at the last second. Blackwood Resources can help you protect your company's bottom line.
Our drivers operate trucks with attached grapples to load and unload your utility poles and other oversized equipment. You do not have to scramble to locate trucks, cranes, and workers to get your freight from one location to another. We can transport what you need when you need it.
Contact us today to discover how we can fit into your utility budget.