Most startups struggle to prepare budgets for their SBIR/STTR grant and contract proposals. This is because an SBIR budget has lots of rules and agency-specific nuances to follow, in addition to the fact that these budgets are very different to 5-year pro formats that startups are usually asked to prepare by investors.
TurboSBIR has prepared detailed templates and guides for most SBIR solicitations, such as NSF, NIH, AFWERX, USDA etc. for you to follow when preparing your budget. The templates also contain recommendations for amounts in each line item.
One tip that we often give to our startups is top remain as vanilla and middle-of-the-road as possible with their budget. Getting fancy with it often raises red flags during review, and the technical/commercialization review is hard enough to clear that the last thing you, as an applicant, will want is to get a bad comment on your budget.
You should also note that if you are cleared through the initial review, you will get a chance to revise your budget prior to receiving the award, so don't spend too much time pondering over preparing the most perfect budget at the initial application stage. Your time is better spent on the written proposal itself.