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  • Tiffany K. Guillen

So...What's The Budget?

4 Reasons Budget Disclosure Is Essential For Collaborative Success



We’ve all been there. You meet with someone you think you want to work with, but have no idea how much they cost, or even how much their services should cost.


After a detailed discussion about you, your needs, and your vision, you suddenly find yourself in what seems to be a modern-day western standoff.


If we were ever asked to write a scene on how to budget discussions go, it would go something like this…


Truth be told, we get it! In just about any scenario, it can feel like whoever states the budget first somehow puts themselves in a risky position. But we’ve come to realize it’s in fact the exact opposite, and that having our clients disclose their budget (or ballpark numbers) from the very beginning often leads to the collaborative success they're looking for.


Why’s that? We’ve broken it down into four reasons!


1. Establishes Realistic Expectations:


Imagine going into a dealership to buy a car without disclosing your ballpark budget. Don’t get us wrong, it’s fun to window shop! But when it comes down to selecting your next car, you’ll have to disclose what you’re willing to spend to know which one is best suited for your needs. If not, your car dealer might show you a BMW 5 series, when a Toyota Camry is more within your budget.


Just like cars, production costs can vary. Setting realistic expectations as to what you can afford (even ballpark numbers) truly allows for us as creatives to pitch you the best ideas possible.


The truth is, you can make the same concept work in hundreds of ways, some more cost-effective than others. In a car, you can choose between leather seats or cloth (last car analogy, we promise!) In production, you can choose a Cinema or DSLR camera.


All in all, your production cost will depend on two factors: your needs and your budget. And without disclosing the budget, you’re not going to get the most realistic or accurate depiction of what you can expect.



2. Eliminates Possible Misunderstandings:


“Well – let’s just say we don’t have a large budget to work with,” is a phrase we’ve heard quite often. But…what does that mean exactly? To some, that means anything under $5k or $10k, to others that’s anything under $100k or $500k.


As creatives, it makes it difficult to give you the most accurate depiction of what can be done if we don’t have the full picture. If we think you have a smaller budget to work with, we may pitch your ideas and solutions that work for a $15k budget. But if your budget was higher, it may come across as underwhelming or as “not the right fit.”


Providing the budget eliminates the guesswork, allowing for us to provide our best ideas for what can be done.


3. You'll Save Time:


We get it, not stating your budget is a logical tactic at potentially saving money. What if your spending budget is higher than what it would actually cost? What if you could save more? Interestingly enough, what ends up being spent is time… LOTS of it.


As shown earlier, by not stating the budget, both parties end up playing a long game of back and forth. In order to even come up with a quote, it can take a couple of hours of conversations to truly understand what is needed.


If the quote isn’t within the scope of budget the client had in mind, it can take longer to get the right estimate, wasting more time. And hey, time is money, right?


 

The truth is, you can make the same concept work in hundreds of ways, some more cost-effective than others.

 


4. Leads To Better Results:


One of the greatest reasons for disclosing your budget is that it sets a strong foundation, leading to infinitely better results.


Most of the work we’re truly proud of has stemmed from partnerships that began from transparent and incredibly honest conversations about expectations.


Clients who gave us their trust to disclose everything gave us the best shot at understanding both their needs and objectives.


At the end of the day, whether we work together on your company’s website rebranding, or your next commercial, being open about expectations and budget are crucial for achieving the best results. Interestingly enough, financial markers or parameters make room for greater inspiration and ideas!


All in all, we believe having an honest conversation about the budget is crucial for collaborative success, better results, and even saves time in the process. And as much as we love a good western standoff, we love a happy ending even more.


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To read more about our seven tips to grow your business revenue in 2022, click here

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