02 Oct But I Don’t Have Budget For That?!
Defeat Starts Before You Do
In the 17 years I spent in conference rooms with the beige walls, squeaky chairs and everyone wondering what will be for lunch, one thing holds true. Those that say, “but I don’t have the budget for that!” will never GET the budget for that. Period. Much like everything else in life, budgets require a sales pitch, the better you sell the more your “internal revenue” grows. It’s not a popularity contest, it’s a sales contest.
Vision isn’t for seeing close up
If you were to look at your budget as all encompassing for the years spend then you already set yourself up for restrictions that will come to bite you around, let’s say September. Why? A few reasons: 1) anyone with children knows that unforeseen expenses are just part of the deal. I never planned for a sharpie on my counter top and walls; I mean what kind of person would do that? Answer…a child. Add a few more to the mix and you are constantly fighting your own battle to just stay afloat. 2) You are already doing too much, spread too thin, for what you have. If you were to take a hard look at your current spend, go ahead, it will tell you…I am tired of snacks…I want a steak, meaning you are spending too little on too much. A good exercise is to eliminate everything that doesn’t either tie back to the core of your business or at least have a significant return. Doing it because, well we always have done it this way, is a recipe for failure.
There are many projects you may come across that you simply cannot afford to cannibalize your budget in order to support. But every now and again, one strikes a chord and you believe this one will make a difference. When you encounter resistance, whatever you do, DO NOT say, “I’ll fund this myself then”. This is certain death of the project. It shows you are unwilling to compromise to those whom you wish to partner with and it will deplete your funds. Think of your dollars as soldiers, they need to go out and capture other soldiers and come back, not get shot. What you need to do is create a plan of what this project will look like, how it will impact the company as a whole and most importantly how it will impact your potential investors department and/or budget.
Look at the Shinny Object
With your plan in hand you want to walk into the budget meeting and say, “look at this idea!” Right? Wrong. The art of the sell is to actually, not sell. Think of a car salesman, right?! You instantly go, “ugh”. Why? Because you HATE the hard sell…well guess what. So do your fellow employees. No one wants to be sold which is why companies like CarMax sprung up to fill that gap; they let the consumer decide. Same goes for this project, but you need the shinny car to get their attention. Create a little offshoot budget to fund project ideas that can encompass the entire project in a quick trailer video, print campaign or the like. It is so much easier for people to understand your idea if they don’t have to use their imagination. This is why movie “trailers” are so important, they sow a visual seed of what you can expect. And they always put their best foot forward as you should too. So back to this meeting you are in, if you don’t have the shinny object…don’t talk about your idea.