It’s the proverbial elephant in the room: “What’s the budget for this project?”
When your agency asks the question, you might not want to volunteer a figure. But sharing budget information typically works in your favor. Here’s why:
- Perception: If I disclose my budget, the agency will inflate their costs to meet it.
Reality: Reputable agencies will not pad their proposals to consume your budget. They’ll use the information to find the most effective ways to satisfy your marketing goals within — and potentially below — your budget parameters.
- Perception: The agency can be more creative if they’re not thinking about budget.
Reality: Without a budget in hand, the agency may develop a terrific proposal. But if their plan exceeds what you can afford, you’ll have to pick and choose among the options, which leaves you with a disjointed strategy. A better approach? Ask the agency to find as many solutions as they can for the budget you have: That’s when you’ll really see their creativity!
- Perception: We might get a better deal if we don’t reveal the budget.
Reality: Agencies typically have fixed rates for their services, so secrecy won’t accomplish much. For best results, operate from a point of trust and share information openly.
- Perception: There will be time to work out the budget once the plan’s on the table.
Reality: Your agency will invest time developing a proposal, and your project will be on hold until you receive their plan. Then, if the plan doesn’t fit your budget, your agency has to go back to the drawing board and develop a new approach. Each delay wastes time that could be spent on completing your project.
- Perception: We already know what this project should cost.
Reality: This may be true—or it may not. Your agency can tell you what comparable projects cost and list the options you might have. Then you can decide if your budget is realistic for your goals and if the agency is the right partner for the project.