As Q4 of 2017 approaches, it serves as a reminder that holidays, and budgeting time, are here. Now I know that holidays are a lot more fun, but budgets have their place as well. The best way to remove the pain is to start early and be prepared. Let’s dive into staring your marketing budget strategy.
Get a Report Card
Before beginning budgeting, it is important to review the previous year and see how you did. Finance should be able to supply a report giving you numbers comparing budgeted earnings and expenses against the actual. As the year is winding down, this is prime-time for the dreaded “use it or lose it” phenomenon. This practice is based on a business model where if a department or area has a particular spend budgeted to it and that money is not entirely spent, the next year budget will be set at the actual spend. Thus, the practice is sometimes spend it now, even if it is not necessary so that we have the same amount next year. This is not accurate.
Instead, I’d recommend an honest evaluation of current spending with the promise of review before arbitrary changes for the new year. That way you know your data is clean and usable as you plan for the upcoming year.
Before next fiscal year begins, it is important to identify key challenges, expenditures, and changes. If you are in need of new furniture, software, or other items that were not purchased this year, now is the time to accurately cost these expenses and account for them in the upcoming budget. Additionally, you can look at revenue from the previous year and forecast growth based on trends and indicators. Both of these exercises are important. Of most importance, don’t just guess.
Overestimating future revenue or under-estimating an expense can be costly. Either an essential expenditure could be forced to drop, or operations can be negatively impacted. That’s why it is important to seek the help of professionals when estimating costs.
At Element 502, we specialize in marketing. That said, we are a great resource to use when estimating your marketing and advertising spend. From graphic design to catalogs, website updates to digital advertising, our team handles it. Why is that important, you ask? Because we are offering a free, no-strings evaluation of your projects to give you accurate costing on your projects. Let us help you be confident in your budgeted costs and plan well for the upcoming year.