6 tips to economise a project’s budget

The driving force behind a project or campaign is not just a strategically or creatively minded team.

The implementation of ideas often results in another important component – the budget. Effective management of the latter, no less than the results, reflects the success of the implemented project. By following several steps, companies can not only save, but also ensure smooth implementation of the project.
Here are 6 tips on how to economise a project’s budget and ensure that the driving force doesn’t become a pulling force:

1. Clearly formulate goals

Effective budgeting for each project or campaign begins with the setting of a goal. Only by aligning exactly what results are expected, can a budget be set.
Usually when companies set goals for the campaign, the agency develops a concept and hence brainstorms the ideas on how to implement it. The budget of the project depends on this. There are occasions when the client chooses from the ideas as if from a menu. However, when this occurs, it is important to note that the goals themselves should likewise be reduced, because the ideas revolve around them. Only then can the budget be aligned.
Instead of opting for solitary ideas, I recommend that the agency sets clearer goals and singles out the ideas, which are less important.

2. Generate ideas collaboratively

At the project development stage, saving your own and the agency’s time aids in reducing the expenses.  When constructing a concept and generating ideas, we recommend that the agency and the client work in teams, instead of sharing roles. While we always aim to immerse ourselves into the client’s business and strive to become familiar with the brand, the customer will always have a greater grasp of the situation. The involvement of the client, whilst generating ideas, protects the agency from wasting time as the client can lead the discussions and decisions in the right direction. And if a harmonious idea is brought forwards in one rather than five sessions, it’s always cheaper.
When the goals are clear, a concept and idea is proposed and the client receives the proposed budget, it is worthwhile inquiring if some ideas can be dropped, if they do not align with the overall objectives.

3. When presenting a brief, outline the maximum budget

While it may sound controversial, it must be understood that the agency, having been given clear limits, will plan the actions to fit within the budget, which helps to save time and money.
There are a number of cases. Some clients ask for an idea first because “if the idea is good, money will be allocated to implement it.” Others set clear limits. The third do not set a budget at all. The truth is, clients usually have an annual budget, so they can roughly predict what part of it will be designated towards a particular project. Therefore, the project and the budget should reach the agency simultaneously.
In what way does this help save? It prevents the creation, development, presentation and adjustment of ideas that cannot be implemented on a low budget or that need to be replaced with other ideas take require a greater budget. The expect highlights that the sooner the agency is informed about what the client expects and the budget they have proposed, the quicker they can adjust, propose effective directions and aim to follow them, rather than delaying and predicting the amount on money to be spent.
For instance, a small budget is no obstacle. When we know the fact, we can offer different solutions, which can be no less effective or produce no inferior result. When a client fails to mention this, time is wasted. If the company budget is extremely low, we can estimate the result in advance, whether it is worthwhile implementing or investing the budget more effectively.
In short, partnerships and collaborations help save: when clients inform about the available budget, the agency has the right to report whether it is not enough or if it is impossible to achieve the desired goal. From experience, the goal can be achieved without great expenditures, but with a campaign with a couple of opinion formers (influencers).

4. Think about cost sharing

Some campaigns, events or projects may benefit you, as the client, and the non-competing brands.  For example, when organising an event where a new car is introduced, you can collaborate with designers, whose collection would be exhibited during the event and the cost of the event could be shared.
Collaborating succeeds not only in the saving, but also in reaching a wider target audience or other brand target groups. Together, without greater efforts and changes, it diversifies traditional brand communication.
However, before evaluating the benefits of the collaboration, I suggest making sure that the values of your future partners do not conflict with yours or whether their audience is of relevance to you. You must also consider the fact that fame, in addition to the expenses, is shared. The partnering brand should not overshadow the organiser and the benefits that each partner receives from the co-operation must be proportionate to each of their financial contributions.

5. Plan ahead by reflecting on previous lessons

Does that sound controversial? From first glance yes, but according to the expert, sometimes, planning is worthwhile, so spending is reduced. You will often deviate from the budget, therefore I advise taking note that the budget can increase by 10%-20% in the course of the project. Stay on top of the extra costs, it will help you avoid headaches and time costs due to unexpected financial deviations. As previously mentioned, time expenses are proportional to the financial costs.
Some ideas are generated during the course of the project and a small investment in them can have a significant impact on the end result. Another possible situation – only after the implementation of the project is it seen that not everything works as planned, so one has to look for more solutions abruptly. This is where the predetermined additional budget comes in handy.
Remember previous projects and their lesson – what costs did you not foresee, what unexpected expenses did you encounter? It is likely that the agency will have a number of valuable experiences to help you prepare for unexpected costs.

6. Carefully follow and respond

It is advisable to anticipate measures to control the budget.
The tables, which we store in the cloud – for both the client and the agency, used to record the changes and monitor them in real life – are especially useful for this. Record how much you spend, what share of the budget it comprises of, how much is designation for additional costs. Real-time tracking of the situation also helps to prepare for the surprises – if you have unforeseen costs, you can immediate assess your opportunities and take action.

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