When you’re vetting service providers and working within a budget, you should hold your cards close. Right? That’s how you compare options and get the most value for your money. We’re here to make the case that, oftentimes, with the type of work we do, keeping your cards close is not the best approach.
3 benefits to sharing your budget
A partner you actually trust
Discussing your budget can be a great way to set the tone of a partnership. Candid conversations can instill trust and collaboration, while hiding your budget can create an unhealthy tension that doesn’t serve the work or the relationship.
When determining if a partnership is a good fit, a helpful gut-check can be to ask yourself:
“Will I trust them to deliver on objectives or solve problems strategically if I don’t feel comfortable sharing my budget with them?”
We recognize that there is a lot at stake here. We don’t know what it took for you to secure this budget or how far out on a limb you put yourself to advocate for this work. Share that with us so we can help you look good and deliver. Having budgetary conversations early on helps us have your back and support your conversations with stakeholders.
One way to share your budget with confidence is with the help of an NDA. An NDA can act as a pressure release valve — allowing both parties to talk openly about objectives and risks. It can also allow us the chance to look under the hood, so to speak, which results in a more productive conversation and a more accurate estimate.
When you’re vetting different service providers, budget transparency can improve your ability to compare approaches and assess the value delivered by each.
It’s difficult to evaluate options when estimates all provide a different set of deliverables at a range of price points. When potential partners all respond within a known budget, you’re able to focus on non-financial aspects — the things that, we’ve found, make or break a project.
Is the provider bringing the value we’re looking for?
Are they creative in their problem-solving?
Do they have the experience we need?
Are they listening to and understanding us or just pursuing their own agenda?
Ultimately, you want to know that you’re getting a good value and that project objectives will be met. Sharing your budget early on means you won’t waste time and money exploring nonstarter options and outcomes will be right-sized from the start. And, it helps us pinpoint the most effective use of your budget to achieve outcomes and increase your ROI.
What if you truly don’t know your budget?
Not having a defined budget doesn’t need to be a blocker to getting started. Often, a potential client comes to us with a concept and they need our help to figure out what it takes to make it happen. Or, they come to us with a problem and need help determining a budget so they can take it to stakeholders for approval. In either scenario, we love acting as a strategic partner from the start.
By sharing with us that you don’t have a defined budget, we can tailor our initial conversations to help you figure it out. We’ll help you define your project and then we’ll talk about budgets in terms of thresholds and ranges. All with the ultimate goal of providing you an approach that suits your needs and your budget allowance.
Provide a range
If you don’t feel comfortable sharing a specific number, or don’t have a specific number to share, provide a reasonable budget range that you’d be willing to spend. This will provide many of the same benefits as sharing a set number while giving some room to problem solve and approach the work creatively.
Ready to discuss your next project (and your budget)? Get in touch.