Are You Budgeting Your Demise?


“We need more for less” is the mantra of business in the Twenty-First Century. We keep playing this game of financial limbo, “how-low-can-you-go?” and no one ever questions it.

Until it fails miserably and people get fired for producing crap.

The question shouldn’t be “How cheaply can it be done?”–– it should be “What’s the most affordable way to do something we can be proud of?”

This applies to everything. Everything.

Yes, you can get anything for a low price, but be willing to settle for what’s delivered and live (or die) with it.

If your marketing firm, ad agency, production company, or any vendor doesn’t warn you when the money’s too tight to deliver quality goods, if they simply nod their noggins like bobbleheads, do yourself a favor–– fire them.

They are not looking out for your best interest, they’re only interested in making a short-term sale.

If the people you’re working with are afraid to talk candidly about money, if they are just suck-ups petrified to say “no” or discuss the ramifications of cutting corners–– they are deadweight who will sink your career. Bank on that.

Look, the first question seasoned creative people want to know before conceiving a production is the production budget. Why? Are they planning the spread on the craft services table? Plain and Peanut M&M’s and caviar and shrimp cocktails!

No. They don’t want to birth a baby (their idea) that they’ll have to kill or mangle due to budgetary constraints. Creative people want to know money parameters so they don’t dream up something that can’t be done well for the money.

And, clients, beating up your agency over their fees will directly affect the caliber of people working on your account. As businessman Sir James Goldsmith said, “If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.”

If you put 100 monkeys at 100 keyboards, you’re in for an excruciating experience that ultimately will bring you down.

You get what you pay for, people. Always remember the wisdom of philosopher kings Click and Clack (Tom and Ray Magliozzi), The Tappet Brothers of “Car Talk Radio” fame: “The stingy man spends the most.”

So true, so very true.