Dealing with budgets could be messy. Whether you are in a private company or with the government, it’s going to be challenging to agree with the distribution of the budget. Regardless of the path, you decide to take; someone will get angry. If you ask people to defend their proposal, they will make you believe that they deserve the budget that they’re requesting.
If you start the discussion on the budget in a company and you can’t come up with a solution that will satisfy everyone, these are some tips to consider.
Let everyone talk
You can’t decide to cut the budget of one department without understanding their reasons behind the proposal. The document in front of you isn’t enough for you to come up with a definite conclusion. When you allow people to talk and present their ideas, you can ask questions and clarify some information. You will also know how sincere the team is in regard to their plans and if they deserve to receive such an amount.
Focus on the goal
Go back to the primary purpose of the business for this calendar year. Prioritise the aspects that could help achieve that goal and look at the possibility of cutting areas that aren’t in line with the plan. Ask those people how their budget request could help meet the company’s objectives. Without a clear response, you might need to reconsider the amount.
Allow the representatives to discuss with each other
Perhaps, it’s different when the department heads talk to you about their budgets. They won’t give up because they don’t want to look weak. However, when they discuss among themselves, they could be more honest with each other. They might even arrive at a solution to their issues and balance the budget for you.
Make sure everyone knows nothing is personal
When dealing with budget allocation and cuts, you need to make it clear that you’re not doing anything to spite one person. Instead, the goal is to help the company and determine what’s best moving forward. You need to stay true to that promise. If you start making things personal, it will be difficult for you to work with the rest of the team. They will see you as an unfair leader, and they won’t listen to your explanations. Be consistent when you give reasons so that no one will tell that you’re favouring one over the other.
For instance, if you’re pursuing the use of pullup banners for advertising, you can’t say that it’s due to cost-cutting measures. The online marketing team might tell you that their proposal is way more practical. Instead, you could to say that you want to use the banners since they could be effective and the plan you received could help boost the company, as opposed to the plan provided by the online marketing people.
It takes time to go through all these budget fights, but it’s possible to solve them.