Over the years I learned that simply asking for more budget can lead to closed doors. In your mind, you have a clear plan and you convinced yourself to spend money. However, you still need to convince the budget holder. This could be your manager, a financial controller, or maybe even a partner. In this article, I will share tips and a template that you can use to request a budget from your manager. For organizations, I would advise only using this for purchases that pass a certain threshold (depending on your total budget). Note: This is not a template for your yearly budget planning, this will be shared in a different article.
Write down your goals and how you can measure them
Before you decide if you want to spend money, make sure that you have clear goals. These can be company goals, department goals, or even personal goals. Here are some examples:
Company goal: The company wants to expand in Japan
Department goal: The marketing department wants more customers to visit a webinar
Personal goal: You want to specialize in Shopping Advertising to help customers better
If you know your goal, see if you are able to measure them. If this is possible, it will help in requesting the budget.
Decide if you would spend the money and present multiple options (if possible)
If you are confident it is the right decision, it will be easier to convince the budget holder. So, before making the request decide if you would spend the money if you were the budget holder. If you have multiple options be sure to select which option you would recommend. You can include the details of all options in the request form and state which option has your preference and why.
Explain what you expect from the purchase
In business, we love spending money if it creates more money. So be sure to explain how this purchase will eventually lead to a positive return on the investment (ROI). This could be an estimation of how many new customers you expect, the hours that will be saved by making the investment, or to strengthen your market position. Whatever the expectation is, make sure that it is aligned with a goal.
Break-down the costs
To estimate if the purchase would get a positive return, it is crucial to make a breakdown of the costs. This will give insights into the spending and allow people to think along to see if there could be any savings. If there are options that you would not choose, be sure to include them as someone else looking at the request might find it interesting to take those options as well. For example, if you want to exhibit at an industry event, include the options for speaking at the event. And also include the traveling and hotel costs.
Use a marketing budget request template
To save you time, I would like to share a marketing budget request template that I’ve been using for years now. It includes details that people need to be able to approve the budget request. Feel free to make a copy and adjust it to your company branding:
Present your marketing budget request
If you want to request a budget, it is wise to present your plan. Don’t present it as a ‘budget request’, but present it as a ‘Solution to reach goal X’. Schedule a meeting with your marketing manager and include visuals to make the request more solid. Be sure to focus on reaching the goal, the purchase is a way to reach your goal.
Be open to feedback on your request
As you know, four eyes see more than two. Be open to feedback from your manager and emphasize that you are willing to adapt and optimize your plan based on their input. In your mind, you might have evaluated all situations and options, but sometimes managers need approval from their colleagues and thus need more explanation, options, or input to improve the idea. If a request is declined, make sure to understand why it is declined. This will help you to prepare your next request.
It’s not about the money
Remember, a successful budget request is not just about asking for money but about presenting a well-structured and data-driven plan that aligns with the company’s goals and showcases the value your marketing efforts will bring to the organization.