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6 Steps to Get Budgetary Buy-In

Author: Larry Chester, President

You didn’t write the budget yourself, and you aren’t the only person responsible for managing it.  Budgeting isn’t a one-person job, and administering it isn’t solely your responsibility either.

But just as you manage your business through others, you need the help of others to manage your company’s budget.  So, how do you get them on board?

  1. Create a team – Select a team of employees to be responsible for the budget. You have ultimate responsibility for the overall results, but sharing those responsibilities helps assure that the project is completed properly and involves more of the company.
  2. Lay out your vision – What are the things that you’re hoping to accomplish this year, and how is the budget going to help the company accomplish them? Describe your overall goals to your team and get them to agree to help you accomplish them.
  3. Assign the task – Each team member needs to have individual responsibility. Everything purchased contributes to the budget, whether that be the purchasing of cleaning supplies, raw materials, assuring production efficiency, snacks and meals, subscriptions, association memberships, sales or AR receipts.  Each member of your team should have primary responsibility for part of the budget and should identify people working with them that will also have budget related responsibilities.
  4. Follow up – Don’t wait till the end of the year. You should meet with them regularly to understand their methodology, and how they are approaching their budgetary task.  But this also confirms your commitment to the task and your interest in how they’re doing.
  5. Compliment, Advise – If members of your team are doing well, compliment them. Nothing works like warm fuzzies to help employees feel appreciated.  If they’re not doing well, talk about their task, its importance, and recommend changes to help them succeed.  During those conversations reinforce the importance of their part in the process.
  6. Reward – When the year is over, reward them for a job well done. Creating a budget isn’t hard.  The difficult task is managing it.  Whether you meet the budget or not at the end of the year, your team will probably manage the budget next year.  This year’s activity is an effective learning process.  By managing the process, you got a solid team building experience.  Reward your team members for a job well done.  That reward will pay you back big time.
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