Notes on managing your budget in a recession — SageCircle’s Coffee Talk

icon-budget-cuts-105w.jpgOn Tuesday April 1 SageCircle conducted a web-based Coffee Talk around the potential impacts of budget cuts and how AR teams can best handle them.  We began with a few slides to review the techniques for managing a budget and then opened the session to questions from the participants.

Often when resources are trimmed certain areas experience across-the-board and significant cuts.  While some of these areas can be quick to recover in the future analyst relations is generally not one of them.  Developing relationships that can truly provide a positive revenue impact takes sustained effort over time.  Once your program begins to slip the effort required to get it back on target can be very large and long.  We have seen programs take years to recover, if at all.

A quick poll showed that about half of the people had already seen some budget restrictions or were expecting them.  Our introduction suggested ways to proactive deal with budget issues rather than accepting an across-the-board cut.

Focus and Innovate

  • Review charter, mission, objectives and current spending patterns to see if you are spending on the right activities or are being charged for things that rightly belong to other departments.
  • Find ways to reduce costs for events while improving the impact
  • Shift sponsorships to the lead generation group

Analyst Contracts

  • Review services and cut underutilized activities
  • Use boutiques or less expensive firms where appropriate
  • Shift to less expensive services such as using inquiry in place of some analyst consulting days
  • Shift “pet” analysts to sponsoring executives

The participant questions included:

  • What do you mean by refining the charter, objectives and priorities?
  • How do we prove the ROI of AR?
  • What do you mean by “deep dive?”
  • Won’t the analysts think less of us if we do not hold our annual analyst conference at a nice resort?
  • Won’t the analysts get angry if we cut our spending with them?
  • Won’t we annoy the analysts if we transfer analyst conference sponsorships to the field marketing people who decide not to sponsor a conference?
  • How can inquiry substitute for SAS?

Bottom Line: Budget restrictions can be an opportunity to review your current programs and find different and perhaps better ways of meeting your goals. 

Question: AR Teams: Are you facing budget restrictions?  How much control do you have in allocation those resources?

Our next Coffee Talk will be May 7.  See the link on the website for more information and to register.

Want more information on budget planning? SageCircle can:

  • Review your AR goals and objectives
  • Assist in creating a balanced scorecard for metrics and ROI
  • Provide advice on more efficient ways to conduct analyst events and briefings

SageCircle AR Diagnostic Mini-WorkshopA SageCircle Strategist can conduct a free SageCircle AR Diagnostic and provide you with a concise analysis of your program.

Click here or on grahic for SageCircle’s AR Diagnostic Mini-Workshop brochureIt’s free, it’s fast and it’s easy. 

Contact us at info [at] sagecircle dot com or 650-274-8309 for more information about how SageCircle can help take your AR program to the next level.

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