April 19, 2015

Show me the budget


Money buys the time of the people and things they use to make just about everything happen. Ideally, you have a little more than you need (contingency), and use a little less than you have (for profit or secondary objectives).

The opening question for planners: where to start … how much do I need to do what I want, or, what can I achieve with the money I have?

The answer in the middle always applies: resources are limited so this is the best we can do. However much money we have, we could always use more.

Film maker Jean-Luc Godard once said,

Show me the budget and I’ll show you the movie.

In films, the budget determines the how of the storytelling but the essence remains the same. A movie could be shot for nothing this afternoon or burn a hundred million over the next two years.

As in films, in business; show me budget and I’ll show you the company. Money makes for wider scope, more choices and greater responsibility – but bigger doesn’t necessarily make a better business.

Skippy Strategy: What are you not doing because of money? How could you deliver the story with more or less money? What happens if you shift expectations?