It’s interesting to see how different people handle the discussion of money when it comes to designing their marketing collateral or a new website, for example. Some remain tight-lipped and protect that secret budget at all costs, while others are an open book on all kinds of numbers and the type of solutions they’re looking for. Being secretive with your creative partner is not a successful approach. Here’s why:
As you look for the right creative agency to partner with, honest and open communication is a must. After all, trust is what you want in a partnership, isn’t it? If you find yourself hiding the true budget numbers because you can’t trust the agency, then perhaps you haven’t found the right fit in a partner.
Being secretive about your project budget means the creative partner will have to make assumptions when putting together a proposal for you. If you’re not forthcoming about what you’re able to spend, you might be disappointed when you review the proposal. If you’re open about your budget, you won’t have to waste time having the proposal reworked if it’s not exactly what you were thinking.
A great creative partner will work with the budget you have and will look for appropriate solutions based on what’s financially possible. This is the main reason an agency will ask for your budget number – so that they can put together a custom plan that works for you.
Trust is built and expectations are met only after there is transparency. So be transparent when starting a project. Set expectations, identify potential issues, and always be willing to discuss the budget.
Kristi Chester is the marketing/account manager at MKJ Creative, a full-service print and digital graphic design studio based in Doylestown, Pa.