Over the years I have often been distraught at the inaccuracy of the budgeting process. Partially because it is usually haphazard, especially the cuts, with little thought as to how the reduction or increase will actually affect which programs. For this reason, I have created a spreadsheet that lists dozens of programs with their associated average cost. When it comes time to budget, I pick the actual programs and items that I have proposed within the marketing plan until the amount meets the pre-approved ratio (i.e., if I have 15% of total revenue I add programs until the ratio equals 15%). Or, I determine the type of programs from the list to build into the plan and then try to get the budget to execute those programs, regardless of the percentage (high growth mode).
Either way, the Chanimal Budget spreadsheet should help you to come up with a scratch budget in about two hours (versus days). It is not completely documented nor is it commercial-grade, but it should still prove very effective by spending a few minutes upfront understanding how it works. You can purchase it within the Chanimal Store, or get a free copy along with a full budget “kit” by registering with Chanimal.com.
If you have a budget system that works for you, please either explain it or email your template for review and posting. If you use a commercial product then please list the vendor, price, availability, etc.