The Budget Minded DMO

Norman, OK, Normantown, WV, North Salt Lake… we’re all feeling the affects of this slow economy. Most of us are starting to think budgets and question how we’re going to do everything next year that we’ve done this past year with less revenues.

It’s recognized that most DMOs will have to cut costs this next year if you haven’t already. Before jumping immediately to cutting staff, consider where to save money without hurting staff morale. Some easy ways to cut the budget in this Five @ 5.

1. Identify the luxuries. If you make a list of the must haves, the items not on the list might be the luxuries that you can cut. Fresh flowers, gourmet coffee, changing out the vehicle every two years, what is the luxury in your office?

2. Lunch meetings. Ever wonder how a meeting is ever conducted outside of lunch? Ever think about the cost savings of not having so many lunches? Cut out one $30 lunch a week and you’ve realized a savings of $1,400! Put that back into marketing!

3. Office supplies. Buy a more economical brand of paper. Lease a used printer or used fax machine. Share expenditures with another organization in your community.

4. Get Bids. Mamma told Smokey “you better shop around.” You might be surprised at how much you can save by getting bids on shipping, office supplies, printing, etc.

5. Use those cell minutes. Need to make a long distance call? Put down that land line and pick up your cell phone. Most likely you’re only using minutes with your cell phone and not being charged extra for long distance. Another option? Skype. It allows you to make and receive telephone calls on the Internet.

Chat with your team. I’m sure there are other ideas. Talk to them about the tight budget and I’m sure they’ll willingly sacrifice something around the office before they sacrifice their job.

Have a cost cutting measure? Share it through this forum. I look forward to hearing what is on your mind!

(Originally posted April 2009)

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