The Biggest Budget Mistake You’re Probably Making (and How to Fix it)

Posted on 8/28/18 12:00 PM by Matt Fish

One of the biggest objections I’ve heard from organizations who aren’t willing to modernize their software solution sounds like this: “We don’t have the budget for it.” For some smaller organizations (especially non-profits), this is a legitimate concern; however, other businesses who cite a lack of funds find themselves in that position because of one common mistake.

Find out what big budget mistake often leads to a lack of software budget money:

Dollar bills on laptop 

The software upgrade conundrum often stems from organizations and their decision-makers not taking digital infrastructure seriously as a long-term investment instead of an afterthought. In some cases, technology they purchased 10-15 years ago (I wish I was kidding about that too) is deemed acceptable moving forward because, hey, it still works.

Let’s unpack that sentiment for a second. If someone were to apply that same logic to justify their use of a steam-powered car, one that could only run for a certain number of minutes before needing to be pushed to the side of road for a reset/refill, as their vehicle of choice to get to work every day, you’d think they’re an insane person.

So why is software a different conversation entirely? We’ve already outlined the technical limitations that come with investing in a cheap software solution on our blog, so I’ll sidestep those details for the time being. The important thing to note is how this simpleminded approach has led to managers mentally devaluing the amount of money one should regularly pour into their digital tools.

 

RELATED: 6 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Invest in a Cheap Software Solution

 

The Big Budget Mistake Too Many Organizations are Making is ...

Let’s get to the heart of this issue. Why do so many organizations have no budget leftover for a software platform that would optimize your business’ day-to-day and ultimately allow you to streamline your operations, increase engagement and generate more revenue?

The answer is simple: Because they let archaic, inefficient administrative practices eat up too much of their budget.

Before anyone reading this tries to go all “Temple of Doom” on me, think about the larger implications of this scenario. If you’re relying on pre-2010’s software to get the job done in any respect (and don’t even get me started if your organization still hands out paper forms on the regular), your business practices are almost certainly not operating at their full potential.

For example, entering data manually instead of having such a tedious task automated with modern technology “because it still works” isn’t doing you any favors when it comes to driving engagement and upping your revenues streams. Also, other players in the same marketplace have likely adopted more streamlined business strategies and are growing as a result – that alone should be reason enough to rethink your organization’s budgeting perspective.

Budget planning paperwork 

Size Does Matter, Kind of

As I mentioned off the top, certain smaller organizations, many of which are non-profits, usually have no other choice when it comes to budget cuts or fund reallocations. When it comes to financial survival, hard choices must be made. Wants like software upgrades take a backseat to bigger or unavoidable needs. We get that.

However, there are many organizations who, despite a meager budget to pull from, are still making cutting-edge software investments a priority. Why? Because they recognize that, if they’re to remain at the forefront of the community’s consciousness, they must keep up with not only technological trends but also consumption habits online.

At the end of the day, the size of your organization and, one would assume, the size of your budget matters in the software buying conversation. However, it doesn’t begin to tell the whole story. The final result, subjecting your staff and participants to those outdated operational processes that I described earlier, really depends on the value you place on your software and how it can grow your business.

 

Budget Help isn’t Far Away

If you’re one of those organizations cratering their budget with expenses and procedures that shouldn’t be part of your operational makeup, don’t panic. It’s not an unsolvable problem. In fact, an easy solution is closer than you probably think.

The first step to solving a problem like this is identifying all your resources that are being used inefficiently. Think about these factors in terms of their indirect costs as well – for example, do you have a class or activity that, even though you hoped for greater participation numbers, only gets a few people out to every session? Why is attendance low?

A big contributor to low participation numbers can be linked back to the inconvenience I mentioned earlier that comes with an out-of-date sign-up system. If community members cannot register for your classes, activities or special drop-in events online using their phones or tablets, their motivation to take the time to interact your organization’s services in any way will plummet.

 

RELATED: 10 Big Website Rebuild Questions that You Need to Answer

 

With this in mind, let’s break down the budgeting issues that lead to the inability to provide a capable internet-based software for customers. If there’s no money left in the budget to purchase a platform like Amilia’s, fair enough – but where is that cash being spent?

Are funds being used to keep that class with a 3 to 4-person attendance rate open? If so, how much is your business gaining by allocating part of your budget to a service offering that isn’t fulfilling expectations?

Now, let’s combine these two threads and ask the important question: If you reinvest those budgetary means in a software solution, does that ease of access and convenience attract more clients? Of course, there are no guarantees in life but, if we’re talking about a chicken-or-the-egg type scenario, one answer seems irrefutably clear.

Woman shopping online with credit car 

An Investment in Software = An Investment in the Future

At the end of the day, taking the time to purchase a software solution that will benefit your organization today, tomorrow, and in years from now is more than a luxury – it’s an important first step in the causal chain of events that leads to increased participation and revenue generation.

Offering online registration, membership management and other digital tools to both your staff and end users will up your brand’s visibility online. As a result, more people in the community will be aware of your services and more likely to participate, either immediately or down the road. More sign-ups equals more money coming in, which means you can then funnel those funds to improving your current programs or creating new ones to meet customer demand.

However, none of this happens without a solid investment in your organization’s future by way of a robust software that can accommodate such growth. Becoming a mainstay in your local recreation scene means appealing to the next generations of potential clients – a process that cannot begin in earnest without a proper digital solution as the main conduit.

 

The proof that this approach works is in the numbers we’ve seen from satisfied Amilia clients. With a simple integration process and features that lead to a significant reduction of stress when it comes to managing your business or non-profit, users who adopted our platform have seen their participation boosted in a big way – all in less than one year.

Find out more by downloading our whitepaper now!

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