Budgeting Buffoonery & the Merits of Acting Like a Bank Robber.

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‘Tis the end of the budgeting season.


2013 results are being communicated  & compared to last year’s budget.

New budgets for 2014 are rolling out.


As you review your budgets now, you may be thinking, “Huh? Did I actually put that budget together?”


For many, the answer is No.

Corporate took your budget and lopped 30% off the top and noted your actuarial sand-bagging.



For others, the answer is Yes.

That was you and it was only 90 days ago.

Time flies when you’re having fun budgeting…. 



Before January runs out, now is the time to raise concerns if the budget is loaded with buffoonery.



Don’t be concerned with the raw total number per se – it’s early in the year after all.

You’ll have time to recover.


You should be concerned with the agreed-upon allocation of the budget.

That is, the strategy in place determining how the budget will be spent.



A good place to start looking for budgeting buffoonery is regarding your Spanish-speaking business.


If you are in Retail, consider what percentage of your annual revenue comes from Spanish-speaking customers.


If you don’t know this answer… well, you should.

Watch this 3-minute video.




Now get some people on it.

The Hispanic demographic will continue to grow for another few decades…





OK – now that you have a rough idea of sales coming from Hispanic wallets, consider what percentage of your marketing budget is allocated to market to Hispanics.


I know businesses that derive more than 35% of their revenue from Spanish-speaking customers, yet earmark a paltry 1% of the marketing budget towards Spanish-language marketing.



This doesn’t make any sense.

Especially in a World Cup year….




When asked why he robbed banks, John Dillinger replied, “Because that’s where the money is.


Think like a bank robber.

Go where the money is.


This same line of thinking applies to Safety.


Nationally Hispanics are nearly 2x as likely to be injured or killed to language and cultural barriers.

If this figure is accurate for your company and say, more than 50% of your losses in 2013 involved Spanish-speakers, ask this question:


“What percentage of our Safety budget is allocated to training Spanish-speakers?”  


That is, in Spanish.



It’s still January.

The year is young.


If you’re looking at some budgeting BS, now is the time to address it.


Avoid buffoonery.

Be a bank robber.

Go where the money is.




Bradley Hartmann is founder and El Presidente at Red Angle (www.redanglespanish.com), a training and consulting firm bridging the English-Spanish language gap in the construction industry.    

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Categories: Construction Spanish, Jobsite Leadership

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