It’s that time of year again – budgeting season. Just as the weather gets serious about autumn, advertising / marketing agencies around the country start to think about spreadsheets and projections and fixed overhead costs. There’s nothing quite like a steaming cup of apple cider and the teeth-grinding tedium of arcane budget numbers swirling around with the falling leaves like some sort of Matrix-themed bed and breakfast in rural Maine (“care for a scone…Mr. Anderson?”).

For businesses that count on time-based billing (and that includes 90% of creative agencies), this process can be a real chore. Unless you are some sort of Excel savant, using spreadsheets can actually make this task even more complicated. In an industry that preaches the merits of simplicity (remember learning the definition of K.I.S.S. from that college professor with the weird sweaters?), how is it that nobody has figured out an easier way to get a handle on agency budgeting?

Enter Budget Shaper. Born from our own struggles with time-based budgeting, the team here at {code} Roadies developed this deceptively simple online tool a few years ago, and now it is catching on with our friends in the agency business. Budget Shaper isn’t a CRM or an enterprise system or even a spreadsheet. It just asks you to input a few simple figures, does a little bit of math and helps you to: estimate your income for the upcoming year, organize your expenses and identify your adjusted gross income.

Most importantly, Budget Shaper helps you to determine a profitable hourly rate, perhaps the most critical factor in any business model that utilizes time-based billing. How much do you need to charge to reach your goals? It’s a question that we all have to ask ourselves, and now there’s an online tool that makes it a lot easier to answer.

As you consider adjusting rates, cutting expenses, increasing markup or improving productivity, Budget Shaper can bring much-needed clarity to the work you do in anticipation of the new year. Best of all, right now {code} Roadies is offering a free trial of Budget Shaper. Sign up here, and we’ll let you use it this budgeting season with no charge, just so you can get an idea of how useful this little tool is.

Got questions? Email, or give us a call here at {code} Roadies at 701-795-6810. Budget season doesn’t need to be stressful. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on your hot apple cider, fire up the laptop and let Budget Shaper make this time of the year a lot more relaxing.