By Ron Bowers, senior vice president of business development, Frank Mayer & Associates
There comes a time in every project where vision and budget have to peaceably coexist. Every client that approaches an in-store merchandising company to design and manage a solution is excited and articulate about their vision for the project. The initial call often elicits responses about objectives and timing and quantities. Then the inevitable question about budget arises, and effusiveness sometimes gives way to silence. This situation doesn't arise every time, but often enough that it needs to be squarely addressed.
Defining objectives, requirements and a budget are important disciplines to exercise before launching an in-store interactive project. Reluctance to invest in these activities is like trying to build a house with a pile of wood, drywall, bricks and fixtures, but no specifications or drawings. You might end up with a livable house in the end, but you're likely to waste resources, take longer than you need and experience unnecessary frustration along the way.