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Budgeting For Growth

12-2-13
 
It's budget time, and we're all trying to see how to make our budgets work for 2014. The process, though difficult, can be pretty cut-and-dried year to year. But what are you not budgeting for that you should be?

While working on my budgets this week, it crossed my mind that I have not budgeted for growth. Yes, of course I budgeted for business growth -- but what am I budgeting for the growth of my team members or myself?

Stagnation and the lack of fresh ideas not only kill our personal motivation, they negatively impact our organizations. If you and your people are not growing, how can you lead your teams, your advertisers, and your market? When was the last time you or some of your people went out and learned something new?

In my own organization, I've declared 2014 as a year for learning. I have budgeted to attend some events that will force me to learn and grow in new areas. Though it sounds extravagant, I have learned that dull leadership leads to dull companies. No matter how much I read, how much I study or watch, I'm most invigorated when I meet new people and learn about new concepts I need to understand.

It's almost comical.... in a sad kind of way. Our industry is stagnant, and predicting only about 1 percent growth in 2014. This is the same industry where, in many companies, people are not allowed to attend seminars or events and are told they need to follow the company's direction instead of their own. It's kind of like cutting all promotion budgets and wondering why stations aren't growing more in ratings and revenue.

Though some will see it as an extravagance, I'm seeking ways to get my leaders to events that will stimulate their creativity, and let them meet others who do what they do so they can network, do new deals, and learn of new opportunities. Stimulation does not just happen. It comes from a deliberate attempt to learn. Even the best of the best make a serious effort to stimulate their brains. When you consider your 2014 plans, make it a point to plan for growth -- personal growth and that of your team. The results will positively impact your business.

Eric Rhoads

PS: We spend a lot of time inventing events to help radio people grow outside of their comfort zones. These five events would be worth your consideration for 2014:

Radio Ink Hispanic Radio Conference
Hyatt Regency Mission Bay, San Diego
March 10-11, 2014
www.hispanicradioconference.com

The fifth Radio Ink Hispanic Radio Conference will bring together leaders in the Hispanic radio community and experts in Hispanic advertising and media for a comprehensive overview of opportunities and strategies within this rapidly transforming sector. This conference will inspire stations, brands, advertisers, media companies, and those working in Hispanic radio and inform them about how to best take advantage of the power of Hispanic culture and consumerism across the U.S today. Not only will this conference reveal strategy and tactics to increase investment by advertisers into the Hispanic radio sector, it will empower and arm those who manage, sell and program Hispanic radio and Hispanic radio platforms with the data and tools necessary to growing audience and revenues.

Radio Ink Sports Radio Conference
Hyatt Regency Mission Bay, San Diego
March 10-11, 2014
www.sportsradioconference.com

Sports has been one of radio's strengths since its earliest days, but it's never been hotter than it is right now. Sports stations are signing on, sports networks are rolling out, and this time-tested radio staple -- combined with new technologies and digital assets -- is bringing all kinds of new opportunities. At Radio Ink's Sports Radio Conference, the best minds in Sports radio today will talk about the future of the format. How do they see Sports and Sports Talk evolving over the next year? What's the right mix of local and national programming? Can the average market support more than one Sports station? What are the strengths that make Sports radio not just a format, but a multifaceted business model that drives real revenue? All this and more from an exclusive lineup of sports radio experts.

Radio Ink Convergence
Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA
June 4-5, 2014
www.radioconvergence.com

Each year, Convergence brings together the top minds in the digital world to provide insights to the radio, television, online radio, and audio industries about emerging trends, new business models, and forms of digital income. At Convergence we discuss the innovation that matters, who will win and why, and specific actions broadcasters can take to stay ahead and generate digital strategies for income and preserving audiences. Convergence taps digital media "outsiders" as speakers and panelists, along with a select few from within the industry, to give broadcasters an accurate reflection of what is happening in Silicon Valley, removing the internal insulators that can keep broadcasters in the dark. Convergence 2014 will challenge your mind, stretch your brain, and alter your reality. You'll leave with deep competitive advantages.

Radio Ink/Jacobs Media/Shuman Consulting Group
DASH Connected Vehicle Conference
Detroit, MI
Dates To Be Announced
www.dashconference.com

DASH was created out of the need to inform and enlighten radio broadcasters about the connected car and what it will take to keep radio's spot on the dashboard of tomorrow. In the first DASH event, broadcasters, car companies, automotive suppliers, streaming radio providers, advertising agencies, and car dealers joined together to explore the future of the dash and the new opportunities for in-car audiotainment. DASH gives attendees the chance to learn from and brainstorm with a diverse group of colleagues about the issues that matter: understanding and educating the audiotainment consumer, building great audiotainment experiences, and monetizing audiotainment in innovative new ways. Talks from leading experts are combined with audience roundtables that allow participants to collaborate, gain new perspectives, and take home the latest solutions and revenue opportunities for their businesses.

Radio Ink Forecast 2015
Harvard Club
New York, NY
Winter 2014
www.radioinkforecast.com

Forecast is Radio Ink's annual radio-industry financial conference, gathering radio owners, CFOs, group and industry executives, managers, Wall Street analysts, and investors to discuss the business climate and the expectations for the coming year. The only radio conference of its kind, Forecast features in-depth discussion covering the opportunities, challenges and leading trends and trendsetters -- all the touchpoints that will influence the radio business in the coming year. Though the primary focus is on the numbers, this conference examines the information behind the numbers, as well as those driving them.

In addition to the financial conference, each year we invite the 40 Most Powerful People In Radio to receive their plaques at the annual "Top 40" cocktail reception, immediately following Forecast. All registered conference attendees are guaranteed an invitation to this elegant "who's who in radio" event.




(12/8/2013 8:06:05 AM)
Radio is beyond dead. Apparently nobody has explained that to the empty suits.

- Jackson Armstrong
(12/3/2013 1:29:45 PM)
Eric, how cum you killed radiodiscussions.com? Too much bad news about your little HD Radio scam being spread around?

- LMFAO!!!

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