For both new and experienced coaches, handling a program budget
isn't simple. Typically, the budget is limited and never large enough to afford everything you think your squad needs. If you find yourself on a tight budget, the good news is, it's not as difficult to cut back as you may think it is. Once you know where
to cut back, you'll know how
to do it.
Organize your expenses and needed items into categories like apparel, equipment, travel costs, training costs (choreography, gym time, tumbling classes, etc.), camp, and general costs (like an annual program fee). The easiest place to cut back is in the apparel category. Here's how:
Know your budget
The first thing anyone should do before shopping is to set a realistic budget. How much can you spend for the year or the season? Your budget should always be in the back of your mind while shopping. It will help deter you from making any splurge purchases.
Write a list of what you need and a second list of what you want
We've all got wish lists and perfect outfit ideas but they don't always align with your budget. Before shopping, create two lists -- one that includes everything you need for the season and the other with items you want and love, but don't necessarily have to have. Shop for all the items on your first list. Then, if your budget allows, you can shop for some of the items on your second list.
Look on social media for deals
If a brand or company is ever offering a deal, they'll probably feature it on one of their social media pages, especially Facebook. Some companies even offer sales only accessible by social media fans. Before making your purchase, check to see if anyone is holding a sale or offering a promo code.
Subscribe to emails and catalogs
Company emails and catalogs are a great way to find out about the latest items and any specials or deals. A lot of companies (like Campus Teamwear) also only offer sales to their email subscribers, which means the only way you can find out about a sale is if you subscribe to their emails
Look for free shipping
Shipping fees can add up quickly. Check the shipping policy of a company and see if your order is eligible for free shipping.
Research low price guarantees
What's the easiest way to ensure you scored the best deal? Shop companies that guarantee the lowest price
. Companies that offer such a guarantee will list the details on their website.
Found the item you want? Don't check out just yet. Google the item by its brand name and style to see if it's cheaper anywhere else. This especially comes in handy if a company also offers a low price guarantee, allowing you to save more money!
Search for package deals
From uniforms to warm-ups to practice wear, some companies offer package deals. By buying more, you can spend less. Usually a package includes at least one whole "look"—
a full set of warm-ups, two sets of practice wear, a uniform skirt and top, and bodyliner. Additionally, a package may include a free gift or some other item as an incentive for purchasing a package as opposed to individual items. Packages are great options for coaches purchasing for an entire team.
Ask about team pricing
Team pricing is usually geared for schools, coaches, and gyms that purchase a large number of the same item. This is often the case with cheer shoes, as a coach will want all team members to be wearing the exact same shoe. Rather than pay, say $50 per pair of shoes, you may be able to pay only $45 per pair by taking advantage of a company's team pricing offer. How can you find out if a company offers such a discount? Ask! Contact the company's sales department and ask if they offer team pricing. Also, check catalogs and websites, which sometimes note what items have team pricing options. For example, in Omni Cheer's catalog, certain items are noted in red that say "Call for team pricing."