How much has your organization spent on business development/marketing/growth initiatives so far this year?
a) Huh? I dunno…
b) Too much!
c) Probably about…umm…maybe $50,000. No, maybe $75,000. Wait, lemme think…
d) We don’t track these expenses, we just spend as we need to.
If any of these responses sound familiar (don’t worry, no one is judging) it’s time to re-think your growth budget (or maybe create one in the first place).
Each time I sit down with a prospective client to evaluate their growth strategy I ask about their respective marketing and business development budgets. There is usually a pause accompanied by a perplexed look.
“Not sure we have a budget, per se,” they respond, “It’s difficult for us to plan unless we know what we should be spending money on.”
Any organization that has no budget for growth is not only in danger of losing money, but also of never being able to expect-or measure-a legitimate Return On Investment.
Growing smart is not just about reaching goals, creating buzz and closing deals. That is only half of the equation. The other half isspending smart.
FIVE RULES FOR SPENDING SMART
DOUBLE BUCKET BUDGET: Any money that is to be allocated towards growth should be divided up into two buckets, one for business development and the other for marketing. Yes, they are different and both warrant their own budgets.
THOUGHTFUL & INTENTIONAL INVESTMENTS: Before spending a dollar on websites, digital marketing, business cards, events or even a networking cup of coffee, a projected end goal must be decided upon. Choreography is better than improvisation with respect to expenditures.
METRICS: If we don’t measure the return on any investment we make (money, time, energy) we may grow, but we won’t be growing smart.
PLAN: To get the most out of our growth budget we must be savvy planners. As we approach 4th quarter, our 2018 growth expenditure projections should be laid out and ready to go. Planning should not stop here, however, as growth initiatives must be fluid. Leadership should be prepared to re-visit and evaluate budget efficacy at least 2x a year, if not quarterly.
EDUCATE: It’s one thing to create a firm-wide budget, it’s another thing to expect team members to spend it wisely. It’s not enough for leadership to thoughtfully allocate money, they must also be sure to prepare their teams to make strategically informed decisions when using their corporate credit cards.
It’s time to move from multiple choice to mindfulness. It’s time to grow smart.
Need help planning your growth budget for 2018? Schedule a call to get started.