Have you ever had to prepare a business case for additional investment in your team?
I’ve been working on a project recently and it made me think back to the time when I secured over £200k additional investment in new technology and some kit for my services.
This investment helped us to improve what we did and serve our customers better.
So what was the secret? How did I manage it? Here are my top tips for securing the investment you need:
I have a Dream
From the outset I had a clear vision of what the world, or rather my service, would be like if we secured the investment we needed.
I sold the dream to anyone who would listen with a hint of excitement in my voice. This got people enthusiastic about a proposal that actually is pretty mundane.
They wanted to be part of it and help me get the investment I needed.
A done Deal
Once I’d got over the visionary stage I started to talk about the investment decision as if it had already happened.
I spoke to colleagues about all the improvements that we’d be delivering once we got the new technology in place. People started to really miss the functionality and management information that the improvements are going to give them even though they didn’t even have them yet!
The language changed from if to when and there was now no question in colleagues minds that the decision to fund my improvements would be a positive one.
The devil’s in the Detail
Now it was time for some hard work going through how much the investment I wanted would actually cost and what the benefits would be.
I continued to believe that it would make a difference and made the costs and savings work for me to identify a pay back period that was within the timescales of projects which had been approved before. I also used national and local framework agreements that kept their costs a level that would allow me to produce a viable business case.
A bit of negotiation was thrown into the mix where consultancy support was deemed as needed. After all when times are tough these guys need the sales and there’s plenty of room for manoeuvre.
The final piece in the jigsaw was to get the green light from the decision makers. I polished my report and prepared what I was going to say.
When the day came I rekindled the excitement and spoke confidently about the outcomes and business case. I made sure that whatever they asked me I had thought about beforehand and so was able to answer all the questions that they had.
This was as important as all the other stages. Imagine how I’d have felt if I had fallen at the last hurdle through lack of preparation.
So if you’re seeking investment in a project and don’t know where to start use my four Ds for success and see if you’re are able to get the decision that you want.