Budgets: Use It Or Lose It [before year-end]

September 8th, 2016

budgets use it or lose it
By Michael Solomon, Co-Founder of 10x Management

Take advantage of your remaining budget before the end of the year.

“Can I pay you before the end of the year but have you perform the services next year?”

“Is it possible for you to complete this project before the end of the year? Do you have enough people to do that?”

“If I don’t use this budget before the end of the year, my budget will be reduced for next year so can you work with me about what we can get done to use this up?”

These are just a handful of the myriad of questions that get asked in the last quarter of the year when panic sets in and people realize that they have not fully allocated their annual budget.

As we enter the fourth quarter and folks are looking to spend, we find there are some noticeable patterns and great ways to tackle this.

First and foremost is to plan ahead. By the end of the summer or beginning of fall, you should have a very good perspective on your surpluses and shortfalls. Assuming you have that extra budget, there are a few steps to making good use of it.

  1. Create your complete list of todo’s, nice to have’s and holy sh*t, we need to fix these problems.
  2. Prioritize based on your overall goals as well as what will help you solve your most important problems as a company or department.
  3. Turn the most pressing items from your list into scopes of work or a features list so they can quickly be evaluated in terms of time and cost.
  4. Find the right team to execute.

The most important part of this, is moving quickly and finding a vendor with whom you have a pre-existing relationship or one who is known for being fast. If you go to a recruiting firm or dev shop, they often don’t have bandwidth and need time to scale up for new unanticipated projects. The entities that will serve you best for this are the ones who have 1. Pre-vetted talent and 2. Established relationships with large companies. Number 2 is very significant in that they know how to onboard and get through the procurement processes of large companies. This means you know they carry the right insurance and have experience expediting onboarding.

The other important point about onboarding a vendor like this is making sure you stay involved. An outside vendor can  only push your internal teams so hard before they make a problem. You, on the other hand can convey the urgency and nudge or bribe your procurement team to move the process along. At 10x Management we recently had a project with a  Fortune 100 company which is known for being very thorough and excessive in their legal and onboarding process. It was a very painful  and detailed process getting it done.  It happened  faster than it would have otherwise, because the employee who wanted to hire our freelance tech expert, stayed on top of his people every step of the way. He helped to ensure  that the process never stalled and that all the relevant people were involved. Becoming the internal champion or advocate can make the difference between getting the appropriate paper work done in days or week or months. #TimeMatters.

So there you have it, a few ideas on how to take advantage of your remaining budget. Spend it wisely!


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You might also enjoy reading, 5 Tips for Dealing with Messy Office Politics.