As the new year approaches, many of us scurry to come up with creative ways to spend whatever remaining dollars we have in our budgets.
We all know how it works: Those departments who spend less on costs than the firm gives them, whether it’s accounting, human resources, research and development, sales and marketing, IT, or engineering, are frequently “punished” by being allocated smaller budgets the following year. Those organizations, on the other hand, who are able to identify an operational necessity for every dollar allocated to them are frequently rewarded for their efforts. It’s one of the corporate economy’s great ironies.
Despite the pressure to act immediately or risk a year-end “use it or lose it” reaction, it’s vital to consider your organization’s long-term goals before taking any further steps.
Explore these four smart methods to use your end-of-year budget as you consider how you may (or should) spend those final remaining bucks. You can have more than a budget rise to look forward to next year if you make the appropriatedecisions now.
Your efforts might have a good influence on other parts of your company, from boosting staff morale to assisting you in meeting your new quarterly targets.
So, let’s get this get down to reviewing our tips for making the most of your year-end budget.
Questions to consider when deciding how to spend your end-of-year funds
Before we get into our top four options, keep in mind that each company’s best strategy to spend end-of-year money will be different. As a starting point, consider the followingquestions:• What are your plans for the future year in terms of business? Will you require any new technology, research, or resources in order to meet your objectives?• Is there a way to save money by streamlining operations, automating procedures, or bringing services in-house? For example, you might utilize your additional funds to buy a name badge printer instead of using a professional printer to make name badges for events this year.• Could your company’s performance, consumers, market potential, or planned strategy benefit from an outside perspective? Invest in independent research and audits.• What marketing efforts or pieces of content did particularly well this year? Is it possible to increase marketing or produce new assets based on that content?• What resources would be valuable to your team and would assist them in performing their jobs more effectively?• Is there anything in your office that might need an upgrade, such as tools, furniture, or software?• Is your insurance covering your business? Is it over-covering your business and costing a lot of money? Make sure your small business insurance is the right balance of cost and cover.• Do you expect your business to expand in the coming year? Additional software licenses, phones, laptops, and other equipment and supplies that new workers may require might be covered by the extra money.
Simply put, consider where your firm needs to go in the future and concentrate your end-of-year spending to get there. We don’t want to tell you how to spend your money, but if you’re still undecided, here are some great ideas.
1. Dedicate resources to marketing initiatives
When you’re part of a marketing team, there never seems to be enough time (or resources) to finish every goal, project, or task that comes your way.
The explanations are frequently straightforward. In most cases, we’re restricted to the amount of people currently on our payroll. Budget restrictions prevent our firms from starting fresh ad campaigns or testing against our tried-and-true work at other times.
When you can allocate end-of-year resources to your marketing activities, you’re essentially investing in the coming year. For instance, your business may hire a freelance graphic designer to update your banner advertisements or hire a writer to publish a series of blog entries. Alternatively, you may employ an SEO service to provide recommendations for your website.
Best of all, Q4 might be an excellent time to try out new advertising concepts.
You could even prepare a year-end review of your company’s achievements. Infographics, films, and case studies are all-powerful sales and marketing tools for attracting new clients and retaining existing ones. They may show how your company’s goods or services solve problems and meet consumers’ demands, as well as providing a means to address a year’s worth of milestones. If your sales force is like others, any additional materials you can provide to potential clients to share more compelling reasons to do business with your firm will be much appreciated.
2. Invest in modern technologies to improve efficiency
The end of the year is an excellent time to assess your present technology stack and find any holes in your business processes that are causing bottlenecks or ongoing issues.
There are always a few employees who may benefit from a new workstation, particularly those in positions that require more powerful technology. Using year-end budget resources on managed services and software expenditures may frequently have a significant impact on a firm’s bottom line, even though technology demands vary by industry and company size.
Ask yourself which operations in your department may benefit from new technology.
Perhaps your business has grown significantly in the last year, making it more difficult to keep track of new and continuing initiatives. Consider spending the remainder of your funds ona project management software, such as Workfront, if you don’t already have one. It can help your company reduce silos, measure progress, generate faster outcomes, and collaborate more effectively.
Perhaps more collaboration might help your organization. If that’s the case, have a look at Lucidchart. Users may create, update, and share diagrams on our web-based platform to better understand and visualize your organization’s processes, systems, and more.
Investing in a technological platform that might make your job simpler is one of the smartest methods to spend your remaining funds before the year ends in comparison to the alternative expenditure options you have available to you.
Ask yourself a series of questions before purchasing any new technology:• Is there a chance that this technology will save time or increase productivity?• Is the expense of learning a new technology going to exceed the benefits?• Is this a tried-and-true technology, or should you hold offuntil it has been tested in more depth?
You could even want to ask your staff what technology (if any) they think will have the most influence on their performance. It’s quite OK to reevaluate your decision if you can’t immediately see the benefits of investing in new technology.
3. take time to thank your coworkers
Everyone appreciates being acknowledged. Of course, cash is always welcome. Especially if your business has had a great year or your team went above and beyond.
However, rewards don’t always have to be monetary. There are numerous types of recognition that may be tailored to match practically any budget. You might, for example:• Give corporate attire or branded products to your top performers.• Present certificates or rewards.• Set aside funds to reward staff with incentives, event tickets, or gift cards.• Arrange a catered team lunch or an after-hours celebration at a nearby restaurant or hotel conference room.• Organize a year-end party. This is a terrific way to get out of the office and get pumped up for the new year.• Arrange a team-building activity. These types of eventscan aid in the development of trust, communication, dispute resolution, and staff collaboration. More engaged employees result from effective team-building activities, which contribute to a healthy work culture while also increasing your bottom line and retention rates.
4. Make an investment in your professional growth
Budget surpluses can also be used to invest in training and continuing education programs to keep personnel up to speed with industry standards and help to motivate them to do well for the company.
Inquire about the materials that might be most beneficial to their professional growth. These possibilities may include:• Conferences and workshops• Webinars or online courses• Industry publication subscriptions• Certifications• Professional association memberships
These experiences benefit your workers individually, but because your staff are your most valuable asset, investing in continued education and training will pay off in the long term for your organization as a whole.
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The new year starts afresh on January 1st. These are just four examples of how you might use the remaining funds in your budget wisely before the year ends. Whatever you do, have a plan to utilize it before it expires on December 31.