Council Post: 15 Tips For Creating Smart Business Development Budget Plans (2024)

Creating a budget plan and utilizing business development resources effectively are essential skills for any biz dev leader. However, it can be challenging to know where to start and how to allocate resources wisely.

To help, a panel of Forbes Business Development Council members offers their best advice for creating a smart budget plan and utilizing business development resources to maximize your return on investment. Read on for their practical advice on how to analyze your business needs, set realistic financial goals and develop a plan that aligns with your strategic objectives.

1. Take Your Time

There is no substitute for thoughtful planning and deep work. Understand your goals and business needs and work backward to plan key activities and spending. Ask yourself if your choices are truly driving the business toward desired outcomes. I find that having a "RACI" (responsible, accountable, consulted and informed) matrix can be valuable during the socialization of proposed budgets. - Jonathan Mills, EPIC Strategies

2. Be Adaptable And Prepare For Change

Account for changes, pivots and things outside of your control. If we've learned anything over the past three years, it's the need to adapt to change. When creating a plan, allow for some wiggle room that will allow you to make quick pivots while still marching toward your end goal. - Toby Carrington, Seismic

3. Fluidity Based On Market And Customer Conditions Is Critical

Most business teams spent their Q3-Q4 in budget planning for Q1 and beyond. They act rigid with the changing dynamics, which is like a 1990s way of running your organization. However, in today's environment where consumer loyalty demands continuous improvement at all levels, leaders have to learn to show adaptability both inwards and outwards. - Mustansir Paliwala, EQUANS

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4. Focus On Where You Can Invest In Your Business To Add Value

It is not about making things fair or balanced, you need to focus on value-based investing in your organization. Ask yourself which departmental resources are revenue-generating and mission-critical, and which ones are overhead. You may be able to invest in technology to streamline a staff in HR, but you need more staff in the sales department with less of a tech stack. - David Mattson, Sandler

5. Set A Clear Budget And Timeline

Setting a clear budget means determining the amount of funds available and dividing it based on priority. Focus on allocating resources to the most important tasks first and monitoring spending closely. A timeline should also be established to ensure efficient use of resources and meeting project goals. - Oscar Chavez, Growthly Group

6. Be Realistic

Account for all of your expected costs and income while ensuring that the budget you create is one that you can realistically adhere to. Consider any potential opportunities for savings. It is important to figure out which developmental resources you need and when you need them. This will ensure that you are utilizing your resources in the most efficient and effective way possible. - Ray Schultz, Liquid Rubber

7. Be Fiscally Conservative

Underpromising and overdelivering have been key strategies of mine throughout the years. It’s not that you are purposefully trying to mislead with your budget estimates, but you are being fiscally conservative for a worst-case scenario. That way if things do go as planned, you look like a superstar. - David Strausser, SEIDOR USA

8. Give Yourself Enough Time To Plan

You can't create a smart plan in a few days or weeks. It requires a lot of analytical background work and planning. Once you have that data, then you can make accurate decisions and allocate resources properly. - Richard Lindhorn, VivoAquatics Inc.

9. Account For Price Fluctuations

Overestimate your expenses when making a budget plan to account for potential price fluctuations and economic downturns. Given the volatile state of the global market, the prices of your resources will almost certainly fluctuate. You can accommodate these changes from the beginning. Additionally, create a strategic plan for the optimal utilization of development resources to make the most of them. - Bryce Welker, Big 4 Accounting Firms

10. Never Assume That A Price Is 'The' Price

Negotiate and drive hard bargains to get the most bang for your buck. Cut unnecessary expenses and focus on priorities. Unreasonable rewards come to those who make unreasonable decisions. Don't waste money on projects or initiatives that aren't going to deliver results. Keep an eye on the bottom line. If it doesn't make dollars, then it doesn't make sense. - Sundance Monty Brennan, Nada

11. Plan For The Worst-Case Scenario

In this operating environment, the most prudent thing to do is to develop a financial plan that will help you ride through the storm even if the worst-case scenario is realized. As a leadership team, be honest about the worst-case scenario and cut your cost base deep enough so that you don't burn through your cash in that scenario. If you do that, you control your destiny. - Sparsh Mehta, Belong Home Inc

12. Add A Cushion To Your Budget

The best way to prepare for unexpected price increases or a drop in the economy is to build a cushion into your budget by estimating higher costs than they really will be. Your materials' pricing will probably change due to the unstable worldwide market. From the get-go, you should make room for these adjustments. In addition, it is important to draft a strategy for making the most of funds. - Saydiburkhon Saydirasulov, Jafton.com

13. Determine What's Needed To Achieve Your Business Goals

The best tip for creating a smart budget plan is to clearly identify your goals and therefore resources required. The challenge is that over time, often the goals move or evolve. That will in turn result in more time and more money. - Julie Thomas, ValueSelling Associates

14. Prioritize Projects Based On Impact And Necessity

Identify top priorities and allocate your budget and resources accordingly. Evaluate less impactful and discretionary projects based on expected impact and importance. Regularly review and adjust your budget and resource allocation to ensure alignment with goals. - Dhiraj Chhabra, BuzzClan

15. Make The Most Of Your Resources By Separating Costs

To budget appropriately, you need to know how to separate costs. For example, you might have an employee who works in the office, and they cost $25 per hour. However, you may also spend some time with this person as part of their job. That might take up 20% of their time and cost $250 per week. Knowing how to separate costs helps you budget appropriately and make the most of your resources. - Wayne Elsey, The Funds2Orgs Group

Council Post: 15 Tips For Creating Smart Business Development Budget Plans (2024)

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