Ah, October. The air gets crisp, the leaves begin to turn crimson and gold, jack o’lanterns are smiling everywhere, but then a chill runs up your spine as you realize – there’s not much time before the end of the year!
Your mind begins to race: How much do I have left in my budget? Have I achieved my goals? What were my goals? WHAT WILL I DO?
Don’t panic. And don’t waste your precious budget dollars.
Instead, follow these three steps to put that money to work for you and your company:
- Review Your Objectives
The first thing I always recommend is to pull out your strategic objectives and go through them again. What did you want to accomplish at the beginning of the year? What haven’t you addressed yet? What can you still do that will help you meet those objectives? Always look for the best way to apply your budget to benefit your brand.
- Look at Your Wish List
When I served as Director of Consumer Strategy and Insights for Pepsi-Co’s Frito-Lay, I used to keep what I called a “Lark File.” It was a file folder where I saved articles about cool ideas for research projects that I wished I could do someday, when I had the budget. If you have a few projects you’ve always wanted to do because they sounded fun and awesome, maybe now is the time to make them a reality.
- Select the Right Partner
Carefully select a research partner. You want a company that is:
Strategic: Focused on finding smart ways to get the most out of your time and dollars
Versatile: Skilled in a wide variety of methods
Flexible: Capable of making changes quickly
Nimble: Able to work within your company’s accounting parameters
October doesn’t have to be scary! Want to extract the most learning out of your remaining funds before the new year rolls around? Contact me for some fresh ideas.