There are only two ways to get funding approved by the CFO / CIO:
1. Unlimited amounts of money will be paid if an issue directly effects the CFO / CIO in terms of their own comfort, reputation, ego, and job security, for which there is no limit on what they will pay. So, if you can fit yourself or project into this category, the money will easily flow
2. A documented and guaranteed cost justification that gets approved by the CFO / CIO. This gets done with a business plan based on the facts – not brochures. It also gets done based on making
and keeping promises that get people either fired or promoted. Understand that the CFO / CIO is accountable so you also must be accountable to be trusted, respected, and get what you want. CFO’s & CIOs are great at smelling fear or weakness, so the only way to overcome that is to have a convincing case that makes the decision easy for the CFO / CIO.
Unfortunately, most corporate staff, even managers do not know how to push to get budget dollars approved. Some are simply scared, and most others are lousy communicators and cannot make a convincing case. If you are weak at this, call us. We can get you a plan that
increase your chance of getting what you want.
The dumbest thing to do is to go and just ask your boss for money, without describing first how much the problem is costing the company, and then providing documented proof that the software or service you are proposing will solve that problem and make your boss a hero.
It is a simple formula. State the problem in money terms, then provide the solution in terms that claw back that wasted money. Most other paths to getting funding are too difficult and take too long.
Bosses are like mini-CFO’s & CIO’s so treat them that way. Do not ever be a complainer about anything, complainers get fired first. Your boss already knows there are elements of your job you do not like or
find difficult. Find a complete solution or accept that they are paying you to suffer until they can find a better way. Without a written justification and proof for those dollars you want, you will just shame
yourself. People who just ask for money like little kid, just get No for an answer and they deserve it. If they keep asking and get annoying, they get fired.
There is No such thing as No Budget.
When bosses say there is no budget be wise enough to read between the lines. What they are really saying is “Do not ask me until you can prove it”. Therefore, the only path is to take budget from someplace else to get what you want! So, when you are told there is no budget, ask how much money a project needs to save or make to divert budget from somebody else. You need to be a little bit Machiavellian to get what you want.
Some demoralized people think that it is not their job, to seek better software and service offerings for the enterprise. If your job does not provide a path or authority to get budget dollars to better do your job, then it is time for a new job at another company. If you do not have the tools to do your job
properly it is just a matter of time until you are somehow blamed, so the path is clear. You must either change this or if you cannot, you need to go to another company and start again.
It may seem crazy to the shy people who read this but leverage salespeople to help you with this. Your job is to guide the salesperson to provide the cost or operational justification to get you what you want. For many successful people I know, the vendor writes the justification and then the techno / financial person presents the case with the salesperson in the room to the bosses. Do not try to make a business case alone. You do not have the right kind of experience to get what you want. Salespeople have way more experience at this. This ends in a better chance of getting what you want.
Find things to fix with software that is not Excel:
Get interested and volunteer to fix reporting problems with other business functions. So, make connections in: Supply chain, sales, HR, Payroll, treasury… Some say that pandemic makes that more difficult, but I disagree, it is simply different. Team members are now more accessible than ever because they are home waiting for their cell phones to ring. There are no real business hours anymore so you can talk early or late, and lots of people are lonely so they will talk to you if they understand you are trying to find improvement. Your team members in other departments are also trying to remain
relevant and important. So, they need a way to stand out & you can help.
So, do not be afraid to call them and collaborate. Another observation is that I have never met a shy VP, so being shy is not an option. Start with an email if you are nervous then if they want to talk then you are on your way and the is nothing to be nervous about.
Talk to Salespeople & Consultants:
Bosses sometimes speak poorly of salespeople because they want to keep knowledge to themselves.
Some bosses are very afraid you will learn something and want better! The more ignorant you are of what possibilities are available, the weaker and more controllable you become. Commercials on TV are an example, they open your eyes to what can be. Some things advertised like medication can change your life, you decide but you are the better for it because you can see options. There is no more
concentrated and direct way for you to know about options and circumstances that effect your career than talk to the people who talk to lots of other people. So, talk to sales and consulting staff on the
phone, you cannot email your way to a VP level position, and as I mentioned I have never met an introverted VP. Ignoring sales reps or getting repulsed by them because they want to sell something is
very wrong and small minded.
The only reason you even have a job is because somebody sold a lot of Your company’s product in the marketplace. So, its fine that sales reps. want to sell. That is why the good ones make a lot more money
than most finance people. They earn it, so embrace them! Just make it clear to them that the salespeople with the best: Tool, value proposition or path to serve your career goals get business from
Any decent sales rep. will be fine with that and will respect your time. The other thing that is very unwise is to think that the Purchasing, or IT dept. will provide you with what you need. They cannot, and for good reason. They have many people asking them for things and there is no time left for them to notice you. You must get noticed, and you get ahead of the line if you have a business case instead of a
list of complaints.
Purchasing and IT may handle some commercial elements, but they are in no way staffed with enough people or equipped to help you. The real way things get done is to take the indirect path of communication and getting a boss to want something. When bosses call Purchasing or IT, things get done. Sending an email to Procurement or IT will not work, you need to make a real business case to your boss and sr. management.
If I can be a resource to you or help you get software or services projects funded, do not hesitate to contact me.
About Jim Burke
Financial Systems Automation and Back Office / Operational Cost Containment Leader, leveraging software tools and best practices to drive margin improvement for clients that do not have money nor time to waste.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Office 609 750 8887