Get early Stakeholder Buy-In to ensure project success.
You’ve got a brilliant idea for a project. You’ve identified an opportunity in the market and you’ve started formulating a plan. Things are going great, but suddenly, the money dries up.
Even the best projects need some serious cash-flow to get things moving.
Getting an early buy-in is paramount in launching a new project. You might have the budget and funding all lined up, but without an early cash injection, you can jeopardise the entire timeline of your project.
Stakeholders: Find the Right People
Identify a list of stakeholders. Be open-minded about who might affect, or be affected by, your project. Who are they, and what are their needs?
Be thorough in identifying who has a stake in your project. That way, you’ve got a clear idea of who you need to consult, or at least have on side, for successful delivery of a project. Finding an early buy-in can often stem from the people closest to the issue at hand, so be open about the financial requirements in your proposal.
Stakeholders can be community members and customers, suppliers, workers, management, or government departments.
Find the right people and get in touch with them straight away—this way, you’ll involve them early, and find some potential funding along the way.
Create a Solid Proposal and Business Case
Once you’ve identified the right people, you need to secure funding by presenting a strong, well-written business proposal and case.
While a proposal might outline the preliminary scope of the project, a Business Case is a map and justification of all the elements of a project.
A Business Case can identify opportunity or problem that the project is based on. It maps out the benefits, risks, staffing requirements, task allocations, timeline and success indicators.
To secure early buy-in to fund your project, you need a professional and well-presented plan. Nobody wants to buy in to a project that has no market research or budget breakdown. Do your research, take care in presenting professionally, and be realistic about the limitations or potential problems within the project.
Get in Early, But Allow Time
Remember that for the stakeholder, it can be a risk to buy in. Your Business Case should convince them why you deserve funding, and exactly how the money will be spent. Give them time to peruse your case and assess whether it’s worth their financial sacrifice.
Foster Communication and Engagement
Be clear, concise and polite. Keep stakeholders engaged and informed about the progress of the project, and be creative in how you deliver information. Stakeholders might like regular reports on the project, but they might be more engaged by flyers, videos, presentations and one-on-one conversations.
If things go wrong, demonstrate resilience and quick-thinking with creative solutions, and ask them their advice.
Neil Anderson is the founder of MarketingSearch.com.au, a privately owned and operated Australian platform enabling businesses to transform their marketing impact and profitability through better agency search and selection, talent sourcing and project optimisation services.