November usually kicks off the planning season. You start to look at budgets and goals for the coming year, usually with great optimism. But don’t forget about 2021 quite yet.

Are there allocated funds you haven’t used yet? How can you utilize those resources to guarantee a running start in 2022? And if you don’t use them, do you lose them? What a shame that would be. This is a great chance to engage outside help (a spicy agency, perhaps) to dive in and make the final weeks of 2021 very productive.

Have you talked to the powers that be regarding the possibility of tapping into excess funds that other departments didn’t need, or didn’t use due to unexpected circumstances? I talk to business leaders about this a lot. They say that department heads rarely ask if there are any unaccounted-for resources outside their own budgets. Those may be ripe for the picking—and you’re likely to have a good argument to invest them in marketing.

Maybe it’s your busy season or you anticipate not having the bandwidth to accomplish a marketing project in the next eight weeks. If you have the funds, pay your agency in advance and then start the projects in January or February. Pepper Group has several clients annually ask us to bill them for future projects so they can utilize the balance of their budgets when they know they’ll have more time.

Did you have a realization at some point this year that “the time has come for _______”? It could be the video you’ve wanted, a killer digital campaign or a multi-level trade show strategy. The time is now! In the last month alone, I’ve heard from two prospects who said they’ve been unable to focus on rebranding for a while, though they needed it badly. I said, “How long is a while?” One said nine years and the other four years! Imagine what those investments may have yielded if they had been able to move past the paralysis. In both cases, it wasn’t for the lack of resources, but for the lack of vision, confidence and time. Give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you build a case for the necessity and ROI of your ______.

Whatever your situation, the important thing is that you’re thinking strategically. If you’d like to bounce an idea or strategy around, including how you might fund it creatively, give us a call. We never like to see opportunities go untapped, especially when we can proactively be your partner in making them realities.

To all our friends, we hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, with all the trimmings. Even with the challenges each of us faces, we have so much for which to be grateful and optimistic.

I used this toast at our company’s quarterly meeting recently. Maybe you can share it with your clan before you slice the bird. “To happiness. It is not having what you want but wanting what you have.”

Tim Padgett

“Long-range planning does not deal with future decisions, but with the future of present decisions.”
—Peter Drucker

“What business strategy is all about; what distinguishes it from all other kinds of business planning—is, in a word, competitive advantage. Without competitors there would be no need for strategy, for the sole purpose of strategic planning is to enable the company to gain, as effectively as possible, a sustainable edge over its competitors.”
—Kenichi Ohmae