Creating the Perfect Business Case to Get What You Want

Creating the Perfect Business Case to Get What You Want

Have you ever come across an event or conference that you felt would be of benefit to your professional development and one which you firmly believe your current employer would benefit from as well?

Convincing your employer aka boss can be a whole other ballgame. It gets even more complicated when the conference in question has a high price tag, travel or accommodation attached to it.

How can you convince your boss to let you attend the conference? Well, this is where it is time to build a strong business case to get what you want.

When is the best time to use a business case?

Knowing how to present a business case will come in handy over the course of your career. A well-thought out business case can be used not only to gain permission to attend a conference but also to justify resources or expenditures on a wide variety of issues. Your boss is not in a position to approve anything if he/she is not given all of the facts. So lay it all out for them in black and white.

It’s time to brush those nerves aside. Let’s break it down, so it doesn’t seem so overwhelming.

Know your facts

Look at the conference you want to attend. Who will be speaking at the event?

Marg Booth from Great Expectation Speakers and Trainers says, “The speakers and panelists at any conference are likely experts in your field, this offers a great opportunity to access knowledge and experience that you simply can’t get anywhere else. The opportunities to network and enhance partnerships face to face at conferences is priceless.”

Learning from experts in their field can not only be very motivating but you can gain a lot from listening to their mistakes and how to best tackle a sticky situation.

Making sure that you know exactly what you will gain from attending the conference and understanding your motivation to participate in the conference will help present a much stronger case.

Think about your personal goal

  • What is your goal by attending?
  • What is it you hope to learn?
  • What’s stopping you from reaching your goal at the moment?
  • Are you 100% confident the conference will help solve the problem?

There are a lot of questions here to think about, but they all work towards solidifying your presentation or discussion with your boss.

You may believe that attending the conference will solve whatever issue you are facing. But believing it and proving it are two different matters entirely.

Focus on the benefits to you and your company

  • What are the benefits to you?
  • How will it impact your long-term goals?
  • What are the advantages to your employer?
  • How will it affect the way you are currently working?
  • Consider the qualitative and quantitative benefits and lay it out in an easy to read format.

Think about these questions and list the cost of the conference and note any realistic Returns on Investment (ROI). Does it offer value for money? Make it a balance of both the hard and soft benefits to please their heart and their head.

Consider the changes after you attend the conference

  • How will you share what you have learned at the conference with others in your workplace?
  • How will you implement change?

As an example, if communication is one of the topics on the agenda and there is a disconnect with communication in the office, how will you use the information to your advantage. What is the time scale it may take you to implement any change? Food for thought, indeed!

If you present your business case professionally and with due diligence, then there should be little reason for your boss to say no.

“I’d say yes they can attend if I thought it was relevant for their position and that it would help them grow both professionally and personally. I have however been told I’m not your run of the mill supervisor. My approach is always holistic and not just results driven. My team and I attend them for professional development, enhance our skill base, see how others in our positions/similar positions are doing things and to network. I think knowing that someone else is experiencing the same thing/s as you is comforting and encourages you to persist or move on.”

– Michelle – Event Manager

As Michelle so eloquently stated, if pitched perfectly demonstrating professional and personal development, there will be less chance of your case being turned down. Being realistic and straightforward in your approach will work in your favour. Once you have a better understanding of the whys and wherefores, goals and benefits, then book a meeting with your boss. Your hard work and effort will hold you in good stead. Go ahead and try these tips and most importantly don’t forget to be confident!


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