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How to Effectively Advocate for Investment in the Lab

Laboratories are costly to run because they require skilled personnel in addition to investment in a variety of instruments and stock in order to fulfill the purpose of the lab. Subsequently, lab managers are continuously faced with a series of choices as to how to spend the available budget.  These decisions are important and advocating for the right investments will impact on the overall success and long-term viability of the lab. 

Three Required Skills

Advocating for lab investment can be both daunting and challenging.  There are a number of skills that need to be mastered to do so effectively:

  1. Understanding and prioritizing the needs of the lab.  Not everything can be a priority!  It also has to be stressed that needs don’t necessarily equate to wants.  A “want” is something that is nice to have but it doesn’t necessarily impact on the fitness of the business per se.  A “need”, on the other hand, does impact on the function of a business and its performance as a result. 
  2. Developing an effective business case to support the investment  . 
  3. Communicating the plan to the right audience.  You may have to persuade several groups and tweak your pitch accordingly.  There are some groups/individuals who may yield influence on whether your proposal is accepted or not.

How to Make the Business Case

To make a business case for investment in a lab, you will need to present the potential benefits of the investment in terms of the return on investment (ROI) and how it aligns with the overall goals and strategy of the company.

This can be done by:

  1. Identifying the specific problem or opportunity that the lab will address, and how it will contribute to the company’s bottom line.
  2. Outlining the costs associated with the lab, including equipment, personnel, and ongoing expenses.
  3. Presenting a detailed plan for how the lab will be used, including the types of research and development that will be conducted, and the expected outcomes.
  4. Estimating the potential ROI of the investment, including any cost savings, increased revenue, or other financial benefits.
  5. Comparing the potential ROI of the lab investment to other investment opportunities, to demonstrate its relative value.
  6. Highlighting any risks associated with the investment and outlining a plan for mitigating them.
  7. Showing how the lab aligns with the overall goals and strategy of the company.

It’s also important to remember that the business case will need to be tailored to the specific decision-makers who will be evaluating the investment and should be presented in a clear and concise manner.

We know that putting an investment plan together can be challenging.  You may not always be successful and it’s important to learn from those experiences.  Get in touch with us to see how we can help you develop a business case using our ROI calculator.  

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