(By Buzz Knight) It’s the most wonderful time of the year. A time when hope springs eternal when many brain cells get expunged in the budget process for 2022.
Ok, it is not necessarily the most wonderful time of the year, but it is a vital time for every business to take a step back and prepare for the next year. The process is analytical, reflective, strategic, gut wrenching ,sobering ,optimistic ,aspirational, among the descriptive possibilities.
As I think about the challenges and opportunities that every business faces, and the Radio business certainly should be included in this group, decision makers of every company should think about allocating funds for a very specific line item…Research and Development.
To be very clear, radio companies are investing as they should in the R portion of R&D. Strategic research to determine a station’s best position in their market is an important habit for the health of a brand, and even though it may not always be at the same levels of years past it still happens frequently.
I applaud that action but challenge those at the top to make R&D in the business context a regular process and action. Research and Development is the generation of new knowledge so companies can develop new products, processes or services.
These activities that companies undertake to innovate ultimately provide an end result of adding to a company’s bottom line and diversify their revenue stream.
The amount spent by Fortune 500 companies on R&D annually is staggering.
Amazon estimate is at 42.74 Billion.
Alphabet/Google is at 27.57 Billion.
Microsoft at 19.27 Billion
Apple is at 18.75 Billion.
Oh, by the way it is worth asking your tax advisor on the tax deduction opportunities as well. I’m under no illusion that what I’m proposing is an easy commitment to make in a challenging environment. Organizations need to decide with clarity and ice in their veins on what their clear objectives are for the future.
R&D can help companies deliver and shape what makes them different from everyone in the pack. Disruptive breakthroughs stand a chance with an R&D mindset.
If your company truly wants to embark on an R and D mission this decision should not be treated lightly. This is not a short- term answer to long range problems. I’m not here to recommend how much to allocate for Research and Development, and I can’t make the difficult decisions on what to sacrifice to find the money.
I’m just here to make a plea to start somewhere.
Take the step and commit to it.
Buzz Knight is the CEO of Buzz Knight Media and can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]