You can increase your chances of getting the equipment, software, supplies, staff or other resources you need if you focus on their benefit to your company, rather than just yourself or your department. Determining how the needed resources will help cut costs or increase profits will help you make a strong argument whenever you request more help.
Find Your Lead
The lead sentence is the opening that tells the reader why the letter is important. Decide on the main statement you want to make to justify your request for additional resources and use that to start your letter. This could be a broad assertion, such as saying that the resources you’re requesting will help increase sales or cut costs. You then provide support for your claim in the body of the letter.
For example, if you are requesting new software for an accounting department, you might start your letter with, “I’d like to request two ABC software licenses for the accounting department, which will help the company reduce the number of lost orders and increase the company’s revenues.” You would then explain that the software will allow you to process and approve new customers accounts quicker, result in faster shipments of orders, and help collect receivables sooner.
Write a list of the people who will benefit from your request other than those who will be directly using the resources. For example, if you are requesting resources that will help you conduct faster credit checks on potential customers, this will help your sales department avoid losing customers who continue shopping for another vendor while awaiting approval. Contact the sales department and ask them for permission to use their endorsement of your request. Look for problems your new resources will solve and find people who are affected by those problems.
Run The Numbers
Write a list of the ways your request will save the company money or increase sales. Even if you are requesting resources for something that has an apparently intangible benefit, you might still be able to find financial benefits. For example, if you want resources to start an employee wellness program, meet with your HR department to determine the cost to the company of absenteeism, health insurance claims, employee turnover, workers’ compensation claims and other productivity losses that a wellness program might reduce or mitigate.
List The Qualitative Benefits
Some benefits your requested resources will provide might not be easily quantifiable, but your superiors will still be able to see how they would positively affect the company. Such benefits might include improved employee morale, decreased turnover, increased customer satisfaction, decreased customer returns, and improved productivity and efficiency.
Show The Cost/Benefit Ratio
If possible, finish your letter by showing the cost/benefit ratio of your request. List all of the costs associated with your request, then list the quantitative and qualitative benefits that granting you the requested resources will provide. Write your letter using the “Tell them what you’re going to tell them. Tell them. Tell them what you told them,” format, starting with a strong lead, supporting it in the body of the letter, and finishing with a recap.
Sam Ashe-Edmunds has been writing and lecturing for decades. He has worked in the corporate and nonprofit arenas as a C-Suite executive, serving on several nonprofit boards. He is an internationally traveled sport science writer and lecturer. He has been published in print publications such as Entrepreneur, Tennis, SI for Kids, Chicago Tribune, Sacramento Bee, and on websites such Smart-Healthy-Living.net, SmartyCents and Youthletic. Edmunds has a bachelor's degree in journalism.