Special Guest Post by Jack Molisani: How to Build a Business Case

We’re excited to host the Executive Director of The LavaCon Conference on Content Strategy Jack Molisani for this special guest post on the Iridize blog. This blog post is a summary of a more extensive paper, co-authored by Mr. Molisani and Bonni Graham You can download the full paper in PDF format here.


The amount of money that is anticipated to be saved or generated as the result of an expenditure is known as the return on investment (ROI).  ROI is normally measured in time and money: how long it will take to recoup the money spent, and how much money will be generated.


business return on investment | Photo by Lukas from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-writing-on-notebook-669615/


When speaking of ROI on a new investments, one states how long it will take to recoup the initial investment—and then some.


When speaking of the ROI on a cost avoidance expenditure, one states how long it will take to recoup the initial expenditure. For example, energy efficient light bulbs might cost $7 dollars each, but if they use $1.00 less energy a month than a traditional light bulb, they pay for themselves in seven months.


While it may take months or even years to recoup an investment, a client of mine in Alameda, CA localized their documentation into so many languages that they reported recouping the entire cost of purchasing a content management system in just one product release!



When you build your business case:

  • State the problem
  • Offer a solution
  • States how much it will cost to implement the solution
  • States the ROI that could be realized if the solution is implemented


Be sure to state the problem in terms of dollars and cents.  For example: The problem is not “we need a content management system,” the problem is “we are spending more than we need to on translation costs.”


State how is the situation a problem for the company, not just for you!


By finding ways to decrease costs and increase profits, you show you add to the company’s bottom line.


Which, by the way, is a business case for asking for a raise come review time, right?


Jack Molisani is the President of ProSpring Technical Staffing, a staffing agency specializing in content professionals He also produces the LavaCon Conference on Content Strategy and Technical Communication Management. You can follow him on Twitter @JackMolisani or reach him at jack@lavacon.org.

Noa is Iridize's Head of Content. With a background in digital strategy planning and database management, Noa translates Iridize's vision, stories and data into words. Digital learning and user experience are a particular passion of hers.