What does your budget look like going into the new year?

SmartPulse -- our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership -- tracks feedback from over 250,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our newsletter.

What does your budget look like going into the new year?

  • We have a lot more to spend than this past year. 15.4%
  • We have about the same amount to spend as this past year. 54.7%
  • We have much less to spend than this past year. 29.9%

Belts are a little tighter. A large portion of you reported having less to spend in the coming year. That requires more focused prioritization. One way to free up some additional budget is by stopping unproductive activities. Stop throwing good money after bad and make the tough decision sooner rather than later. The faster you shut down unproductive projects, the less money you’ll burn on those efforts which means more money for more important ideas. The longer you let those bad projects run, the worse your budgetary challenges become. For those with more to spend, Consider spending it quickly. Changing priorities can always cause adjustments to budgets and rarely are those changes in a positive direction. Make investment decisions quickly and get them moving.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He's the author of three leadership books: "One Piece of Paper," "Lead Inside the Box" and "The Elegant Pitch."