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  • Writer's pictureStratus Business Development

Chasing the Needles

Updated: Apr 5, 2023

At Stratus Business Development, we work with a lot of companies that share similar challenges: not enough staff, not enough time in the day, and an overwhelming amount of things on the "to do" list. Most often, the result is a reactionary approach to getting through the day. Deal with the most critical issue(s) and we'll figure out the rest later. Unfortunately, the next day is usually much the same, and the next, and the next, and the next... you've probably experienced this yourself.

There are a number of ways to break this cycle. Too many to list here but I do want to talk about one: stop fixating only on revenue and take a long hard look at expenses.

It's perfectly normal for a business owner or manager to think a lot about revenue. That is the objective behind most business after all.

However, all too often business leaders over focus on finding revenue to the exclusion of effectively managing expenses. When is the last time you to a long hard look at the expense side of the P&L report?

We advise our clients, at a minimum, to perform a detailed review of expenses once per quarter. Look for anomalies and line items that haven't been questioned in a long time. Are you sure you are getting the best deal on reoccurring expenses? Is it time to renegotiate or find a new vendor?

An expense we see often in need of an overhaul is insurance. Yes, insurance cost for aircraft has gone up but that doesn't mean you can't do better. The first step is a long conversation with your broker about how they can help you. When is the last time your insurance broker offered to help you cut cost? You will have to initiate that conversation.

Another expense that is frequently left to run amok is marketing. I am still surprised by how many companies are spending thousands on marketing programs that don't produce new customers. Again, ask direct questions of your marketing professional like "how many new customers did we get as a direct result of this marketing program?"

The adage is true, you do have to spend money to make money. However, that doesn't mean you have to overspend.

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