You don’t see the muck at the bottom of the river until the water is low.
So said my wise economics professors in the comments on my MBA paper. That was (yikes) 20 years ago – but the message is still so relevant.
When sales are flowing and we are scaling and growing, we aren’t always paying attention to the expenses. But when things slow down (less water) our expenses are easier to see (the muck).
Right now, we have different economists with different predictions as to the potential severity of, or even if there will be a recession. That being said, it is a good idea to prepare. And honestly, whether we have a recession or not, these steps are just good business practices to follow on a regular basis.
So let’s review some of the muck before the water levels get low – taking care of the first layer of muck at a minimum. This will give you more capital to weather a storm or to create opportunities!
Step One: Stop Donating
I’m talking about those subscriptions that you don’t use anymore, those free trials that turned into monthly payments and you didn’t notice, and the news site you don’t read. When you keep paying automatically every month for products and services you don’t need or use, you’re essentially making a donation to someone else’s business!
Easiest place to start looking for these culprits? Your credit card statements. Make a list and evaluate each one. Do you still use it? Is it worth it?
Step Two: Start Shopping
Yup, you heard me. There are certain expenses you have that you did a lot of research into when you first set them up. But things can change. You may not still be getting the best deal out there anymore. Review what you need, how much you use, and if there’s a better program that works for you.
Some of the major places to start:: Cell phone, Cable, House, and Car Insurance.
Talk to your carriers – is there a better program that is less expensive based on your usage? Can you bundle? Will a competitor give you a better rate? Will your current provider match it? Getting the best deal once doesn’t mean it’s the best deal forever. Routinely shop around.
Step Three: Evaluate your Convenience Premiums
I have some habits that started during the pandemic – like using UberEats, Skip the Dishes and having my groceries delivered. It made total sense then, but I am changing some of these behaviors now because I’m no longer willing to pay the convenience premium. It isn’t worth it to me anymore.
What habits and spending patterns do you have that are about saving your time and/or effort? With the escalating costs of groceries, eating out, etc. you may decide that it is totally worth it to cook a turkey than to buy 4 chicken breasts (Similar cost! But way more servings). Maybe you’ll decide that given the extra cost you’ll cut up your own peppers. What conveniences do you have that are not worth it anymore?
These steps can be done personally and in your business. I have clients who have saved thousands of dollars by doing this exercise. It can be totally worth the effort!
Like these muck-reducing strategies? I’ve got more! Register for my “3 Key Decisions To Need To Make To Thrive As A Business Owner During A Recession” Webinar for more pragmatic, easy strategies for staying ahead in this economic climate. Let’s keep the water high and the muck minimal!
3 Key Decisions You Need To Make To Thrive As A Business Owner During A Recession
Discover real actionable tips and strategies that you can implement in your business immediately to ensure the strongest return during and after a recession.