By Mike Crandall
February 28, 2023

Stop wasting money

Analyze your areas of waste to make your investments of time, energy, and money worthwhile.

Everyone hates waste—in our personal lives and our professional lives. However, we seldom truly analyze our waste. We should focus on eliminating waste in three main areas: time, energy, and money.

Much like time and energy, anything we put into something that’s not a good fit becomes a waste. Some like to argue the difference with money is that you can make more of it, which is true. However, that doesn’t eliminate the fact that it’s still easy to waste. And most businesses seldom truly dissect and evaluate what’s waste and what produces results.

The greatest areas of wasted money tend to be advertising, marketing, and training. We don’t automatically waste money by doing these things; the waste comes from poor choices, bad tracking, missing accountability, or lack of follow-up.

If we put money into advertising or marketing that doesn’t produce the results we want, it’s easy to see how it’s a waste. However, most don’t do a good job of fully analyzing what did or did not work and often put even more money into the same things since they didn’t realize the waste. This often becomes a situation where we put “good money after bad.”

Recently, our team brought on a new client. In analyzing where their business came from and where advertising/marketing dollars went, we asked some challenging questions about money spent on trade shows and whether it truly got them the return on investment they wanted. After much pushback, they realized they were spending significant dollars and not getting anywhere near the return they wanted. However, they did it because that is what they had always done.

Another great area of wasted dollars is training—not because the training is bad but because the company often doesn’t fully embrace and support the investment before and after. If you’re investing dollars in training, everyone in leadership has a role to play. Otherwise, it can quickly be a huge waste.

One of my greatest memories of wasted dollars in training was when I worked for another company. Our manager sent us to a company training. Prior, he said, “It kind of sucks, but it is required.” How much value do you think the company got out of the investment with that statement being our send-off?

The money we invest in things like advertising, marketing, training, and similar initiatives should have very specific goals, plans, and actions tied to it. An example would be if we invest $8,000 for this trade show, we want these specific outcomes from it. If we don’t have those specific things to measure, it’s likely to lead to wasted money.

So, let me ask. What systems and processes do you have (and follow) that analyze where your money goes in your business? How do you set goals, make plans, and execute strategies to ensure those dollars are well invested? Not just in advertising, marketing, and training but in all areas of your organization?

These concepts seem simple; however, they’re not easy. They require us to be honest about our behaviors, habits, and attitudes, which is often painful. Wasted money is a huge frustration for most business leaders. If you don’t know with 100% certainty your dollars are being invested wisely, find a business growth consultant who can help you. Good ones often find more waste than the investment to engage their services.

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About Mike Crandall

Mike Crandall lives in Edmond, Oklahoma. He is a Consultant, Coach, Trainer, Speaker, and Author focused on the Subconscious Psychology of Human Interaction and Motivation. His firm specializes in Elevating Leadership, Management, & Sales Performance for Proactive Business Growth. Mike is based in Oklahoma and serves Visionary Clients across the United States. He can be reached at (405) 844-1700.