Having less expenses and more revenue is key to succeeding in business. When you take a deep dive into money in vs. money out in your company through your extensive marketing report figures, do you see what needs to be done? If you do, are you willing to do what is best to make your enterprise thrive, no matter the cost? Founder of renowned Inc. 5000 company Income Store Ken Courtright talks about the pain, pleasure, and fear involved in making tough business decisions that ensure significant return of investment (ROI). Get your money off those unproductive factors involved in your business operations and put your finances to good use by investing it on people, tools, and methods that guarantee proven results.
Listen to the podcast here:
Stop Money Here: Channel Your Resources Into Tactics with Proven ROI
This podcast definitely defines growing business. This is an evergreen technique. I probably should’ve had a podcast on this two years ago, but it’s painful. It’s not easy. The title of this podcast is Stop Money Here. I’m going to walk you through something that we in our company did over the last 60 days. That’s the best way to explain it.
First of all, we have quarterly meetings where my wife and I, a mentor of ours, a consultant, our CFO, and our top managers meet at a hotel in a conference room for a couple days. This one was two and a half days. What we do, we discuss the topic of the day, pain points, and different things like that. We also meet monthly on smaller issues, but this was more of a bigger quarterly meeting. I walked in with a spreadsheet of the last 90 days’ expenses. I believe the first column was something to do with content. The second column was something to do with marketing and link building and physically getting attention to a piece of content. The third column was software as a service that we use regularly. The fourth was vendors, like affiliate partners. Fifth was payroll, and then there was a few others. I basically did a session on this podcast. It went like this.
I said to everybody in the room, “Can everybody clearly see the screen?” I got a unanimous. I said, “Can everybody see the bottom numbers on each of these divisions?”Everybody said yes. Then I said, “If we go back to yesterday’s meeting, can we agree that I showed everybody a 1.4 to 1ratio of cash in to cash out for a certain marketing technique?” I got unanimous agreement. What I mean by that is this. The day prior in day one of these talks, I had set up the second day’s talk by showing a graph that said for every $100 that we put out to this marketing method, it returns us $1.4 per year, and we can estimate that for at least ten years. It could go longer. If we put $100,000 into this marketing method, regardless of whatever website it goes into, that $100,000 gives us back $140,000 a year for the next ten years. It’s simple math. It’s Ken Courtright math.
That was the day before. I said, “If we look at the bottom totals of these expenses, granted these expenses could be going to assets content, that’s an asset. Link building and marketing, if you create an infographic, that’s definitely an asset. These aren’t total liabilities of expenses, but they’re technically an expense.” I said to the group, “We’re going to go around the table. Each of you are going to get the opportunity to say, ‘If we were Ken and Kerri,’” and we looked at these expenses. There was past $4 million in 90 days of expenses that went out, knowing what they know about the 1.4 return to one going out, they were to phrase it this way, “If I were Ken and Carrie, I would stop or shut down this and this,” and they would list the expenses that either we can’t quantify, have a return of 1.4 or better, or there’s going to be no way to quantify them, and they need to put a tracker in place to begin, but in the meantime they could slow them down.
The point of this exercise and the reason this podcast is titled Stop Money Here is because, on paper, this is so simple. Stop money over here. There were three pieces of software that nobody in the room could tell me we’ve even used for six months that we were paying $5,000 a month. That’s $60,000 a year that we could stop the money going there and move it over to the marketing method that returns us $85,000 a year on the $60,000 expense. Here’s the key. Picture this long, huge spreadsheet left two-thirds are expenses going out, right third, you have an opportunity to stop money here on the left side and put the money like a laser beam. Every $1you moved from the left produces $1.4 on the right.
I believe just with that setup that everybody, either in their past or in the future, is going to be faced with an employee that is not productive, a JV partner that you know could be replaced with someone better, a monthly marketing company that you’re paying SEO services or something monthly to that they cannot prove to you a $1.4 return for every $1 that you could replace. The bottom line is everybody, in the past or in their future, is going to be faced with an opportunity to stop money here and move it over there to something more productive. Here’s the question for Ken Courtright, the podcaster, “When Ken’s been running this with Kerri for five to ten years as it is, why didn’t either one of us stepped up and move the moneys from the unproductive expense columns to the productive marketing columns with a guaranteed return? Why hasn’t it been done?”
Kerri’s off the hook because she hasn’t seen these numbers up until that time. It’s all on Ken, and the reason Ken hasn’t done this is because of three words. Pain, pleasure, and fear. Pain is first. First, I don’t want to call into a division and say, “Turn off that software even though I know you’re using it, but I can physically prove it’s not productive,” because I’m a people pleaser and I know that’s going to cause them pain. I never called into the content team until recently and said, “Slow down some of this content. We can’t prove those 10% pieces are proving X% return.” Why? It’s too painful for me to stop the content manager and all of his people’s progress. I don’t want to disrupt them and hurt their feelings. It’s just as simple as that. I don’t want to cause pain.
How about pleasure? I get tremendous pleasure employing what is now close to 120 people. I love it. It’s part of my mission. I love helping families create better families. It’s what I’m built to do. To go into the payroll section of our company, I’ve never let someone go. I don’t have the guts. It’s too painful. I love the pleasure of employing people even when they stink. I’m not saying some other people in our company don’t let people go if they’re not working. Then there’s the fear factor. It’s the fear factor of even though there’s no proof I’m getting a $1.4 return for every $1, what if it is giving a good return? I’d hate to stop it and rip the Band-Aid and move it over to the right side column.
Here’s where this gets juicy. I’m sure you’ve heard of merger and acquisition companies and PEGs, private equity groups. Why is it that most PEGs and most M & A companies are instantly successful when they take over an organization? It’s really simple. They don’t have pain, pleasure, or fear. They look at the company on paper and then make numeric paper decisions. They don’t make emotional decisions. They’ll come in and typically the watch for a month, but then they’ll immediately eradicate unproductive payroll, unproductive expenses. They’ll dig into the marketing, which one has proven results, they’ll drop the marketing that doesn’t, they’ll slam on the marketing that does, and they rock.
Here’s the question, if you don’t have the time or ability to bring in an M&A company or a PEG into your organization, what are a couple of things you can do to run your company numerically and stop money here? Number one, buck up and be bigger than Ken and stop being a weenie like me and just do what you know you need to do. This is so much easier said than done. Since we are doing that and that exercise has begun, how did I pull this off without me dealing with the pain, pleasure, and fear? Simple. I delegated the task to three of the eight people in that room that have no pain, pleasure, or fear challenges like I do. They’re not built like me. Their personality profiles are the polar opposite.
Quite frankly, one of the three has joy in doing this. They love it. They love every part of it. It’s what they’re built to do. I did a hand off to maybe a different CEO or a mentor of mine or possibly my wife, and now it was almost virtually immediate. Within days, we had physical less expenses over here and much more marketing of a gas pedal down on the right side. We know now I can close my eyes, I can literally wake up in twelve weeks and we’re going to have much higher revenues on the right and much less expenses on the left. Then I’m going to be in deep pleasure because with more profit, I can employ more people. It’s a circle. For Episode 341, Stop Money Here. I hope this helps. Take care.