Let's talk about cutting expenses. A business should think of this all the time. And I'm just as guilty as the next company for ignoring it when times are good, and paying closer attention when times are not so good. Kind of like right now in the middle of this pandemic. So I'm going to give you a bunch of ways to cut expenses, but there are tons of ways. And just Googling it will bring up hundreds of articles on the subject. So do that to do whatever it takes to make your business more viable.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 274
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Add time coded show notes here in MM:SS format followed by note[03:50] Tom's introduction to Expense Cleanup [04:51] Go over credit card bills carefully [08:06] High speed Internet service [10:03] Other online services [11:59] Utilities, basic maintenance and other things [16:47] Office supplies, discretionary spending and delegation [20:08] Sponsor message [23:01] Cutting worthless forms of advertising and cutting hours [24:04] Renegotiate your lease if you're renting
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Episode 274 – Cutting Expenses
[00:00:09] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
[00:00:24] Hey, everybody, it's Tom here with episode 274 of Screw the Commute podcast. Today, I'm going to show you some tricks of the trade in cleaning up worthless expenses and saving yourself money. Plus, do you think being loyal to a company is advantageous to you? Well, wait till you hear how insurance companies take advantage of you and at the same time make you think you're get a deal. I'm going to reveal that in this episode. Hope you didn't miss episode 273. Barbara Anne Cookson. She is the super hero speaker. She makes super heroes out of everybody she meets. So check that out at episode 273. Now, how would you like to hear your own voice here on screw the commute? If the show has helped you out at all in your business and giving you ideas that help you start a business. We want to hear about it. Visit, screwthecommute.com and look for a little blue sidebar that says Send the voice mail. Click on it and talk into your phone or computer and and tell me how the show's helped you. And also put your website in there so you can get a big shout out on a future episode of Screw that commute. Grab a copy of your automation e-book. We sell it for 27 bucks and I guarantee it could be worth millions to you and saved time and business that you get because you took care of people fast and they love that. So check that out at screwthecommute.com/automatefree. And while you're over there, you may as well grab a copy of our podcast app. Why not? screwthecommute.com/app and you can download it. Take us with you on the road. And it does all kinds of cool things. Plus we have full training, video and screen captures to show you how to use it. So you're not trying to figure it out by yourself. Now we're in the middle of this pandemic. Everybody's quarantined. On Google the work from home keyword is going crazy. And it's nothing new to me. I've been doing it since 1977. And I've been preaching it on the Internet stuff since 1994 when I started selling how great this is. Actually, I started preaching about '96 when I started making really good money. But really this you know, you can see how bad it can be in the world. Well, guess what? I'm sitting here like people say, oh, hey, are you OK? Well, I've been sitting here anyway. There's no difference to me. And this could happen for you and your life doesn't mean you have to quit what you're doing. But if you add a good online business, either as a side hustle or full time, it can really give you like an insurance policy for your family. Plus, it's a great legacy gift for any young people in your life. Grandchildren, children, nephews, nieces. Put him in my school, give them a chance to make a lot of money without being crippled in debt like these crazy colleges are doing to him. So check it out at IMTCVA.org or just give me a call. No obligation. I'll tell you all about the potential future on the internet and living a lifestyle business that doesn't make you freak out when you can't go to work.
[00:03:53] All right, let's get to the main event. Let's talk about cutting expenses. A business should think of this all the time. And I'm just as guilty as the next company for ignoring it. When times are good and paying closer attention, when times are not so good. Kind of like right now in the middle of this pandemic. So I'm going to give you a bunch of ways to cut expenses, but there are tons of ways. And just Googling it will bring up hundreds of articles on the subject. So so do that to do whatever it takes to make your business more viable. See, if you cut expenses, you don't have to bring in nearly as much money to be profitable or to keep the business alive in periods like this. And I hope you don't have to weather too many pandemics in your business career. But but in the course of normal business ups and downs, you can keep more money in your pocket than to let it fly out the window for things that aren't necessary or serving you well.
[00:04:53] Let's get started. And these are in no particular order. One of the first things you can do, and this is relatively easy one to keep up with is to go over your credit card bills carefully each month, not only to spot unnecessary expenses, but to watch for fraud.
[00:05:09] I mean, verify everything. Watch for very small charges used by scammers to see if the card is good. One time I was in the office of my good friend Starlee Murray down in Texas. And. She got a delivery at her office door and it was a bunch of face cream. She calls her husband up. Did you order a bunch of face cream? He said, no, I did. It was fraudulent. And somebody had gotten a hold of her credit card somehow. And so I said, let's go over your credit card bills, because, you know, I have a consumer advocate anti-fraud show in development called Scam Brigade. And we looked at her credit card bills, there was there were some little charges for a dollar or seventy five cents sprinkling in there. Well, that's that's like screaming. If you'd bothered to look that there's. People were testing your credit card to see if it's good so they can hit you with other stuff.
[00:06:06] And if you don't notice the little stuff, you won't notice the $30 a month. Let's say that was good coming in for this face cream. So and then they they never let you get it. You know, they cheated in the first place and they never let you get out of it. You know, you can't get ahold of anybody. So you got to go through your credit card company. So.
[00:06:25] So watch for that kind of stuff.
[00:06:27] Now make yourself a rule if you haven't used something in a certain amount of months. Let's say get rid of it. If it's a recurring expense. I even had to do this on my tennis membership sites. I was in $20 month site for two sites and then I got hurt and I knew I wouldn't be able to play for a year. So I just bit the ball and cancelled them both. Hey, just last month I got rid of one hundred and fifty dollars a month of worthless expenses that I used to use them all the time. These services online. But because of newer technologies, I just don't use them anymore. And I'd rather have that eighteen hundred dollars a year in my bank account than theirs. Hey. And sometimes you got to play some games to get the discounts you want.
[00:07:14] For instance, cable companies are scrambling to keep customers because services like Netflix, Hulu, Roku, Amazon Fire, Pluto.TV which my first protege just sold for three hundred forty million dollars. All right.
[00:07:32] But anyway, they've got thousands of shows. So you call up your cable company and discuss cancellation, huh?
[00:07:39] He can watch him jump through hoops to offer you deals that keep you. Now, be careful. If you do cancel, they'll try to screw you on a two year contract. So that kind of stuff. So pay attention when your contract is up. And like I said, the rub salt in their wounds. He can add to their pain by mentioning Roku and Hulu and Netflix.
[00:08:03] That's me. And I know the person on the phone doesn't care.
[00:08:08] And let me tell you what happened to me with my high speed Internet. You would have thought I was sitting in a used car dealership. I saw an ad for eighty nine ninety five for gigabit service. That's like screaming fast hundreds of times faster than what I already had. That was fast. I thought, oh, this is great. So I call up. And I say how one day eighty nine ninety five deal you got. OK, great. And then they make me sit there. All right. Oh, let me check your account. So they go away for five minutes, you know, like they do in the car dealer will let me go talk to the match. OK. So Guy comes back and. And also, this is another sidebar here. You know, this call will be recorded for blah, blah, blah. I said, I'm going to record the call to. No, you're not.
[00:08:53] No, I'll hang up if you do. Oh. Why? No. Would you use. Can't record it as an. Okay. Oh did I.
[00:09:02] Who knows. His. So anyway. That was a little sidebar.
[00:09:06] Anyway the guy goes away, comes back, says OK Mr. Antion I got your all signed up. la-la-la your bill. Bill's only going to be nine hundred and forty one dollars A. What. I just got on his phone and told you I wanted the eighty nine ninety five special that you have advertised. Oh yeah. Yeah. Oh let me go in. There must be some bundles I gotta get for you. Let me go check the side of a gun. He leaves me sitting there five more minutes. Comes back at least five minutes. Calls back. He says oh yeah, ok. If we with this one though here in this bundle here. OK, it'll be eighty nine ninety five a month. It's up like strangle you.
[00:09:48] You know if I had just been a like a an assistant at a big company the bill would have started coming in at nine hundred forty one dollars a month. Nobody would question it. And they'd make a windfall. All right. So you got to watch for these kind of things. These people are scum. They're scum. They'll do anything. Where do you hear some of the thing the insurance companies are doing a little later? All right. So, anyway, that was my Internet story. I know I'm going to be getting into some really big stuff later that can save you literally a fortune.
[00:10:20] But but let's talk about some other about online services now and programs you may have purchased that have recurring billing for some of these services, may have some generalized training that you might want to keep and you rightfully paid for. I just canceled a service that provided some fancy techniques and technology when sending out e-mail. Now, the technology is readily available in services. I already have. And I paid this company a lot of money over the years and paid for the training many times over. So I just used a screen capture video program called camtasia. I played their training videos and copied them for my personal use. I don't see anything wrong with this. And had I not mentioned it here, no one on earth would even know about it. OK.
[00:11:10] Another thing you can do is buy in bulk of things you really need and use. See, here at my retreat center, I wasn't scrambling for toilet paper during this pandemic. I mean, still, the aisles are empty of toilet paper. I know. I don't know why, but I've got enough for the next 10 pandemics at my retreat center because we have guests in all the time. So so people are getting so crazy. I was thinking about standing outside a Wal-Mart and selling it by the sheet.
[00:11:40] Some Internet guy. I was thinking, hey, I'll invent virtual toilet paper or e toilet paper it?i for short. Maybe Steven Spielberg will make a movie about it. E.T. toilet paper at home. Call home. Home Depot. OK. Here now here's one that I hear my dad in my ear. You know, temperature settings, especially when no one is there. This is my dad talking. I mean, I can hear him saying, who's paying the electric bill? Well, that voice in my ear has saved me tens of thousands of dollars in electric bills over the years. And now that we're going to L.E.D. lighting, you can save even more and leave more lights on if you want. So pay attention to utilities. You can waste a lot of money on electric by letting stuff run when it's not necessary. How about this? Learn basic maintenance of stuff and you can save yourself literally a fortune. Now, am I going to call a plumber to fix a little leak? No. I'm going to turn off the main water and fix it. The same for the floaty thing or the little rubber thing in my back of my toilet. It would cost you a hundred bucks for someone to come out and replace the two dollar rubble rubber thing in your toilet. This is my delegation rant.
[00:13:04] I get so sick of hearing these other speakers telling your delegates everything you know, only only do what you're good at. And I'm sitting there thinking if what you're good at is making you broke. Maybe you should rethink that and improve your skill set. Why do you think I've been able to amass such a good business? Not because I'm the most brilliant Internet marketer in the world. I'm damn good, but I'm not. I'm probably not the best. No, who claims to be the best? Right. But. I know how to run a business. All right, so that you don't waste things and doesn't mean I'm cheap either. But I don't. I pay attention to two things that don't need to be paid for that I could easily either do myself or learn to do myself or bring it in house. So someone here that I'm already paying could do it. Say. So that's my delegation rant. I just can't stand that because you can delegate yourself right into the poorhouse. I mean, you get get knowledge. I mean, a WordPress Web site. Could cost you five thousand dollars or one hundred and fifty dollars. Now. Which makes more sense to you. Okay. Whoa. I heard somebody complaining the other night, one of my students.
[00:14:19] Well, I'm or I'm not technically. No, that doesn't fly anymore. Get off your ass and and learn something. Do something. At an 82 year old lady making a Web site. See, she had the right attitude about things, learn and get skills, and then you're never going to get screwed. I mean, you know, if you believe that 5000 bucks is a better idea than 150 for the same quality world class Web site, you shouldn't be allowed out of the house with your credit cards or excuse me, not even out of the house. You're not even allowed in the house now on this pandemic, who shouldn't be allowed to get on your computer with your credit card anywhere in sight?
[00:14:59] All right. Because that's just ridiculous to not get skills that can really help you. My school, the Cat 5 cables all around the school. Those are Internet cables. While they were run by somebody else in the walls, when they were putting the walls up, but hooking them all up like while you pay to pay a thousand bucks to have somebody to come in and hook them up. I sat there on a Saturday afternoon, watched YouTube videos, channeling my dad, who taught me to be self-sufficient and did the whole thing myself. And now I know what to do. Something goes wrong. And what happens when you can't get anybody a holiday weekend or they triple the rates for a year or they won't come out at all because of this pandemic? Well, you're basically screwed, but in many cases you screwed yourself because you refuse to get off your butt and learn things.
[00:15:57] And this isn't just, guys, I really get a kick out of the pink tool belts and pink tools are out there. Women are taking the lead because so many males are coming up, they can't do crap but cry and go hide in their safe spaces.
[00:16:10] All right. I actually heard this on TV that. And, you know, it has to be true. It is on TV that women can't find guys to marry because they're all a bunch of soy boys that can't do crap, you know?
[00:16:22] So no. But for everybody, male and female and whatever you ah, learned to do stuff for yourself become more self-sufficient.
[00:16:32] And I'm not telling you to become a programmer or stuff that's or electrician that's going to go electrocute yourself. No, no. But some things are just not that hard to learn if you get off your lazy butt and do it.
[00:16:45] All right. There's my rant on that delegation rant. All right. Let's switch to some other stuff. Do you know that it's is cheaper to buy office supplies at Wal-Mart than than the major office stores? You can go to Wal-Mart online and get way cheaper than other places. Another thing it can do is eliminate discretionary spending. What if you were going to have your office painted? Wow. Does it really need it? I mean, maybe it needs it. If you had high end clients that came in and you don't want to, you know. But most of the time, that's ego. You just want a fancy office. So eliminate your discretionary spending, especially in downtimes. Now, here's the one that's going to that should infuriate. Yeah, I want you to evaluate your insurance and that's a good thing all the time.
[00:17:35] Make sure you aren't under or over insured or have duplicate coverage as I did a whole thing on insurance. How one time I got screwed over because I had a $6000 deductible and didn't know it and my damages were $6000. I had to eat the whole thing, say so pay attention to that kind of stuff.
[00:17:53] But here's something that I read this study a long time ago and then this is from the Dave Ramsey blog currently was mentioning it also how being loyal. This was specifically to your insurance company could screw you over. So I'm going to actually read from the blog.
[00:18:12] Let's say. Is the quote, start here. OK, here we go.
[00:18:17] So it used to be the longer you were with the company, the more they valued you and would do anything to keep you loyal. But nowadays, they're more likely to take advantage of you because you don't price shop and jump from insurance company to insurance company. And this is, like I said, from the Dave Ramsey blog.
[00:18:36] Here's the quote starting here. Price optimization is the insurance industry's term for this practice. I mean, it's a complicated process that begins with the insurance company gathering all kinds of data about your spending habits. Think about that. It's like Big Brother watching you. They didn't say that. That was me throwing that in. Okay. Then they use that information to to determine how sensitive you would be to a rate hike. Down to the amount they can charge you without tempting you to shop around for lower rates. According to the report, this often plays out for the customer in the form of a rate increase. Twenty five percent. Then they offer you a 10 percent loyalty discount. You're still paying 15 percent more, but you also believe you're getting the deal. So you stick around. But what's really happening is even though you still have a clean driving record, you're paying more than a similar customer whose data shows they're more likely to leave if the company raises their rates. So here's the bottom line from Dave Ramsey article. You are being punished for being a loyal customer. How do you like that? So it pays to jump around. Actually, when it used to be used to be to be a loyal customer meant something. Now it's opposite. All right. So before we get into some of the items that can save you a large amount of money.
[00:20:15] Well, I'll tell you about the Internet marketing retreat and joint venture program where myself and my staff work with you for a year. They either get you started in the Internet business or to use the Internet to take your existing business to the next level. Now does mean you have to take a year to make money. I mean, we got people making money within the first month. I mean, I kind of turned the Internet marketing world on its head around the year 2000 where people at my level were charging 50 or 100 grand for small businesses that teach him this stuff. And I thought, you know, that's too much money. And I know these people, they probably get the money and never teach anything. They may not even know it themselves. They just hoodwinked into giving them 50 or 100 thousand bucks. So I kind of made a mad by saying I'm going to come in at a low entry fee and then I'll take a percentage of profits that's capped. And so for me to make my big money, you got to make way bigger money and then you're not stuck with me the rest of your life. Plus, you know, I'm not going to disappear on you because I'll never get my big money.
[00:21:21] So this has been arguably the most successful longest running mentor program on the face of the earth started around here. Ninety nine to two thousand seventeen hundred customers, no lawsuits, no refunds, no people chasing me around. It has very unique aspects to it where you actually stay in my house for an immersion weekend. Of course, after the pandemic thing, we do video training, every every aspect of this we cover with you, you have unlimited access to me and my entire staff by appointment or if it's an emergency, any time for one on one tutoring.
[00:22:00] In fact, nobody at my level even talk to you, let alone actually tutor you stuff.
[00:22:06] So that's by far the best value anywhere. I have no trouble saying that and I triple dog dare any of these other gurus of supposed gurus to come challenge me on that of the value that I provide compared to the B.S. that they provide. So. So check it out at greatinternetmarketingtraining.com and then give me a call and I can discuss your future online. And also you get a scholarship to the school.
[00:22:36] If you join my mentor program, so that means you can give a legacy gift to a young person in your life or any person, you can use it yourself. Suit yourself.
[00:22:45] But I got plenty of stories about this of how, you know, young people are taken advantage of. So it's just a wonderful thing all around.
[00:22:56] Do you think I like myself here? Yeah, I do. I can sleep at night because I take care of people and I'll take care of you, too, if you give me a call. Let's get back to some other ways to cut expenses, especially some bigger ones. Make sure all your worthless forms of advertising are cut. Yes, I do want you to experiment with paid traffic, but no, I don't want you to stick with it if it's never going to bring your paid customers.
[00:23:22] And yeah, I know there's value in having your name out there, but there are plenty of ways I've covered in this podcast over two hundred seventy some episodes to do that without spending worthless ad dollars. So really take a hard look at your advertising. This is a hard when cutting back hours in many small businesses, you know, the people, you know, the key, their kids, their families, their you know, that they got a mortgage and everything. So it's much harder than some executive cutting 10000 jobs that never even met any of the people. Right. So I know that's harder, but maybe you can cut back a few hours a week for everybody to cut expenses. So that's something to explore. Now, this is can be a really big win, renegotiate your lease if you're if you're renting, if you happen to not be in a a situation where you're working from home right to your landlord, show evidence of rates and other similar properties and how they're going down, for instance, loop.
[00:24:25] That is a great place. It's at least the US wide place. I don't know if it has other countries, but shows you all the ads, the office space available and the right now with this pan that make the cost per square foot is going down. You got people, you know, brokers trying to chido offer to wash my car, do my dishes if I signed a lease or them, you know. So. So they're desperate because businesses are dropping like flies right now, mainly because they didn't keep watch their expenses. See, that's that's the whole thing. I mean, I don't want to blame this because some very good businesses are going under now, too, because this this is something we've nobody has experienced before. But but the thing is, is if you cut your expenses, keep your expenses low all the time, you can weather storms like this much easier. That way you could write your landlord, show them evidence of the rates of other similar properties, and and you might discuss closing and going bankrupt. When times are slow and a landlord is going to have lots of vacancies, you can be sure they're going to be more willing to make deals. Not none of the rates that are posted are carved in stone. Trust me, they got their bills to pay and if they see the thing falling apart, they're going to make deals. If they don't, they'll go under. It's simple as that.
[00:25:53] Now, one of the deals could be offering you a much cheaper rent for a certain period of time. Great. Awesome. But watch out for the ploy of offering you a short term discount in exchange for signing a longer term lease. Be careful of that because you don't know what the future holds. It might make sense. All right. But I'm just saying, be very careful. That's a common ploy. And maybe it's time to move to a smaller or cheaper location. Does location matter as much as you thought? You know, they say that all the time. Location, location, location. Yeah, that's true in some cases. But let me tell you about my school. I located in part the school because there was forty thousand cars per day going by with my big sign up in front of them. Guess what? Maybe three or four people in eleven years have stopped in and two of them were illiterate and the other two were probably drunk. Maybe for another kind of business, this traffic would be worthwhile. But I've proven it's not for my type of business. So no matter what the broker says about the great location, they're just blowing general smoke because I know it's not true for my business.
[00:27:07] So don't be swayed by things, you know, not to be true. And one thing you can attempt to do to stay on good terms is the offer to rent from the same landlord.
[00:27:18] But at a smaller, cheaper location. If you've been good at paying your rent, they're gonna be much more likely to want to keep you than to throw you to the wind and try to sue you for the rest of the lease and all that stuff.
[00:27:31] So the bottom line is you just don't have to grosses much in your business if you keep expenses down and there are loads of ways to do it. I highly encourage you to go to Google it and really, you know, get a sharp pencil out, look at your business and and get rid of a lot of these things that aren't serving you well. If you pay attention to this part of your business as much as any other part, you'll have a much better chance of surviving in bad times and you'll clean up in good times.
[00:28:03] All right, that's it for this. Next episode is 275 Fred Burns, he's a tremendous marketing coach. And if you want to see his cool haircut from the 90s and me playing Santa Claus for his son, check out the show notes for that episode after it's done. He's a really cool guy. I've known him for a long time. All right. We'll catch y'all on that episode. See you later.
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