On Doing More With Less

Last year the expense reduction team did a fantastic job trimming expenses and keeping our division profitable. We can also use some of these same tools with our clients to help them make the most of every dollar they spend. Here are some ideas:

  • RED – We need to help our boards understand that financial decisions and investments in programs and services need to be sustainable. Spending the operating reserve or rainy-day fund of the association on unbudgeted products, programs, or services should only be done after careful review and a close observation of the risks involved. Even though it can dampen the enthusiasm of a board meeting, we need to tap the brakes and ask questions that help the board examine all angles of an investment.
  • ROI – A good habit we can take up is to ask ourselves the question, “How will this investment pay me back?” Most of the time the answer will be obvious. Other times we may be emotionally connected to an investment or purchase even though no return on investment has been clarified. If we train ourselves to think this way, we give ourselves a moment to pause and really consider what we’re spending and why.
  • R.I.P. – It is an excellent practice to examine, (especially during budget time,) our prior expenses with an eye toward eliminating some of them. Time and circumstances change. We should expect our budget to reflect these changes and we remove some elements and add others. Thinking through expenses that coincide with association activities for the year to come can help us identify some expenses that could be hiding in plain sight.