Using Strategic Expenses to Enhance Your Cash Flow

If you’re looking to run a lean, efficient business, where are the places you should and should not spend money? How can you enhance your cash flow?

Here is a simple distinction that will help you make smarter strategic choices for yourself.

The distinction is between “strategic expenses” and “non-strategic expenses.”

Essentially a strategic expense are expenses for things that concretely help you improve the current and future health of the company.  They help the company reach its core goals of growth, profitability, and long term sustainability.

Non-strategic expenses are everything else.

Here are some examples of strategic expenses:

  • Sales people who sell.
  • Marketing that works.
  • Sales systems that are effective.
  • IP barriers that give you sustainable advantages.
  • Research and development breakthroughs that are salable or that to profitable products and services.
  • Practical outside expertise that positively impacts your bottom line (long and short term.)
  • Production efficiencies that lower your real costs or allow you to increase your pricing and hence yield a high return on investment.
  • Etc.

Non-strategic expenses include things like:

  • Administrative costs.
  • Most/many managers.
  • Rent.
  • Office materials and supplies.
  • Any sales or marketing person or activity that doesn’t produce increased sales.
  • Etc.

The three guiding principles when it comes to evaluating expenses  and strengthening your cash flow:

  1. Outspend your competition for STRATEGIC costs—in good times and bad.
  2. Ruthlessly cut NON-strategic costs to the bone.
  3. Repeat the process!


Keywords: executive coaching, business coaching, business coaching program, build a business not a job, grow your business, cash flow

Business David is a Wall Street Journal and Business Week bestselling author of 11 business and financial books. A syndicated columnist for and, David’s articles have appeared in over 6,500 publications. As the founder and CEO of Maui Mastermind®, David has worked with 100,000+ business coaching clients and community members to buy, build, and sell over $5 billion of businesses.