As your business grows, you’ll likely have more capital in rotation. As you bring in more money, you will also need to spend more to continue growing. 

However, it’s important to ensure that you’re not spending in excess and are still saving money where you can. Otherwise, you may find yourself in the red and facing some exceptionally difficult financial decisions.

Below, 15 members of Forbes Coaches Council share their best advice for business owners looking to keep their operations lean and save money.

1. Observe, Plan And Earn Before You Spend

Understand, observe and become fully aware of your industry and the needs of your business. Learning to optimize your costs takes time, errors, small tests and planning based on the data you collect every day. Ask yourself what you can change or improve in your current cost structure. – Michelle de Matheu, The Mind, Body & Soul Stylist

2. Say ‘No’ More Than You Say ‘Yes’

In a growing company, it is easy to say “yes” to a new product or service, to a client that does not fit your ideal client profile or to a new business category or opportunity. If you want to stay lean, say “no” to anything that is not part of your core. Focus is powerful and leads to extraordinary results. – Chuck Gulledge, Chuck Gulledge Advisors

3. Use A Variable Staffing Model

Staff your business for the valleys and supplement with contractors for the peaks. Too often startups take their funding or early revenue and hire staff too quickly. It’s smart to use a variable staffing model to cover services effectively and find that quality mix of people on staff, on contract or

I ate some odd meals last week: a turkey wrap for breakfast one day, cheddar cheese and chocolate cake for dinner the next. On a few occasions, I didn’t exactly know what the heck I was eating. But it was for a good cause. Not only was I saving the planet by reducing food waste—a cause I care about a little—I was eating cheap, a cause I care about a lot.

I was using Too Good to Go, an app-based service just launched in New York City that lets you buy leftover prepared food from grocery stores, restaurants and bakeries that would otherwise hit the trash at the end of the day.

The app lists the day’s options, which can be filtered by location, cuisine and pickup time. Customers reserve, pay in advance and then retrieve their order from the provider. Most options cost $3.99 or $4.99—a third of the menu price. Too Good to Go takes a $1.39 cut.

My favorite feature: You don’t know what you’re getting until you pick up your order. It’s a surprise!

Too Good to Go, which launched in Denmark, says it is already dishing 100,000 meals a day in 14 European countries. Its Sept. 29 New York launch was its first foray into the U.S.

About 90% of the Duck Inn’s current revenue comes from customers enjoying socially distant table service in their outdoor seating area. Especially in places like Chicago where temperatures drop below freezing, it’s one of many restaurants grappling with how to prepare for and survive winter. Photo: Nicolas Silva for The Wall Street Journal

“New York City is ready for it. We New Yorkers are pioneers—we love to be the first ones to do anything,” said Gaeleen Quinn, the company’s East Coast director.

I told Ms. Quinn that I

It’s that time of year again — open enrollment season is approaching, giving many Americans an opportunity to sit down and go over their employer-sponsored workplace benefits for next year.

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This year, amid the coronavirus pandemic, more than 70% of employees plan to spend more time reviewing voluntary benefit options offered by their employer, according to a September survey by Voya Financial.


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While most employees are generally familiar with their employer-sponsored health insurance and retirement plans, they may be overlooking other benefits that could help them save money or better protect against an event such as an accident or illness.

“You want to see if there’s anything else out there that you could be taking advantage of to improve your your health, or your financial health or both,” said Kim Buckey, vice president of client services at benefits consultant DirectPath. “We don’t want to miss out on something better and cheaper.”

Where to go for help

If you’re not sure what your employer offers, or want to learn more about your particular plan, there are a few places you can turn to for help.

Your employer may have sent you an updated benefits packet in the mail or online, which you should scan to refamiliarize yourself with offerings, Buckey said. Because the pandemic has limited in-person meetings this year, Buckey said, many companies are offering increased support to enroll in benefits one-on-one over the phone with an independent third party.

“You can call up and spend 20 minutes talking to someone who knows the company’s benefits but is independent so you can ask your deepest, darkest, most embarrassing and personal questions,” said Buckey.

How to choose your health care plan during open enrollment



Buckey advised against is taking your

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  • I grew up in a penny-pinching household and kept it up when I moved out on my own.
  • Living frugally helped me save $5,000 in a year when I was earning just $30,000. As my income rose, I didn’t let my expenses rise with it.
  • That’s when I had a lightbulb moment: The key to building wealth and savings isn’t frugality or increasing your earning potential, it’s a smart balance of both.
  • Find out what a financial planner can do for you with Personal Finance Insider’s free e-book »

Growing up in a single-parent household, where the state of our finances waxed and waned, my mom was incredibly frugal. We’d go to Big Lots to buy sundry food items and school supplies, and I wore hand-me-downs from an older cousin. 

From an early age, I made the connection between frugality and abundance. I also made the connection of not having enough money to stress and anxiety. In turn, I turned out to be quite the penny-pincher. And being that way helped me save aggressively.

When I was in my early 20s, I lived well within my means and managed to save $5,000 within the first year of living on my own in Los Angeles. At the time, I was earning a salary of $30,000. For the first decade or so of being gainfully employed, I practiced an extreme form of frugality.

Because of my extremely frugal ways, I was able to keep around $10,000 in my emergency fund and set 12% of each paycheck toward retirement. But it wasn’t until

It would be an understatement to say that Canadian pot producer Aurora Cannabis (NYSE: ACB) is having a tough go. The company is coming off a disappointing fourth quarter in which its sales declined 5% from the previous period, and it is forecasting revenue to continue its fall in the next quarter. It has a new CEO, but there are no signs that the leadership switch will provide any immediate fixes. Its shares are already down more than 80% this year and could continue to fall even further. Needless to say, this is not what investors were hoping for.

When billionaire investor Nelson Peltz joined Aurora in 2019, many investors saw him as someone who could add stability and unlock growth opportunities, by using his connections to broker a deal with a company from another industry, not unlike the arrangement rival Canopy Growth (NYSE: CGC) has with Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ). But since coming aboard, there haven’t been any hoped-for blockbuster deals. Now that he’s resigned, it’s hard not to look back on Peltz’s time with the company as a disappointment. Let’s take a look at what factors may have impacted his ability to make a deal.

Two men, one wearing a black suit and the other in a white shirt, shake hands.

Image source: Getty Images

There were deals happening in the beverage industry, but Aurora stayed on the sidelines

The bulk of the deals in the cannabis industry so far have involved beverage companies looking to tap into a new segment: cannabis beverages. Besides Constellation and Canopy Growth, other notable deals include Tilray‘s partnership with Anheuser-Busch InBev and HEXO‘s joint venture with Molson Coors. Constellation’s situation, however, is the only one in which a company actually spent billions of dollars investing directly in a cannabis producer. It’s been evident over the past few years that if you’re a cannabis company