What You Can Learn From My High Cable Bill

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by Tom Watson on May 28, 2010

My wife Sue came to me today with news concerning our cable bill. The monthly price has become a topic of conversation in our home lately as the price jumped to $158.00 per month recently.

This of course set off alarm bells in Sues head because she knows we do not watch $158.00 worth of TV. Aside from the late night news and the occasional hockey game our TVs sit dormant most of the day. So the thought of $1896.00 per year for two sets to sit quietly on their stand gets her fired up.

This lead to her calling the cable company to discuss why the bill has gone so high in the last several months. It turns out our promotional period had ended which resulted in the surge in the price.

To make a long story short my wife asked a simple question. “What specials are you running that can lower my bill?” Turns out several options were available. Ultimately the price of our service dropped from $158.00 to $123.00. A savings of 35 beans per month. That is $420.00 per year!

What does this have to do with running a cleaning company?

In a word…everything. You will have many opportunities to spend money in your business career. Cable TV may not be one of them but that wasn’t the point. To stay in business you need to make wise spending choices. This means you will have to be willing to ask for a better price whenever possible. Always speak up and see if some better option is available.

In addition you will always need to re-evaluate your spending patterns to make sure they are in line with your current reality. It would have been easy to let the cable bill go unnoticed. But that would be a poor spending decision and being in business has taught us to be on the lookout for poor business decisions.

A primary goal in business is to turn a profit. To do this your expenses need to be as low as possible. Especially in the beginning when every dollar is critical. Strive to keep your overhead as low as possible. Every dollar you waste is one you need to re-earn. So unless you like to do everything twice scrutinize each expenditure to maximize what capital you have.

I’ve been in business long enough to see both close friends and total strangers fail in an attempt to start a business. The common thread that ties them together is poor spending patterns. Pay attention to all your expenses, even the small ones. Remember the $35.00 my wife saved us? That $35.00 per month ($420.00 per year) is better in my pocket than the local cable giant. Use the same principles in your finances and you will build a lasting company.

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