Let me start by saying coffee changed my life!
We signed into a coffee subscription service for office coffee when we moved into a new office space about ten years ago. This is fairly common as everyone I knew had some sort of cool coffee pod system and I needed one too right? Long story short, we cancelled the service after a few months, and I began to wonder how may similar mistakes had I made that weren’t so obvious?
The coffee service was my little light bulb, how many similar decisions have I made? How many subscription and services had we added over the past many years. Off the top of my head we had the obvious car payments, and office lease, but I was more thinking about cell phones, credit card fee’s, bank fees, coffee services, monthly IT services, satellite radio, media services, book services, marketing subscriptions, magazines, accounting software licenses, online tools like calendars and lead tracking services, or how about things like advertising services and customer satisfaction tools? What else may I not even really know about?
The answer was astonishing, but I NEEDED all them right, my gut said that I really did NEED them! I mean, how could I not have accounting software, or online calendars, or online tools for my employee’s!? My satellite radio was paid for in my company car, how could I drive WITHOUT radio? I was left with a serious question, “What does my company NEED, and what do I NEED to be successful.”
The journey became cathartic, it was something I looked forward monthly! What I did was I found three line items each month that were the lowest priority and I cancelled them. For 12 months I wrote them down, and tried to see who would notice, I wondered if anyone would get mad, or may it change my business? By and large, everything I cancelled flew under the radar. For example, we switched from individual coffee pods, to the best Starbucks coffee we could buy and we made coffee by the pot along with an individual pod brewer (purchased pods online). This saved us hundreds per month, and nobody mentioned it. I cancelled sales lead tracking services and went back to shared .xls sheets, we kept the accounting system but cancelled satellite radio and I shifted to using only a web based streaming vendor. In the end the change was HUGE and the savings was GIGANTIC!
The key to this story is that in today’s accounting we need to focus a great deal on the subscription line items as they add up to a HUGE portion of our budgets!