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The Green SheetGreen Sheet

The Green Sheet Online Edition

February 23, 2009 • Issue 09:02:02


Cut back without cutting out

Unemployment is up, consumer spending is down and government bailouts of once sound financial institutions are proliferating. But for ISOs and merchant level salespeople (MLS), it is important to remember ways in which we're still prosperous.

For many individuals, relinquishing creature comforts gained from years of success can be frustrating. However, there are ways to cut back on expenses and retain quality lifestyles.

Trimming company or personal budgets means just that. If you want a haircut to enhance your appearance and self-esteem, you don't ask to have your head shaved - you ask for a trim. Similarly, expenses can be reduced without eliminating amenities.

Greener pasture

One way to trim your cost of doing business is to shrink overhead costs. Following are two places to start:

  • One of the simplest and most effective ways to cut costs for any sized organization is to go "green." A Web search for "going green" rendered over 73 million hits, with innumerable results providing tips and best practices. Many companies listed on the Internet provide cost-efficient "green" solutions, which may save businesses and home owners up to 40 percent in energy expenses annually.

  • Shipping expenses have fluctuated with the rise and fall of fuel prices, and the bigger delivery companies' costs for overnight and international shipping can cripple small businesses.

    But hundreds of delivery alternatives on the Web offer competitive prices and services. And perhaps it's time to reconsider the U.S. Postal Service; its shipping costs average one-third that of the two largest delivery firms.

Prudent acquisitions

Finding cheaper ways of doing the same things is another possibility. Here are three examples:

  • Video conferencing is gaining in popularity as a means to save transportation and lodging costs. (Eliminating extra business trips also helps cut fossil fuel use, making this another eco-friendly option.)

    Prices for such equipment vary, but taking this step could shave off thousands of dollars a year - perhaps more - in face-to-face conferencing costs.

  • Why not get an espresso machine at the office? There are nominal upfront expenses, but savings over the course of a year compared to buying two cups a day at the local coffee shop can be as much as 60 percent. A sure boost in employee morale is another perk - most everyone likes good coffee.

  • If your organization has a reception area or waiting room, it's likely you have magazines on hand for visitors to read. Rather than subscribe to magazines individually, consider a service that offers multiple subscriptions from one source. Maghound Enterprises Inc. is one example.

    For one monthly fee, Maghound provides more than 120 publications, and you can change your magazines or try new publications at any time.

And don't hesitate to use some of these tips and practices as marketing tools for your merchants. If they employ some of these cost-saving measures, perhaps they can save enough extra money over time to purchase additional value-added services from you.

The big picture

Being an ISO or MLS is one of the most lucrative and rewarding sales careers available. But that doesn't save reps from having to go through hard financial times.

When money is tight and stress is high, sometimes a balanced perspective is hard to achieve.

But the current economy won't stamp out long-term success. Weathering today's economic conditions may require sacrifice, but sacrifice doesn't have to include bitterness.

Set aside time every day to appreciate what is good in both your personal and professional lives.

Life is fragile and fortunes fickle. Circumstances fluctuate, compelling us to adapt - we're not always on easy street. Part of what defines the human experience is our collective response to hardship: our resilience, resourcefulness and level of cooperation.

Awaiting those who judiciously push forward is the elation that accompanies triumph. end of article

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