Zelda P. Moneysworth - Unleashed Financial Advocates Zelda P. Moneysworth - Unleashed Financial Advocates
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Stale, Pale, and Fail: The Lifecycle of Service Contracts and Subscriptions

Written by Michelle Brown

How to: Empower ownership when “on payments.”

When I tell folks the sad story of the $700/month fax machine that collected dust (and payments) month after month in 2019, or the law office that maintained a $12K in-house phone system after migrating to a work-from-home policy, the room gets a little too quiet. 

We’ve all been there, stuck on an outdated phone plan (unlimited nights and weekends, that’s not a thing, anymore, right?) or a security system for a house we no longer live in. It’s heartbreaking to start adding up all of those silly, sorry, good-for-nothin’ sunk costs. That’s money we left on the table…and now, simply out of habit, we keep leaving more and more money locked into something we no longer need or is totally outdated.

Beware things for your business that are leased, subscription, or monthly payment plans. If you’re not paying attention to them, over time, when technology advances or gets cheaper, you may find you’ve been making expensive monthly payments for no discernable reason other than “that’s the way we’ve always done it.” For firms, agencies, and proactive practices who dare not be ineffective or irrelevant, the way we’ve always done it will never do. After all, it’s hard to innovate, adapt, and grow when you’re paying $12K for a phone system no one uses. 

Is it because some sneaky sales person pulled the wool over your eyes and you made a bad decision? Absolutely not. You made the best decision at the time for you and your business. In fact, it was probably a big win towards growth and development. It’s just that over time, with no one specifically assigned to really pay attention, suddenly you’re paying for 10+ users of Filemaker Pro and you only have 5 employees. <cue the sad trombone>

These doomsday scenarios are cautionary tales we can learn from. There is absolutely a better way. Free yourself from the insanity of congested service contracts, antiquated equipment, and operating in silos by putting someone in charge of managing and maintaining your agreements in a database. 

Zelda P Moneysworth presents:

Managing the Lifecycle of Service Contracts (or, how to save your soul from the succubus of out-of-whack contracts, even if you don’t know the first thing about depreciation)

🙋‍♀️ Assign someone as your point person to take ownership over the lifecycle of a contract. Make it their job to keep their eye on redundancies, outdated pricing, and mismatched needs. If nobody’s watching, ‘bleed’ is going to happen. Put someone in charge to make sure it doesn’t. 

🖥️ Set up a centralized subscription database. Maintain everything in a cloud-based, easily accessible database, streamlined and well-aligned, to manage all of your subscriptions, service contracts, and/or leased equipment and never wonder what’s getting lost in the space/time continuum again. 

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Future-proofing an empowered business is a tough job, but you don’t have to do it alone. Impeccable back-end infrastructure that has the ability to catch every stale cost before it bleeds us dry—and breaks our hearts—doesn’t just happen. Put someone in charge of it, give them a database for easy lifecycle management, and make it a point to do a quarterly review. 

Reducing friction and facepalms, one #ProTip at a time.

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Corralling your contracts into a cloud-based, easily accessible database and implementing a workflow into your process and practices is less stress than you might think. Reach out if you want support in that effort; we’ve been smacking down stale costs like a whack-a-mole at the Indiana State Fair since 2010.

Unleashed Financial Advocates macro-management for the win: the strategy, the systems, and the integrations