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We are all guilty in our private lives and businesses of sitting back and just taking annual increases from service providers. Who has time to call and get new quotes? Not many of us. But it is important that we take the time to do so. It usually goes like this…5 years ago you got three quotes from internet service providers and chose a winner. That decision may have been made based on lowest price, level of service provided or based on a recommendation by your colleague down the hall. Regardless of how you chose them, your decision was based on competitive packages developed and offered years ago.
In the case of internet service providers, it can start with calling your existing provider after investigating what their competitors are offering to new clients. We can literally save hundreds of dollars a year in some instances when we ask to escalate our call to a company’s “loyalty department”. Once there, raise the point that you have been a loyal customer and you want to stay with them, but their competitor is offering a much more attractive deal. Most often, they will offer you a comparable deal.
So how the heck do you find the time to do this?
So here’s how to make the project manageable. We will use the example of your office cleaning company. Next month, ask an employee to make a call to 3 cleaning companies and to report back to you by the end of that month with a summary of costs, how long they have been in business, references, etc. Make sure you communicate to the employee that it is important when describing the services you need to be exact with each company. As a result, you can compare “apples to apples”. Once all three quotes are obtained by the end of the month, sit down with your staff and discuss the pros and cons of each quote/company. Then make a decision. Stay with your existing vendor or switch over. The following month, do the same with your shredding service provider.
Another technique is to take advantage of your provincial medical association membership for offers for insurance, hotels, car rentals, benefit packages. Check out their website or call to review their offerings. In addition, large big box companies like Costco have many business service offers you can benefit from.
Hire part-time casual employees if your clinic is larger than a solo practice. If providers are out of the office 2 days a week, and the workload is reduced, you can schedule your staff accordingly.
The bottom line here, is that clinics should always keep an eye on the financials to ensure they are getting the best deal possible.