Paper Is Cheap!


I was 19 years old and had opted out of going to college, much to my parents (especially my mom’s) disappointment. I had started, of all things, a car detailing shop in my home town. It was pretty modest, in fact I rented out one stall in a local service station. Well, being the ambitious type, within 3 years I was running one of the bigger service stations in town. We were on the highway, open 24/7, had the local school bus maintenance contract, had the best deal in town on gas and oil changes and offered many other services and perks to our customers.

Somewhere in the middle of starting the detail shop and eventually climbing the ladder to running one of the nicer stations in town, I had an encounter with another local station owner.

I was the constant student so was always seeking out advice. This time he had actually stopped by to just say hi. I remember I was standing in front of our cash register and a customer came in and made a purchase. I took the money, rang it up and we were done. He ask me why the register didn’t print out a receipt? Was it broke? I answered no, I just didn’t see the need to waste paper. He then pointed out to me some basic accounting principles as well as accountability with employees that I could benefit from by simply having receipts print out each time. I responded that we really didn’t need all that and also questioned how much paper it would take daily. It seemed it was all just a waste! To which he replied “Paper is cheap”.

Hum…he had a point. In the big picture the cost of the paper was pennies.

My staff, for 20 years now, has heard me say this hundreds of times… paper is cheap, ink is cheap, printers are cheap, computers are cheap. If it makes you faster, more productive, creates fewer hassles, then it’s cheap!!!

Now, I’m not saying to be wasteful or not be green; I hope you get my bigger point here.

Bonuses and profit sharing is cheap! Finding the best and paying them accordingly is cheap. Leaving plenty on the table for your vendors and joint venture partners is cheap!

And yes, Keith Bodling, you were so right, paper is very cheap indeed!

To Your Better Future!


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Kyle Wilson is the founder of Jim Rohn International and YourSuccessStore, he also is the co-author of Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur’s Soul. To learn more about Kyle go here.

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