Father Time’s top 5 ways in 2013 to save time and money

money-300It’s budget time again! And unless you are one of the lucky few, it’s otherwise known as that friendly reminder that you are once again supposed to do more with the same (or less) resources. As an entrepreneur who started from nothing and has never had millions in venture capital funding, I eat, breathe and sleep this stuff and am passionate about helping other leaders save time and money so they can perform at a high level with less. Back by popular demand, here are my top 5 ways to free up more hours and dollars this upcoming school year:

1. How much time are you or your staff spending on finding the best and least expensive flights? Pintrips.com is a fantastic website that saves your flight search information and then connects you with the various travel and airline search sites to help you find the right flight at the right price. This is a huge time saver over the course of a year.

2. Does your school still take a chunk out of the Amazon rainforest by printing a nice, thick course catalog each year? When is the last time you used the hard copy version of the Yellow Pages? Put this entirely online and save $250,000 a year like one of our customers did. Unless you’d rather not have those extra dollars J

3. The travel industry is a game, and most folks are too in the dark or don’t have enough time to understand how to win. For example, hotels routinely change room prices based on supply and demand for different days. You could book a room at a certain price, and the hotel could lower that price 5 days later in an effort to fill empty rooms. Except who ever bothers to check back? Enter Tingo.com – if you book a room through the site and the price drops, it will automatically rebook you at the lower rate without you having to do anything.

4. Postage and printing are costs that keep rising at the same time your budget doesn’t. There is value to some printed communication, but I’m amazed at how many schools still do things they way they’ve always done them. Still sending confirmations for admit and registration days through the mail? Make this process entirely electronic and save all parties time and money.

5. Visiting with hundreds of colleges each year, I’m struck by how many complain about the declining effectiveness of high school visits. High schools are increasingly restricting access and sticking your admission counselors in the corner of the lunchroom. How effective are those conversations? Enrollment leaders are hanging on to them like I’m hanging on to my 200+ music CD’s on those big tower racks (remember those?) gathering dust in my basement. I realize it may be sacrilege to give them up completely, but follow the lead of one of our customers who freed up quite a bit of time and money by eliminating second visits and categorizing their high schools based on relationship and value and eliminated travel to the bottom third. You’ll also get higher value use out of your admission counselors since most application numbers have only gone up in the past few years.

If you want to save even more money this year, email me at cwills@studentpaths.com with the secret password EXTRA CASH in the subject line and I’ll share another creative bonus idea with you. I’d also love to hear about any tips you’ve used!

Chris Wills About Chris Wills

Father Time, or Chris Wills, is passionate about helping other leaders learn and grow and free up time they didn’t think they had. He is the Founder of Student Paths, an organization that better prepares students for their future in college, career and life readiness. You can reach Chris at: cwills@studentpaths.com

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