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By paying almost $500 million to buy Zipcar, Avis Rent-A-Car is leaping into the car-sharing service business.

For many, car-sharing has become a popular alternative to owning a vehicle or booking a traditional rental. This is particularly true for people living in metropolitan areas.

Zipcar, which was founded in 2005, parks cars at designated places throughout many major cities and college campuses across America. Members can find the location of vehicles on-line and then rent them by the hour. The popularity of this method of meeting short-term needs without having long-term expenses, has soared. In the last three years, the company has tripled its membership to over 3/4 of a million people

Might your key to fresh increase be to adopt “Zipcar Thinking?”

Over the last few months one of the enhancements that we have made at the ministry is to institute this thinking. When meeting with my business advisor we ask ourselves the following questions:

  • Are there employees, equipment and/or services that we are paying for full-time that we only use part-time?
  • Could there be greater efficiencies…plus cost savings… if we outsourced some of these services and/or reduced & increased the hours of some of our employees according to the seasons and cycles of our business?

As a result of asking these questions, we have made enhancements that are going to make us more efficient with lower costs.

My son Rock, who operates a home rehab/construction business, has reduced expenses…and stress...by sub-contracting out many of the jobs that once were done by full-time employees.

This same thinking could be applied to private airplane or vacation property ownership or even recreational craft usage. For instance, I have a friend who loves to sail. He owned a 35-foot sailboat and had to pay for dockage, insurance and maintenance expenses, even when he was not actively using the craft. He estimated that he sailed on the yacht 30 to 60 days a year.

He used this thinking and saved money, plus increased his enjoyment. He sold his boat and purchased 1/6 of a nicer boat. Now he has 1/6 of the expenses but still enjoys sailing up to 60 days a year.

The beginning of the year is a good time to evaluate changes that might cause you to reduce expenses and/or increase efficiency. Maybe there is some area of your life or business where “Zipcar Thinking” could positively impact your future.

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