I recently completed my provisional patent application and was working with my lawyer on filing it. The paralegal tried to say I had to pay $400 or $900 dollars for the filing fee when originally, I was told it was $75. So, I went on the USPTO website and couldn’t figure out how the $400 or $900 fee was calculated and challenged the paralegal. Found out the paralegal made a mistake and I only had to pay the $75. So just by asking I went from paying $900 to $75. Thanks to God for putting on my heart and mind to investigate the filing fees. This brings me to the business 101 article this week. Don’t be afraid to see what value you can get out of a situation. Never assume that the initial price or costs of something is what you must pay. If you are at a store shopping, ask the employees if there are any discounts, coupons, or sales available. When handling your business tasks ask if the price can be lowered if you don’t like what you hear. If the other party ask you what you think costs should be, figure out what your preferred number is. Throw out a lower number and leave room for negotiation if need be. Sometimes when you try to get better value for the product or service you are purchasing the other party will simply tell you no. Other times, you might find out someone made a calculation error or forgot to charge your correctly. However, even if you encounter 2/10 situations where costs have been lowered that’s money that can be set aside for something else.