Creative Ways to Help Your Business Save Money

Making money is only part of the profit picture, especially in lean times. You have to squeeze every penny and look beyond business as usual.

If you have a small business, here are some creative tips to find cash in places you may not have looked before.


Advertising and marketing

• Team up with other businesses to buy ads, share mailing lists and cross-promote.

• Advertise on local cable television, which has much lower rates.

• Share your expertise by teaching a class or writing an article for a local paper or Web site.

• It’s cheaper to encourage repeat customers than look for new ones. Focus on your loyal clients.

• Take an old-fashioned approach. Pick up the phone or write a thank you.

• Slip an ad into anything you can – invoices, checks, point-of-purchase packaging.


Business expenses

• The Postal Service will fine-tune your mailing list for free, making you eligible for bar-code postage discounts.

• Ask employees to pitch in to help keep the office clean instead of hiring a daily janitorial service.

• Sublet unneeded space or share office space with another businesses.

• Take a close look at printing costs and get multiple bids. Go as paperless as possible. Consider one- or two-color pieces, or ask for paper left over from other jobs.

• Ask your power company for a free energy audit.

• Be smart with technology. Bundle services like phone, Internet, fax and web hosting. Use Cloud-based services to host data. Use shareware instead of purchasing software.


Your staff

• Raise your group health insurance deductible.

• Consider an employee-leasing service or contract workers. This may free you from providing insurance and other benefits.

• Staff up with low-cost or free college students or interns when possible.

• Use independent manufacturers’ sales reps that are paid on a commission-only basis.

• Allow employees to telecommute when possible.

• If things are dire, before you lay off people, look at reducing perks, benefits or hours.


Other ideas

• Gather your courage and ask for discounts on insurance, credit card fees, cell phone bills, rent – and especially professional services like legal and accounting.

• Barter for goods or services.

• Join an association that offers discounts.

• Team up with other business to share resources and place bigger orders that qualify for discounts.


Take a close, ruthless look at your expenditures. You’re likely to find countless other ways to trim the fat.



Small Business Administration


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Susan Peters