Small businesses succeed, in large part, because of entrepreneurs’ efforts to minimize costs and increase efficiency. Unfortunately, too many business owners become complacent in their daily operations and forget to actively search for the best deal. The best way small business owners can lower their expenses dramatically is by seeking out—and using—applicable discounts.

 
Your business can greatly benefit from these discounts. Through examining your current needs and desired outcomes, you can plan your approach to finding discount opportunities.
 
1. Save on Operating Expenses
 
Everyday supplies, services, signage, and technology can all be found at discounted prices through basic searches. For example, many online businesses assume that their heavy visitor traffic dooms them to higher service rates, but there are plenty of quality providers who can handle their Web traffic affordably and reliably. If you travel frequently for business, discounts are relatively easy to find and can provide a significant opportunity for savings and rewards. A business owner who keeps track of all his expenses—and has procedures in place for frequent purchases—can free up time and resources, which translates to more growth.
 
2. Strengthen Relationships with Key Vendors
 
By committing to a select group of vendors, you have the potential to reach a higher tier of discount pricing and loyalty from those companies. Long-term business relationships are based on this beneficial give-and-take, and they can lead to a sizable reduction in costs. For example, if you ship UPS Next Day Air and spend less than $49.99 a week, you will only receive a 14 percent shipping discount. However, if you commit to UPS for all your shipping costs and strategically plan to take advantage of volume shipping, you can save 28 percent with UPS. Consistent business and loyalty can earn you major discounts. The savings you accumulate can then potentially be passed on to your customers to show appreciation for their loyalty and commitment.
 
3. Join an Organization or Network
 
Reaching out and establishing yourself within another network or joining an association can leverage substantial discounts for your company. By joining networks like the Allied Business Network, Smart Business Savings, or AAA, your business can purchase from vendors and enjoy discounted rates. These networks offer incentives in several categories, including travel, lodging, supplies, and communication needs. Being a part of an organization can not only save you money, but can also expand your business’s reach nationwide. You’ll have connections (and discounts) anywhere.
 
4. Increase Efficiency and Accountability
 
By focusing on your overall cost-effectiveness, you are increasing your company’s efficiency, accountability, and profits. At any level or size of business, these details are priorities that determine the business’s level of success. Wasted hours, costs, and opportunities can condemn many small businesses with lofty ideas, but little attention to detail, to failure. If you operate an online retail outlet, examine your shipping costs and find a service willing to offer volume discounts. If you travel extensively, find a reliable network that can decrease your out-of-town costs. Increased efficiency leads to increased effectiveness.
 
Educating yourself about discount opportunities can lead to remarkable results for your bottom line. Everyday costs that might typically go unnoticed can make or break your business. Research reliable vendors and networks that can offer discounts for continued loyalty and volume of business. Opportunities abound. Seize them and make the most of each dollar.
 
This article was originally published by Outright.com.
 
Jack J. Bergman is the President of Allied Business Network, a business membership program that offers small- and medium-sized businesses discounts on items that they use every day. Jack is a business thought leader and brings businesses together with abnsave.com, smartbizsavings.com, and businessadvantageplus.com. He welcomes anyone to reach out to him on Twitter or Google+.

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