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7 Money-Saving Tips for Small Business

By: Megan Totka

 

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Money is one of the main ingredients in the recipe for success (or failure) of a small business. A necessary step in creating a budget you can stick to is finding the best ways to save money. You’ll be surprised to learn how simple some of these tips are to implement. Keep your small business profitable by making smart, inexpensive changes in the way you operate.

1. Cut Marketing Costs
 
Collaborative marketing involves combining marketing efforts with other businesses. You could offer coupons to partner businesses stapled to receipts or inside customers’ bags. Share media space and split the cost. Post ads for partners inside your shop or keep their business cards in your office. If you’re strictly digital, include partner coupon codes in email marketing or on your site in exchange for similar offers you extend to your partners’ customers.
2. Save on Software
Learning to use a different office software suite is fairly easy for if you’re already familiar with one. Cloud-based Google Drive™ is completely free and allows you to create documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and more. Access them on a variety of devices and export them into many formats. Google Apps for Business costs $5 per user per month and provides you with an email address at your chosen domain name plus 24/7 customer support. Download.com provides access to freeware and shareware. Because you download the software, you can instantly try multiple software solutions before you buy.
3. Join or Form a Co-op
Businesses can band together to purchase goods in bulk at low prices. Think of it as a Costco® for small business owners. Forming co-ops this way can bring you new customers, help you negotiate lower costs on everything from paper clips to a new website, and help you build relationships with other small businesses. Co-op buying also lets you reap the rewards of buying in bulk without getting stuck with 10,000 envelopes you’ll never use.
4. Point of Sale
Business owners now have several major options to choose from when selecting a payment processing app, including Square, Breadcrumb®, GoPayment®, and Paypal Here®. For small businesses, these point of sale (POS) apps provide the opportunity to accept credit card payments without an impossibly large initial investment. Over the long term, they save you big money in fees. Accessories like the Square Stand even allow you to turn your tablet into a tabletop cash register. Pricing varies widely between POS apps, so shop around to find one that does what you need for the best price.
5. Tax Breaks and Deductions
If you do your own accounting and business tax preparation, knowing what kinds of tax breaks and deductions you can take will save you a lot of money. You could be eligible for tax breaks you don’t even know about. For example, through 2016, the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit gives a 30% tax credit for eco-friendly upgrades to your home (and home office). Other deductions to be aware of: Internet service, industry magazine subscriptions, email contact lists, classes and training to improve industry knowledge, and utilities in your home office.
6. Go Paperless
Did you just roll your eyes? You’ve heard it before, but if you haven’t gone totally paperless yet, you clearly haven’t been listening. It’s much faster and simpler to organize digital files than to sort and store paper files. Data storage takes up less square footage than paper storage. If you implement reasonably priced cloud storage and low-cost or free software, getting rid of paper will save you money. Printing less will also put a dent in high ink costs, while shifting part of your mailing campaign to email may save you postage costs without hurting your marketing efforts.
7. Save Time
Sometimes sole proprietors and small business owners take the DIY approach, believing it will save them money. However, anything that takes too much time is actually costing you money. This is especially important for independent contractors or freelancers, who are only earning when they’re working. Designing a website yourself to avoid paying a designer can land you a crummy-looking website and hours spent not doing paying work. Instead, hire a designer who can do a great job and keep yourself free to run your business.
Finding ways to save money doesn’t have to mean totally eliminating anything from your budget or making sacrifices. By implementing creative solutions, you can keep your costs down while still meeting your business needs.
This article was co-authored by Diana Doherty, a freelance writer specializing in SEO content and a contributor to ChamberofCommerce.com. She loves all things tech, photography, craft, military family life, and business. She earned her BA in English Writing Arts from SUNY Oswego.
Published: July 11, 2013
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Megan Totka

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources and business news. Megan has several years of experience on the topics of small business marketing, copywriting, SEO, online conversions and social media. Megan spends much of her time establishing new relationships for ChamberofCommerce.com, publishing weekly newsletters educating small business on the importance of web presence, and contributing to a number of publications on the web. Megan can be reached at megan@chamberofcommerce.com.

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