On a shoestring budget (and what entrepreneur isn't?), it really pays to scrimp and save. Just in case you've forgotten the value of a hard-earned dollar, we've come up our top 6 money-saving ideas to boost your business's bottom line- though some tips will save you more money than others, the end result of your overall spendthrift strategy could add up to a bundle.
1. Piggyback your advertising. Including advertising material in other mailings, such as in invoices, saves postage and other costs. Likewise, make the most of your point-of-purchase opportunities by tucking coupons, newsletters or other promotional fliers in the bag with customers' purchases.
2. Offer expert advice. Teaching a class, speaking at a community meeting, or writing an article for a local paper not only makes you look like an expert but gains low-cost attention for your business
3. Start chatting. Find newsgroups that cater to your audience, and join the fray. Often people don't start participating in online discussion groups to generate business, but as a way to find information on various subjects, but it can turn out to be the single best marketing tool they use as its only cost is time. Remember to always include your URL in your signature, but don't do any hard selling - most groups will ban you immediately. Instead, provide useful information that will make people want to visit your site.
4. Buy recycled printer cartridges / used equipment. Check Google, sites like TradeMe or your local Yellow Pages for a bargain. Save up to 60 percent by buying used computer equipment, copiers and office furniture - Auctions and newspaper classifieds are other good sources of used equipment.
5. Save by association. When looking for insurance and trade deals, check with your trade association. Many associations offer competitive group discounts with suppliers.
6. Query your consultants. The professionals you work with regularly are often easy to bargain with, thanks to the rapport you've developed with them. Ask your insurance agent, accountant or lawyer how you can cut back on their costs. You'd be surprised at the suggestions they might offer on ways to cut your premiums, reduce billable hours or avoid huge retainers. You might also barter your services.
Bonus 7. Time your payments. Ask suppliers if they give discounts for early payment. If not, it's to your advantage to pay your bills-including utilities, taxes and suppliers-as late as possible without incurring a fee - The longer funds are under your control the longer they're earning a return for you rather than someone else.