5 Ways Your Small
Business Can Do More With Less
your small business - and your
bottom line - with these easy money-saving tips.
Growing your small business isn't necessarily cheap, but are you taking
advantage of all the
options available to you? With a little digging,
you can discover more ways to save money on the things you do every day
as a small business owner.
To get started, here are five quick tips that can help your small
business grow and help improve your bottom line:
Have you ever heard of "Remnant Advertising"? When it comes to buying
advertising space, you have a lot of options. Media outlets are pretty
good about filling up their ad space, but sometimes they have a few
available holes to fill at the last minute. Typically, these remnant
slots are filled with public service or house ads, but your business
can take advantage of the shortfall, usually at a heavily discounted
rate. (That discount can sometimes be up to 90 percent off the regular
Budget-Friendly Tip: Because remnant ad
space deals are typically a last-minute type of deal, make sure your
ads are approved and ready to go in a wide variety of formats and sizes
so you don't lose out on a great bargain.
- Customer Service
Great customer service can result in free advertising! Don't
underestimate the value of word-of-mouth advertising. If you offer
amazing customer service, your happy customers will undoubtedly spread
the word. The best part: It doesn't cost you a dime. A courtesy
follow-up call, being on time for your services, a friendly thank you
note on your invoices, repeat customer discounts, being on time for
appointments, finishing projects under budget -- these aren't marketing
gimmicks. They're just good business practices that will earn you more
customers in the long run. Don't be afraid to ask a happy customer to
share their experience!
Budget-Friendly Tip: Smiles are free -
and infectious. When greeting a customer (in person or on the phone), a
smile is always an appropriate icebreaker. Even when dealing with a
complaint, a friendly demeanor leaves a lasting impression that money
Even if you run a one-person shop, you probably know that there is
always value in building solid partnerships within your community.
Don't ignore a potential networking opportunity. Spend a few minutes
online and scour LinkedIn to network with likeminded or complementary
businesses in your area. Want to get out of the office for an hour?
Find your local Better Business Bureau or Rotary International chapter
and attend a meeting or luncheon. Remember -- lunch is cheap and it only
costs a few pennies to hand out a business card, but the return on a
potential partnership could be limitless.
Budget-Friendly Tip: Before you sign up
for every networking luncheon you can find, start your networking
mission by first reconnecting with old connections (in your industry or
not). Bonus: You already know their names and breaking the ice
shouldn't be a problem. Those interactions will be good practice, too!
- Discount Programs
Don't discount the discounts! Clipping coupons is great way for
consumers to get through the lean years and survive, but discount
programs are an equally great tool that your small business can use
every day to save on expenses. For example, if you are a Verizon Small
Business customer, you already have access to the Verizon
Discount Program, which offers money-saving opportunities
from services like FedEx and AMEX.
Budget-Friendly Tip: Cash is still
king. When choosing a new vendor (or when negotiating prices with a
current vendor), ask if they offer a discount for cash transactions.
- Reward Programs
Look for easy wins, like customer appreciation programs. Check with the
service vendors you currently use to see if they have a reward program
you can join for free. With some programs, like Verizon
Small Biz Rewards, you can redeem your rewards for gift
cards, which you can use for your small business' expenses instead of
cash. You could even pass on those rewards to an exceptional employee
as a Thank You.
Budget-Friendly Tip: When shopping for
a corporate credit card for your small business, look for one that can
help track your company's expenses as well as reward you in the form of
easily redeemable cash back or airline miles.
Looking for more ways to do more with less for your company?
For more small business advice, check out Small