5 Ways Your Small Business Can Do More With Less

Lady at a table typing on a computerBoost 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:

  1. Advertising

    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 price!)

    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.


  2. 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 can't buy.


  3. Networking

    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!


  4. 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.


  5. 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 Biz Resources.
 
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