Running a business is stressful, especially when you’re just getting started and money is tight. However, even if you’re a seasoned veteran and your business is running smoothly, there are always reasons to save money and make sure you stay out of the red in the lean times.
Saving money for your business doesn’t have to be all that hard, either. In fact, even small changes in how you operate on a daily basis can help save a significant amount of money over the course of a year.
Use these tips to save money for your small business in 2014.
Share Marketing Costs
Marketing your business can be very expensive, and even marketing campaigns that are generally low-cost solutions – online ads or bulk mailers, for example – can often eat in your profits. There’s also no guarantee that you’re going to get that money back, even if your marketing efforts are good.
The best way to do this for many businesses is to advertise with neighboring businesses. That means things like joint newspaper ads for both of your companies or even a spot on each other’s website.
This can increase traffic for both businesses, and as long as you’re not in direct competition, it will benefit both of you.
Ask for Referrals
Whether you work with other businesses on a regular basis or you deal with retail customers and clients, asking for referrals doesn’t have to seem like a desperate cry for business. After all, if you’ve done a good job pleasing your customers, why wouldn’t they want to refer friends, family and partner businesses to you?
The best way to ask for referrals is generally in person, but if you can’t do that, a tag-line in the bottom of an announcement e-mail or marketing pitch asking businesses to let others know what a great job you do for them can work surprisingly well.
Social Media Matters
Even if you don’t feel like your business is really going to benefit from a major social media campaign that doesn’t mean you should simply ignore social media marketing. After all, almost everybody is using some form of social media these days, and without it, your business may get less exposure than your competitors.
Social media, even if it doesn’t bring you tons of business, can serve as a great reminder to your previous customers that you’re still there, offering the same goods or services they once enjoyed.
Social media sites like Twitter and LinkedIn are also ideal for business owners looking to connect with partner business and to market their services to professionals instead of retail customers.
Buy Used and Recycled
Saving money in business isn’t just about spending less on marketing – it’s also about conducting day-to-day business in a smart manner. That’s why buying used and recycled items can save your business a lot at the end of the year.
Items like recycled ink cartridges for printers cost less than half of new ones in most cases and are generally just as efficient. Used office furniture is also much cheaper than new furniture, and you’ll often be able to buy higher quality pieces for a fraction of what inexpensive new pieces would cost you.
Saving money for your business means that you can spend more money on growing when expansion is right for your company, and eventually, it means more cushion in case of a rainy day. You’ll do everything you can to prevent that rainy day, but being prepared for it is often the best umbrella to help you weather the storm.
Naomi Shaw is a stay-at-home mom in Southern California. She enjoys giving insight, advice and much more about DIY crafts and family.