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9 Creative Ways to Save Money

Looking to save money? What small business isn’t? Here are some creative ways to trim your expenses today.

Ask for a discount. Whether it’s your Internet provider or your credit card vendor, most vendors have quantity discounts for good customers. Even if they don’t, it pays to ask. If you’ve been a loyal customer, call your vendors and simply ask them what they can do to cut your bill. Some vendors are authorized to offer up on-the-spot discounts depending on the situation.

Cut phone costs. If you use your cellphone more than your landline, consider getting rid of the landline and having all calls forwarded to your cellphone. Take advantage of Skype, a software program that allows you to make phone calls via the Internet. The basic service is free and can be used for local, long distance and international calls which will help to cut your phone bill. Skype is also hands-free, so you can type notes on your computer and chat at the same time. Also, configure your office computers to send and receive faxes.

Use virtual samples. While many distributors are accustomed to using samples as a way to appeal to buyers and prospects, they’re not always necessary to make a sale. A great way to cut costs is to start using virtual samples, which show customers exactly what the product will look like with their logo on it.

Hire interns. For a small business, this is an ideal way to get low-cost, yet highly motivated workers. Contact your local schools and universities to get in touch with program coordinators. Just make sure you offer meaningful work that will be helpful to college students. Give the job an appealing title (like “customer service coordinator”) to attract potential candidates.

Go Green. Is your office as environmentally friendly as it could be? By adopting eco-friendly measures, like installing energy-saving blubs and putting timers on your lights and thermostats, you can save money while also doing your part to help the environment.

Eliminate memberships. When’s the last time you attended your local networking club? If you’re paying fees to organizations that you’re just not involved in, withdraw your membership. Consider expanding your virtual networking efforts instead. For example, you might increase your LinkedIn contacts and begin posting case studies and articles that might interest your contacts.

Pay down/off credit cards. Do what you can to pay off high-interest credit cards and avoid making new purchases if you can’t pay cash. Don’t cancel your cards—they help build credit. Just don’t use them.

Go paperless. Stop printing out everything. Aim toward a paperless office, and do as much as you can (including paying your bills) online.

Get free software. Visit Download.com to try all kinds of helpful software products for free via trial downloads and limited versions of full products.