Common Sense Money Saving Ideas for Small Businesses

Business speculates to accumulate, yes, but small businesses must be savvy with spending, cutting appropriate cost corners to make the most of the business message or there'll be no business in these harsh economic times.

Downturns have taught us to simplify and use common sense, as these small business money saving ideas illustrate:

Get a business account that serve your needs without buying embellishments your business doesn't. Consider online services like PayPal for invoices and collecting revenue.

Is more home-working viable? Must you move people about for meetings, sociable though they may? Use smart technology to communicate, brainstorm and make decisions. If shifting goods, negotiate deals with carriers by regular but fewer pick ups; share deliveries with neighbouring businesses.

Do you need so much, or any? If you have a customer base, sell more to it by special offers/incentives, or suggest new purchases. If word of mouth builds trade, make the word good from those who actually know you.

Do you need latest gizmos? Could you lease economically? Could you share appliances and services with other businesses? The old adage 'does every house in the street need its own lawnmower?' makes commercial sense for small business (unless you're selling lawnmowers). Bartering is popular now, give it a try; they can only say no.

Make sure you keep yours accurately, to save money clearing mess later. End of year crumpled receipts are not good enough. Keep simple daily or weekly columns of expenditure and income, what it was for; keep VAT in order. Help yourself with self-assessment tax returns as you go along.

Are you hiring too much space? In the wrong place? Do you need a physical showroom, when the internet shows virtual shelves of every object made, and how it will look on a customer or in his/her home.

(1). Don't join professional trade bodies unless you can turn their networking, new ideas or prestige into revenue.

(2). Do network, build partnerships. Other businesses, not necessarily in your line, can bring something you don't have, and vice versa. A good finance expert, bookkeeper, sales person, designer, web boff could give you 2 days a week and the rest elsewhere. Part timers usually give more than their paid part!

Light and heat burn cash. Nudge thermostats down; off 30 mins before day's end. Research business energy deals, especially if your home is your office. Play suppliers against another, exploit comparison sites and cash-back deals.