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Cutting expenses for small businesses

Smart tips for reducing your budget while still giving attention to advertising

There isn’t a business owner out there who doesn’t want to save a bit of money. Though there are probably several areas where a company can skimp on spending, advertising shouldn’t be one. Check out these tips for reducing a marketing budget while still giving attention to advertising, as well as ways to cut costs in other areas of business management.

Put yourself out there 
One way to promote the business is by reaching out into the community. Consider writing an article about the industry for a local newspaper or blog. This will show expertise by an individual and the company as a whole. A written piece may contain helpful tips and pointers, focus on a developing issue in the field or discuss any other topic that seems appropriate.

In the same vein, look for a community meeting or event where someone from the company could speak to gain notoriety. Depending on the business, some potential venues are school assemblies, the monthly meeting for a pertinent town office and seasonal celebrations. Research the cost of placing an ad on the local cable access channel for even more visibility. Though a limited demographic will be able to see it, viewers are guaranteed to live near the business.

Flaunt what you’ve got
As a successful small business, there are certainly people out there who have been well served by the product or service provided. Reach out to loyal customers that have repeatedly expressed delight about the company. Find out if any of them would be willing to write a testimonial about their experience as promotional material. These can be posted anywhere from the company website and social media pages to regular promotional emails.

Use promotional products
An order of custom promotional products is often within the marketing budget of small businesses. Items range from custom pens to personalized business gifts, and there are endless options between. Brainstorm which products fit well with the marketing mix, the industry and the company mission. They can be given out for freebies, used as prizes for contests or function within a rewards program. Ultimately, personalized products will reach many hands and in turn, stay in the minds of current and potential customers.

6 ways to further cut expenses

  1. Recycle print cartridges: Look for local companies that sell recycled printer cartridges. Some office stores will also refill empty cartridge for a reduced price.
  2. Hire interns: Contact local colleges about internship programs. Unpaid internships are the norm but if the company has a policy against that practice, find out if interns can receive college credit instead. This is a win-win situation because the business is receiving work that is technically free while students gain experience.
  3. Track small expenses: Little costs can really add up. Even if they aren’t necessary to report for tax purposes, keep a running tab. It may provide insight into where funds go and point to places spending can be reduced.
  4. Compare prices: Don’t accept the first price that is offered. Entrepreneur magazine said businesses should see at least three options for a product or service before making a decision.
  5. Increase invoice turnaround time: According to Wasp Buzz, processing one invoice can cost up to $14. Decrease the billing turnaround period to improve cash flow and be sure to follow up often on unpaid accounts.
  6. Pay employees as you need them: Money is being wasted when salaried employees aren’t being productive. Think about keeping staff lean and hiring temporary workers during busy times. This will ensure the people who remain full-time employees will always have work to do but production won’t suffer when surges happen.
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