16 Tips for Saving Money on Your Business Expenses Without Working Harder

16 Tips for Saving Money on Your Business Expenses Without Working Hardersave money on business expenses

As entrepreneurs, we all like to see our revenue grow, right?

If you’ve ever started your own business you know that increasing revenue doesn’t come without an investment of hard work and burning the candle at both ends of the stick from time-to-time!

Every business requires hard work to get it up and running, even if the objective is to eventually produce passive income.

You can find many articles, books, and publications about how to run a business. But many entrepreneurs need more information on growing their business efficiently.

There are plenty of ways to save money in your business without working harder. Using free forms of advertising, saving on office equipment by buying used (or working from home), and finding inexpensive help for your business are all great ways to keep costs down.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at some ideas to get you started.

Save Money in your Business without Working Harder

1. Free Advertising

Don’t waste postage. Include your advertising with other mailings when it makes sense. If you’re sending out invoices, include promotional advertisements, such as a brochure or business cards, in the same envelope. Have some type of advertisement on everything that goes out of your business. For instance, you might also print a coupon on the bag you provide to customers at the point of sale.

2. Free Business Credit Monitoring

As a business owner, you have a responsibility to protect and monitor your business credit. You can access free business and personal credit scores through Nav. You can also use them for secure financing recommendations, helping you pick the best option for you. They have paid plans with a few more features such as identity theft protection and assistance in disputing errors on your business credit report.

3. Joint Venture Advertisement

Split advertising and promotion costs with other local businesses. Entrepreneurs, you can save money by jointly promoting each other’s businesses with specials. In some situations, it may make sense to share your mailing list with a business that sells matching goods or services. Obviously, make wise and ethical decisions. Sharing such lists may not be beneficial in all situations.

4. Ask For Client Referrals

The cheapest way to attract new clients is through referrals from your current clients. People will tend to use your goods or services if they are referred by someone they know. Create some type of referral program for your business and let your clients know. They will be more than happy to get something extra from you for free.

Assuming you’re doing an awesome job for all of your clients, they’ll be thrilled to offer you glowing recommendations. Sometimes all you have to do is ask!

5. Be An Expert

Teaching a class at the local library or writing an article for the local paper will highlight your skills, position you as a subject matter expert and bring attention to your business. Everybody wants to do business with the local expert! Yes, this will require a bit of additional time and effort on your part, but if you budget your time so you’re not spending too many extra hours, it can be well worth it.

6. Utilize Blogging Or Social Media

Find groups that cater to your audience, and join the crowd. Start posting on social media or blogging about your product or service. As you add value online, people will visit your website or brick-and-mortar store because of your expertise and the value you bring. Don’t forget that blogging and social media posting are (mostly) free advertising for your business.

Related: How to Make Money Blogging [8 Important Questions Answered]

7. Purchase Used Equipment and Furniture

Who says all of your business equipment has to be brand-new? You can likely save a lot by buying used computer equipment, copiers and office furniture from office supply stores. Craigslist is a good source for used office equipment and furniture.

8. Free Forms and Templates

Instead of paying for office forms at the store or spending your precious time creating templates, you can find free forms online that you can download, customize and print. Free forms not only save you time, but they also save you money. Any time you don’t waste on administrative tasks like this can be invested in other things in ways to grow your business. Just Google the free forms you’re looking for.

9. Be Mobile

If you can operate your business remotely, why rent an office? Go to your clients’ locations instead of them coming to you. And of course, you can conduct a large percentage of your business (or all of it) online. This will save you money in the long run. Many people do their work from coffee shops or home office these days, where you can utilize free Wi-Fi. Figure out some great mobile strategies for growing your business for free!

Related: 7 Types of Office Space for the Upstart Entrepreneur

10. Maximize Membership Perks

When looking for discounts, check any memberships you may have. Often these organizations offer discounts to major stores and services. For example, I’m a member of a group that has a contract with UPS where I get a discount for shipping services.

11. Hire Temp Help

Instead of paying for employees who are sitting around doing nothing when business is slow, hire temporary employees during your busy season. Be sure to treat them fairly, but you can often pay temporary employees less than permanent employees. Also, consider hiring freelancers on sites like freelancer.com or upwork.com.

12. Hire Free Help

Get free help by hiring local college students as interns. Your local colleges may have lists of students that need to fulfill graduation requirements by working intern hours. You can pay them by writing a terrific letter of recommendation for them (as long as it’s deserved!) when they are applying for a job.

13. Use Independent Contractors

Use independent contractors when you can, but be careful they are not employees. You will save money by not paying employment taxes or any fringe benefits for contractors. You can save employment for when your business really takes off and grows well down the road.

14. Free Information

Rather than pay for a course to learn something new about your business (though these can be great,) use your local public library to get information. The library is free and usually has the most up to date information on any industry. You and your staff may be able to take free courses in technology or other skills. You can also follow blogs in your field of business as well as use Google to conduct research. Take advantage of all the benefits your library has for you!

Related:5 Ways the Library Can Save You Money

15. Use the Barter System

Exchanging your product or service with another business helps your cash flow. This frees up your cash for you to do other things in your business. This may not work in every situation, but think creatively and see if another business comes to mind for a barter relationship.

16. Never Take a Cash Advance

Never take a cash advance on your credit card because it will cost you more than the cash you’re taking. Why pay more for the money you get? If you need to take a cash advance for something, that means you cannot afford it. It’s that simple. Don’t waver on this. With many businesses failing in the first few years, you certainly don’t want debt working against you.

Bottom Line

There are tons of ways to save money when running a business. It’s important to pay attention to costs since every dollar you spend on your business is one dollar that doesn’t make it into your pocket.

Now it’s your turn! As a business owner, or even someone who is aspiring to be one, what are some creative ways to save without investing more of your own time and money?

About Philip Taylor, CPA

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a CPA, blogger, podcaster, husband, and father of three. PT is also the founder and CEO of the personal finance industry conference and trade show, FinCon.

He created Part-Time Money® back in 2007 to share his advice on money, hold himself accountable (while paying off over $75k in debt), and to meet others passionate about moving toward financial independence.

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  1. Kenny Schneider says

    As a Realtor, I am great about marketing to new clients, but am TERRIBLE about marketing to close friends of mine. Basically, I fail at #3. I mean, I still get referrals, but it’s just a natural consequence of good service, rather than me reminding people to refer me to their friends.

  2. Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life says

    Setting myself up as an expert through blogging and freelance writing has changed my entire career. I’m a professional actress, now people want to pay me for money advice!

  3. I worked for a guy who owned a radio show here in Pittsburgh and he successfully used your idea number 11 year after year. He connected with a local university who hooked him up with college students studying business. He had them doing all kinds of research for him absolutely free and the school gave the students credit for doing it!