entrepreneursSix Money-Saving Tips For Entrepreneurs




Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnhall/2013/03/13/6-money-saving-tips-for-entrepreneurs/

I remember cutting coupons, negotiating lower rates, and finding every possible way I could to save money when I was a younger entrepreneur. I always needed cash for the next investment or business idea. Even after experiencing some success, I still find resources to save an extra 10 to 20 percent. Whether you’re a struggling entrepreneur or a Fortune 500 executive, there are bottom-line-enhancing resources that are just a click away.

1. Membership Sites

Membership sites are a great way to save money because they typically negotiate with companies for discounted rates. ABNSave.com is a great example of this. The site gives you the opportunity to leverage what larger businesses have in bulk via promo codes, pre-negotiated deals, and partnerships with reputable companies like Hertz and Office Depot ODP -1.16%. This way, you can get significant savings on things like hotels and shipping, and you don’t have to waste time searching for deals.

2. Coupon Codes

Don’t let pride get in the way of this one. The truth is that you are never too rich for a coupon code, and the savings can be significant. It takes 30 seconds prior to checkout, and in many cases, it can make a big difference for your bottom line. Sites like RetailMeNot, FatWallet, and Coupon Cabin are all sites to take a look at before you hit the checkout button. The great thing about these searchable databases of promotional rates and coupon codes is there’s often more than one code per merchant, so you can always compare and pick the one that will save you the most money. They’ll also show you which ones have the highest success rate to save you time — and headaches.

3. Shop Around

Comparison shopping can make a huge difference in how much you spend. Not only is it irresponsible to just select the first product you come across, but it’s also bad for your bottom line. Look through your budget and identify some of your biggest expenses month-to-month. It’s valuable to have someone take a quick look at more affordable options that could replace the products or services you currently use. Relationships with vendors — and the services they provide — are important, but don’t let them blind you from getting the best price or value

4. Wasteful Spending

It’s important to set the tone, as a leader, for spending. If your employees see you spending wisely with company money, they will be more diligent about saving the company money as well. Ultimately, it’s important to create a mindset that preserves your bottom line. Similarly, be responsible with the products you already have. If you’re getting new phones for your company, for example, it’s better to cash them in through a site like Gazelle.com than to toss them out.

5. Rewards Add Up

Sign up for the rewards programs for any services you consistently use. Not only do you get free rewards, but they also track your business with (and loyalty to) the service. You’ll have more leverage when you have to discuss a billing or service issue, for example. Southwest, Redbox, and Visa V +2.12% are all companies with great rewards programs, and chances are that many of the other companies you use frequently have them, too. Go through your expenses and take some time to sign up for loyalty programs.

6. Avoid Shortcuts

A lot of entrepreneurs, in attempts to save money, take shortcuts. They build shoddier products or find faster ways to pump out services, simply to fatten their bottom lines. While this may boost revenue in the short run, the dissatisfaction your clients feel will hurt you over the long haul. A great example of this can be found in publishing. Many assume that the more links they have, the better their chances of being found in Google GOOG +0.55% searches — so they bomb websites with content that doesn’t offer anything new but can be written quickly. The smarter, and more effective, way to get published is to offer your expertise to sites that speak directly to your audience, slowly moving from niche publications to big-time outlets. This offers value to potential customers, drawing in the ones you can genuinely help. It’s the right thing to do, which is why it works.

While being miserly isn’t a good trait for an entrepreneur, it’s important to maximize savings when you can. The great thing about saving is that it’s especially easy to do online. You can minimize the cost of things that eat away at your bottom line by registering for membership sites and rewards programs, applying discount codes, comparison shopping, and simply watching your spending. Through smart spending, you’ll have more money to grow your business in the areas that matter.