Today, Senior Account Manager Leah Ludwig and I attended a morning meeting of the Women’s Business Forum (WBF), which is a Bucks County-based, nonprofit, networking organization for small business owners and entrepreneurs.
Today’s guest speaker was Leah Ingram, author of the books, Suddenly Frugal and Toss, Keep, Sell!: The Suddenly Frugal Guide to Cleaning Out the Clutter and Cashing In. She shared “Tips for Cutting Business Costs” with the group.
Here are our takeaways on how to save your business money from the meeting:
• Recycle printer cartridges. I know at Furia Rubel we bring out old printer cartridges Staples and get Staples rewards dollars. There may be other office supply stores that offer similar programs and discounts.
• Fill out rebates! Many people simply forget to fill these out after purchasing certain items like cell phones or printers. Ingram encouraged the group to invest the 20 minutes needed to do the paperwork and you could have an extra, 20, 50 or even 100 dollars in your pocket.
• Make money off of old office equipment. Apple offers discounts for new items if you bring in an old Apple item as a trade-in. Some other websites for savings or selling office equipment are craigslist.com and freecycle.org.
• Be green! Ways to save include, printing on both sides of used paper, switching florescent light bulbs, investing in power strips to turn off office equipment by one button.
• Use associations and memberships to their full potential. Keep in mind that many industry organizations or alumni groups offer members discounts such as special credit cards, reduced travel expenses, etc. It never hurts to ask about these opportunities to save.
• Consider bartering with vendors. This is a great tip because often times small businesses need services and connect with other businesses that can provide. Ingram advises talking to your accountant about proper management of these types of agreements. Additionally, it is important to have a contract in place for an understanding by both parties.
• Ditch the landline phone. Often times, business owners use their cell phones for the majority of their business communication. Ingram notes that this could lead to savings by eliminating the less-used landline but may not be for everyone.
• Include charity donations and volunteering on tax returns.
• Eliminate shipping costs. Send email communication with .pdf files. Also consider using Skype or other conference call services instead of traveling.
Lastly, our favorite tip for business from Ingram was:
• Don’t underestimate the power of PR! Ingram shared that because of using Help a Reporter Out.com she was in some feature stories about her and her family using frugal techniques in their daily lives. These stories lead to business offers for her and later, the opportunity to publish her books. Public relations and marketing are essential to growing your business and Ingram encouraged all business owners to look into building a brand and getting the word out about their services.
Thanks for including such a lovely summary of my talk this morning. I'm glad you found my tips helpful, and I'm not surprised that you like the on about PR! It really does work. Thanks again.
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