RelayRides blogger and financial expert, Amanda L. Grossman, shares six resources that will help your small business save money.
It’s been said that small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Small businesses account for a decent portion of job growth each year, offer opportunities to keep money within one’s own community, and allow people an alternative to the nine to five job.
Yet running a small business is not all about flexible work schedules and skirting the cubicle. I own a small business, and know all too well the constraints involved. Often times you work longer hours than you would when working for someone else, and have fewer resources to reinvest into the business.
Because of this, I am always on the lookout for ways to build and sustain my company for much less than the types of services and products I need typically cost. Let me share five of my money-saving tips to help you save money as well:
Check out the Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA is an agency created by the federal government in order to facilitate small businesses. Among other services, the SBA offers free online courses, loans, and other vital information. One thing I have found particularly useful is the free information and template available for writing a business plan.
Get Free Assistance through SCORE
Recently I had a wonderfully helpful experience through SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives). After signing up for a free mentor, I was sent to a legal counselor who was able to talk me through the steps to incorporate within the state of Texas. She also answered my tax questions surrounding changing from a sole proprietorship to a Limited Liability Company (LLC). What a tremendous help and cost savings!
Use a Barter Exchange Service
Typically for an annual fee and a percentage of the value of bartered goods, you can sign your small business up for a barter exchange service. This means that instead of paying for something that you need, you can use your barter currency to get it (gained by bartering you have completed in the past). Sites include NuBarter.com, BarterCard and CommunityConnect Trade. Also, note that you will need to pay taxes on the value of bartered goods. A 1099-B form (Proceeds from Broker and Barter Exchange Transactions form) will be issued to you from these exchanges for the value of your transactions for the year.
Cut Car Rental Costs with P2P Rentals
If you need to travel for your business, you can automatically cut the costs of car rental by using RelayRides.com. This is a Person-to-Person (P2P) rental agency with locations at over 265 airports nationwide. Rental costs are typically 20-40% lower than what you will find from a traditional car rental facility, and there is a lot less hassle.
Get a Free Credit Card Reader for Your Smartphone
Accepting credit cards for purchases of your product has never been easier or cheaper through Square Reader. They will provide you a credit card reader to attach to your smartphone free of charge. Transactions cost 2.75%, and deposits are available the next day.
Make Cash from Your Idle Business Car
Do you have a business car? A great way to bring in some extra cash and offset some of your vehicle ownership costs is to rent your idle vehicle(s) out to local people through RelayRides.com.
I am a firm believer that you can still get the work done and the help that you need no matter what amount of money your business brings in thanks to some of the services discussed above.