It's hard to avoid feeling the impact of the current financial situation. It can be felt in increased expenses and possibly a decrease in customers. But there are a few easy steps you can put in place to help slow the flow of money going out the door.

Printing Expenses: Find free printing offers, such as Vista Prints e-mail offers. After your first order, you get frequent e-mails with offers. Sales include:

  • Free stationery
  • Business cards
  • T-shirts
  • Postcards

Reduce Advertising Costs: Reducing doesn't mean you should stop advertising. In fact, this is the time you need to get as much exposure as possible to keep customers coming in. Take advantage of free or low-cost advertising.

  • Use online networking, such as Twitter, Facebook, or other forums that compliment your industry.
  • Find local networking events that can be located on Meetup.com.
  • Submit press releases to free news wires that can be located by Googling "free press release."
  • Become a contributor to a magazine or newspaper.
  • Make phone calls to existing and potential customers.
  • Take advantage of Vista Print's free postcards and business cards, which can be distributed at local networking events.

Office Supplies:

  • Buy in bulk and share expenses with other small business owners.
  • Join rewards programs such as MaxPerks to get coupons and other discounts.
  • Shop on e-Bay for great deals on both office and shipping supplies.

Pay Bills Online: This will save on the cost of checks, postage and envelopes.

Tax Deductions: It's recommended to meet with your accountant to ensure you're taking advantage of all tax deductions.

  • Are you utilizing all possible deductions for your work space in your home?
  • Are you deducting business miles?
  • Are you tracking meals and entertainment expenses?

Reduce or Eliminate Travel Expenses: It's important in business to have a human connection. Many times we feel the need to meet in person for lunch or a meeting. One way to keep that connection but not have the expense is to take advantage of conference calls. Using free services such as FreeConferenceCall.com is an excellent way to connect with a group of people without paying travel expenses.

Barter: Because other companies are most likely feeling the financial squeeze, they may be looking for ways to save money. You can exchange your product or service for theirs. For example, if you have a website, you could exchange advertising space on your site for a product or service they may offer.

Times are tough financially, but there are definitely cost-cutting measures that can be used to help ease the economic strain. Evaluate your expenses to determine if it's a true need or just something that might be nice to have. Even if an expense is considered a necessity, there are ways to find discounts.