Cut It Out

Money-saving tips for businesses on a budget
2 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Business Start-Ups magazine, February 1998

If you're setting up a homebased business on a tight budget, cut out the frills.

Before buying new office furniture or equipment, consider making do with what you have. Use an old desk or a table that isn't being used. If that doesn't work, check out used furniture stores or thrift shops, where you can also find filing cabinets, chairs, bookcases, lamps and other office furniture and accessories at bargain prices.

Outside services too expensive? How about trade-outs instead of pay-outs? When Patti Negri started Premeditated Productions, a murder-mystery dinner theater in Hollywood, California, the company couldn't afford promotional services. But a fledgling public relations agency was willing to help generate publicity in return for complimentary show tickets.

Barter has become popular across the nation--and on grand levels, with individuals and corporations swapping everything from vacations and cars to bookkeeping services and computers. Perhaps you can find an accountant or an office-supply store that needs your service or product and is willing to make a trade.

Other money-saving tips:

  • Track all your expenses closely for a month or two, then examine those records to see where you might be spending excessively or needlessly. Where can you trim?
  • Are you paying too much for office supplies? Check out discounters and wholesale suppliers.
  • How much could you save on telephone calls if you switched long-distance carriers?
  • Do your vendors offer favorable prices? Ask for lower rates and get competitive bids.
  • Are you spending too much on equipment repairs? It may be time for a trade-in.
  • Would leasing equipment help until you're in a stronger cash position?
  • Are you paying bills upon receipt? What's your rush? Delay payment until the due date.

Paul DeCeglie is a former staff reporter for Journal of Commerce and American Banker. He can be reached at

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