Home-based business owners are always looking for ways to cut costs and increase revenue, but it can be a difficult undertaking when your costs are already fairly low and you can’t exactly buy in bulk the way mega-corporations do.  And yet there are a lot of ways you can reduce spending, even on items that seem to have fixed prices.  If you examine your monthly expenses, you’ll find that it’s easier than you think to decrease spending across the board, thereby maximizing your budget and freeing up some capital for a rainy day.  All you have to do is find alternatives.

  1. Phone service.  You practically have to have a cell phone to carry on business these days, but you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg for the service you need.  There are options for cheap or even free connectivity if you know where to look.  For instance, voice over internet protocol (voIP) is rapidly becoming a way to form a network (of clients, for example) that you can call for free.  Those who have and iPhone or Android can set up a Facebook page for their business, get clients onboard as “friends”, and then download the Vonage app to call others in the network without using phone minutes (all you will have to pay for is the unlimited data package on your phone).  Skype is another excellent telecommunication tool that is free.
  2. Office supplies.  Ordering online almost always a cheaper alternative to shopping in stores (although you will have to pay shipping), but your best bet is probably to join some sort of club (like Costco) to get additional savings on bulk items.  There are usually perks to being a business member, and you can also save on items you buy for your home (just keep the receipts separate for tax purposes).
  3. Utilize other home-based businesses.  If you find yourself in need of services that you simply can’t supply on your own, don’t go to big businesses.  Instead, look for small, home-based providers like yourself to get good work at a discounted price (and possibly even work out some sort of trade agreement that won’t cost a dime).  This will work great for freelance web services like graphic design, writing, or SEO.
  4. Go green.  Purchase reclaimed or refurbished items whenever possible and attempt to cut usage of electricity (by turning off lights and setting your computer to sleep mode whenever you’re away from the desk).  You can also install compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs), pre-set the thermostat, and try to use less water (install low-flow toilets and aerators on faucets).
  5. Deduct, deduct, deduct!  Nothing will raise your overhead faster than the bill that’s due come tax time.  But you can significantly reduce your government payout by listing beaucoup deductions.  Save receipts for equipment, services, meals, travel, and anything else you use in the course of your business transactions.  Write off club memberships and anything that could be construed as “research and development” (for example, if you work in entertainment, you could write off movie tickets, industry-related magazines, and virtually anything that could help you with your business). You can even deduct a cell phone, internet access, a work vehicle, and a home office.  To find out if your deductions are legal, simply talk to a tax preparer (by the way, you can write off that expense, too!).

Jennifer Kardish writes for TotallyMoney.com where you can find information on financial products and browse through 0% credit cards to find the card that meets your needs.

Image source:  geteducated.com

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