10 Money-Saving Tips for Home Businesses

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					         10 Money-Saving Tips for Home Businesses
 One of the most common obstacles many home-based working moms face is trying
         to start or run a new business on a limited budget. The first few years
     of a business are usually the hardest financially. Some moms leav e full-time
         careers and substantial salaries to start a new business. Others start a
     home business as stay-at-home moms wanting additional income to support
  their family as well as a professional outlet to balance their diaper-changing days.

In either case, starting and running a home-based business takes money. How much
    money, will depend partly on you and the type of business you choose to run.

       Below are our top 10 tips to save you and your home business money:

            1. Do your own market research by talking to potential clients or
       customers. Many new home business owners skip this step only to come
     back to it later (or wish they had). Those who start businesses without doing
any type of research risk the possibility that their target market doesn't need or w ant
their particular product or service. The competition may be too fierce. There may not
                      be enough potential customers to support the
   business. Or the product isn't priced correctly. It is just as important not to price
           your product too low as it is not t o price it too high. Talk to others
 in similar businesses as yours to see how much they charge and what they offer for
                                        that price.

          2. Team up with other non-competitive businesses that target the
    same market to do some co-marketing. For example, desktop publishers and
print shops can do a direct mail campaign together advertising both of their services
 or buy an ad in a local publication and split the costs. Neither is in competition w ith
the other. They also can hand out business cards or flyers for one a nother as well as
                          give word-of-mouth referrals. It's a
      great way to double one's marketing efforts while splitting any advertising
                                         costs.

  3. When you have a satisfied customer, don't be afraid to ask for referrals. People
 like to help others especially new businesses trying to succeed. Show pride in your
 work and people are sure to notice. And when they do, ask if they know any others
you can send a brochure or sample to. Another great way to encourage referrals is to
      offer a discount or special offer for any customers who are referred to you.

            4. Barter or trade your services for other products or services
you need. Associations and organizations are not only great places to network; they
are also great for finding businesses that offer services and produc ts you need. Look
  for businesses you could help with your product or service and offer to barter or
trade for theirs. (Be sure to check with your tax professional for tax issues involving
                 bartering and trading.). Diana Ennen of Virtual Word
 Publishing(http://www.virtualwordpublishing.com) has found bartering her virtual
   assisting coaching has allowed her to get web design work done, PR work out,
            proof ing of assignments and much more. It's a win/w in for all.

5. Find another home-based working mom to swap babysitting with. All home-based
    working moms need some dedicated time to work on their business tasks. By
 swapping with another mom, both can work on their businesses without adding to
                             their childcare costs.

    6. When buying new office equipment, go to a place that offers a low-price
guarantee. You can save time and money by shopping at places that will refund any
           difference in price if you find the product cheaper elsewhere.

        7. If you are looking for computer equipment, consider buying used
equipment. Look in the classifieds and talk to others that may know someone looking
  to upgrade. Ask for warranty information and make sure the machine is in good
 working condition. Also take a look at the computer companies offering refurbished
    machines. Some are priced accordingly and usually come with some type of
                                      warranty.

  8. Send postcards for direct mail solicitation. They are cheaper to print and less
 expensive to mail. Another advantage is that they are more like ly to be read since
                            they take no effort to open.

 9. If you hire sales help, pay by commission only so you only spend money if you
make money. A salesperson can increase your sales without adding any up-front fees
                                     or salaries.

     10. Use pre-printed design papers for letterhead, brochures and business
cards if you only need a small amount. The papers can be found at most large office
supply stores, and they are great for new businesses trying to get started on a small
                                       budget.

      These money-saving ideas should help with your budget but new business
       owners also need plenty of drive and determination to succeed. It takes
    time to develop and grow a business so be patient and give it all you've got!

				
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