Discounts and Freebies to Help Your Business

  • AUTHOR: Barbara Weltman
  • DATE: 06/8/2009

As you pinch pennies to help your business operate in tough economic times, anything that you can obtain at a discount or for free is extremely beneficial. Here are some ideas to help you get started in saving money for your business.    

Discounts   

Technology, equipment and other machinery can enable you to work smarter, faster and cheaper. To obtain the items you need when cash is tight, be creative.

  • Equipment. Buy used equipment that can meet your immediate needs. Consider “pre-owned” equipment, which can be found online through used equipment networks.

    Added tax savings: Instead of depreciating the cost of equipment over five years or more, you can opt to expense the purchase price, even though the equipment is pre-owned, up to $250,000 in 2009 as long as you are profitable this year.

  • Cash Back. Dramatically cut the cost of new purchases by taking advantage of programs that help you save money and give you cash back. Bank of America recently launched an online shopping portal called Add It Up where small business owners can earn up to 20 percent cash back from more than 270 retailers when they shop online with their Bank of America check card. Participating retailers include top names such as Staples.com, HomeDepot.com, Walmart.com and Costco.com.
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    Added tax savings: You can take 50% bonus depreciation on the purchase of new items, regardless of your profitability this year (in addition to first-year expensing if applicable and the regular depreciation allowance).

Freebies

Usually paying for professional advice and assistance can be costly. There are, however, numerous ways to obtain the help you need at no cost.

  • Bartering. Conserve cash yet obtain the help you need by trading services. Consider swapping on an informal basis with other businesses. For example, if you are a graphic designer looking for an accountant, you could offer your creative expertise in return for sound financial advice. Or consider joining one of the many online barter exchange groups that are geared specifically to businesses.
  • Free Advice. Get free business advice from the government.For example, there is free counseling from SCORE, counselors to America’s small businesses, and from Small Business Development Centers (there is a network of 63 lead Small Business Development Centers and more than 1,100 service centers nationwide). Find one near you through the SBCD locator.
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