How Small Businesses Can Save Money: 27 Finance Experts Share ‘Fool-Proof’ Tips So Your Business Can Save Money Today

Reading Time: 20 minutes

In order to reach any level of success, most small businesses and small business owners must at least know the basics about business finance in order to know how well their business is doing and to remain profitable.

But unless you are in the finance industry or are yourself a financial expert, there are always some things your business can do to save money that you likely don’t know about.

Since Direct Capital works closely with many small businesses and small business owners who have made their business’ financial success a top priority, we wanted to learn some money savings tips geared towards small businesses. We specifically wanted to gain advice from small business finance experts on the most effective, sure-fire ways small businesses and business owners can save money. To do that, we asked 27 small business finance experts the following question:

What’s your #1, fool-proof tip for how small businesses and small business owners can save money?

We’ve collected and compiled their expert advice into this comprehensive guide to how small businesses can save more money. See what our experts said below.


Meet Our Panel of Small Business Finance Experts:

Tim MontgomeryTim Montgomery

Tim Montgomery is the CEO of TIMIT Solutions, an innovative and rapidly growing full-service IT consulting firm. TIMIT Solutions provides its clients with cutting-edge technologies and the know-how to apply them to their individual business models.

My #1, fool-proof tip for small businesses and small business owners who want to save money is to…

Spend cash reactively.

After you are convinced by orders (products) or signed SOWs (services) that you really need what you are committing to pay for. As such, eliminate incurring expenses based on “hope” or unsubstantiated opportunities.

Only break this rule when both your gut and your logic tell you you truly NEED to make an “investment” in your business to win an opportunity that aligns exactly with your business strategy and goals.

Jo ClarksonJo Clarkson

Jo Clarkson is the UK Operations Director of The Alternative Board, the world’s largest provider of executive peer advisory boards servicing over 3,000 business owners worldwide. As a large, global network, TAB is affiliated with an extensive range of business professionals. She is an experienced director and entrepreneur who has worked with hundreds of business owners all over the UK during the last 30 years. In 2009, she assisted in bringing The Alternative Board to the UK, as the first phase of TAB’s global expansion.

My number 1 tip for small business owners looking to save money is to…

Speak to other small business owners about how they save.

Do this regularly and in a structured way – through a peer advisory board or with a group of entrepreneurial-minded friends. This way, you can learn from their mistakes and successes and save your self money, time and pain.

On the day to day level, another way to save money is by putting members of staff in charge of the things you want to save money on that aren’t mission critical. They’ll likely do a much better job than you will (because they’re more in tune with day-to-day operations), and your time is better spent on the big picture stuff.

Michael BreierMichael Breier

Michael Breier is the Founder and CEO of Breier Consulting, a firm that provides professional consulting, accounting and tax compliance services for businesses and individuals. Michael is a senior executive, leader and general manager with over 30 years of experience as a Partner, Business Consultant and CIO and has combined extensive knowledge of business processes and operational practices of privately owned professional service firms, construction and manufacturing companies through the use and integration of technology.

My go-to small business money saving tip is…


Get rid of those file cabinets and create more office space. Clean out those rented storage facilities filled with old files and store them digitally. Digital scanning equipment and storage devices have never been cheaper. Also, the business will be saving on expensive printer and copying toner, ink, and paper. A well planned digital storage system will also make files easier to find and convenient for more people to get at creating work efficiencies.

Why have 20 employee policy manuals out there that have to be updated frequently when everyone in the company can access a master copy from one online directory? The possibilities are endless.

Donald L. ReichertDonald L. Reichert

Donald L. Reichert is the Owner, Founder, and President of Capital Design Associates, Inc.(CDA), a 25-year-old family wealth management firm with $300 million of assets under management in Greenville, S.C. CDA has been serving the Upstate of South Carolina for over 20 years and through a planning process built on integrity, knowledge, and attention to detail, the firm seeks to guide, inform, and empower its clients to successfully maneuver through life’s various phases of financial management.

My number 1 tip for small business owners looking to save money is…

Rather than paying an investment advisor, reinvest in the more important long-term aspects of the business such as annual appraisals, buy-sell agreements, life insurance funding, and estate planning.

The average investor with an equity portfolio often spends more than 1 percent a year in management fees to an investment advisor to keep the portfolio on track. Yet the largest equity asset a typical business owner has is the equity in his/her small business.

They are typically better served to “invest” 1 percent of their annual revenue on items such as annual appraisals, buy-sell agreements, life insurance funding, estate planning, financial planning, audited financial statements, annual legal reviews, and other projects that would make their business more sellable.

Elena DonioElena Donio

Elena Donio is the Executive Vice President and General Manager of Small and Mid-Sized Businesses at Concur, a leading provider of integrated travel and expense management solutions. Founded in 1993 on the premise of helping drive costs out of businesses through innovation, Concur’s services are trusted by over 20,000 clients around the globe with over 25 million users. Elena’s previous roles at Concur have included Executive Vice President of Emerging Business, Vice President of Marketing and Vice President of Product Management. Prior to joining Concur, she was a Senior Manager in Deloitte Consulting’s SAP practice.

My number 1 tip for small business owners looking to save money is…

Switching to an automated solution to replace the spreadsheets that currently need time-consuming, manual data entry.

Today, many small businesses think that spreadsheets are “good enough” for administrative tasks, such as expense reports. However, what small business don’t know is that the use of spreadsheets only adds to the dollars they are already spending.

It’s a common trap in the business world-our actions become defined by momentum, not by smart choices. We do what we’ve always done – not because it’s right, but because it works. It’s “good enough”. The truth is, that spreadsheets aren’t even “good enough,” and they cost small businesses much more than they might think.

Spreadsheets aren’t mobile, so employees don’t have the convenience of submitting their data on the go. Plus, entry wastes time, it’s often inaccurate, and it doesn’t provide immediate visibility into spend. Every small business can benefit from an automated solution, which reports spend as soon as the money goes out the door. Plus you can drill down and get the line item details for any expense, which means you have more visibility into your business. That’s time, and data, you can use to help you focus on what matters most.

Ron BockstahlerRon Bockstahler

Ron Bockstahler is CEO of Amata Office Solutions, a Chicago-based real estate provider specializing in office solutions for companies requiring up to 10,000 square feet of office space. A licensed brokerage, Amata’s clientele includes businesses of all sizes, including solo practitioners and startups, as well as large corporations looking to establish sales outposts in Chicago.

My number 1 tip for small business owners looking to save money is…

Consider a co-working space or shared office center, over a traditional leased office space.

Even though many small businesses can afford to lease traditional office space, they often lack the resources to secure space in the best locations, where demand – and prices – are sky high. An increasingly popular alternative to conventional office space is shared office centers, which not only save small businesses money on real estate expenses, but also add to their credibility by giving them a prestigious address and professional service staff that can assist with the day-to-day operations of their business.

In addition to private office space, these centers offer a number of amenities like state-of-the-art conference rooms and lounges that help small businesses appear larger than they actually are. This makes it easier for them to land new clients and recruit top talent without having to pay for space they may not utilize on a daily basis. Shared office centers also foster collaboration among business owners by bringing professionals from a variety of industries together under one roof. By officing in close proximity to other entrepreneurs, business owners can easily expand their professional network and work together to solve common problems.

Tom Wheelwright,Tom Wheelwright

Tom Wheelwright, CPA and CEO of ProVision, is a leading tax and wealth expert, published author (“Tax-Free Wealth”) on partnerships and corporation tax strategies, and a Rich Dad Advisor/Speaker for Robert Kiyosaki, who wrote “Rich Dad Poor Dad”. Tom is best known for making taxes “fun, easy and understandable,” and specializes in helping entrepreneurs and investors build wealth through practical and strategic ways that permanently reduce taxes. He has been on the Real Estate Guys Radio Show, Money Radio 1510 Business for Breakfast and frequently speaks at Rich Dad conferences worldwide. Learn more about Tom and his work at

The absolute fastest and easiest way to increase your business’ cash flow as an entrepreneur is to…

Reduce your taxes.

Here are three steps you can do today to reduce your taxes.

  1. Change your business to an S corporation for tax purposes. Then, pay yourself a small but reasonable salary and take the rest of your money in shareholder distributions. This will save you a ton of self employment (Social Security) taxes.
  2. Take advantage of the home office deduction. Too often, I hear business owners say that their accountant told them not to take this valuable deduction because it will raise a red flag. All that tells me is that their accountant is afraid of the IRS. The home office deduction is specifically allowed in the Internal Revenue Code and done properly can massively increase your deductions.
  3. Meet with your CPA to develop a comprehensive tax strategy. A tax strategy is a plan of action to permanently reduce your taxes. It typically takes about 3 months to develop a good tax strategy, and the typical result with our clients is a permanent tax reduction of anywhere from 10-40%. You CPA should be asking you lots of questions about your facts because the way to reduce your tax is to change your facts.

Lauren RebbelLauren Rebbel

Lauren Rebbel is a CERTFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER(tm) professional with The Prosperity Consulting Group, LLC and has spent her career working with individuals and business helping them accomplish their unique and complex financial goals. After taking the time to listen and understand her client’s financial objectives and concerns, Lauren delivers advice and solutions tailored to help each client work toward financial success coupled with one of the most important components – CARE. It is Lauren’s goal to provide her clients with peace of mind that they have an objective Financial Confidant by their side.

This #1, fool -proof tip for how small businesses and small business owners can save money may sound trite – but it is proven to help you and your business save money. The advice is simple:


Pay yourself first as a business owner. So often, business owners reinvest their hard work and earnings back into the company. While, doing so is important for a host of reasons, most significantly overall business growth, you are making your money and savings illiquid- not to mention subject to potential risks of lawsuits and creditors. Take a percentage of what you earn every month and move it out of the business into your own personal investment account. Remember, slow and steady when saving money and building wealth.

The same advise holds true for small businesses: PAY YOURSELF FIRST. Lessons of economic recession have taught us that business will not always be booming. There will be lulls in which cash flow is tighter but expenses are not decreasing. While businesses are not impervious to a sheath of obstacles, they can be prepared by paying the business first and directing a portion of their profits every year into savings. Call it a rainy day fund, call it emergency fund or call it smart business.

A1112-03_Benson Simmonds - HeadshotBenson Simmonds

Benson Simmonds is a Small Business Owner, an Award-Winning Actor, and celebrated Acting Teacher and Coach who has been teaching for over 15 years, coaching hundreds of actors to principal and series lead roles in television and film. He has been invited to be a guest lecturer at universities and colleges including Montreal’s Concordia University as well as Hebrew U in Jerusalem. He is currently releasing his long-awaited MASTER YOUR AUDITION program to help other actors set goals and follow through on accomplishing their dreams careers.

My top #1 tip to save money is…

Use Fiverr!

This site,, is an amazing website where you can find some very talented people who will provide various services for $5.00 or an amount divisible by $5.00.

I have found people to do video intros, design logos, postcards, proofread, do powerpoint presentations, graphic designs, social media help, etc. For any small business without a huge budget, Fiverr is a Godsend!

Scott HarrisScott Harris

Scott Harris is the Co-Founder of Catoctin Creek Distilling Company in Purcellville, VA.

My number 1 tip for small business owners looking to save money is…

Use a good quality accounting software or hire a great accountant, rather than trying to do it all yourself.

When my wife and I started our company in 2010 I had little to no corporate bookkeeping experience. To make a long story short, I was learning as I went, and my first year of bookkeeping was a MESS!! It was so bad that there was a lot of cleanup to do at the end of the year with our accountants, and what’s worse, the IRS selected us for an audit that first year. I was in a COLD PANIC. But all went well for us; luckily we had good accountants and great accounting software, Sage 50 Accounting, and we passed the IRS audit with zero issues. That was a relief!

The next year, we closed the file, started a new file from scratch, and have run a tight ship ever since!! I would recommend selecting accounting software that is easy to use and partnering with an accountant to any small business.

Kristyna ZapletalovaKristyna Zapletalova

Kristyna Zapletalova is a Founder & CEO of maqtoob, a platform that helps entrepreneurs all age groups, both genders, and different levels of IT skills to find the necessary and affordable tools needed to start and grow their businesses.

My number 1 tip for small business owners looking to save money is…

Utilize the new time-saving technology and apps that are available today. There is an enormous number of apps for small businesses which save time, improve productivity, and most importantly reduce costs.

For example, you can use a simple (and often free) software to keep track of your expenses or cashflow, you can browse online databases of legal templates to draw contracts, or set up a website in one hour with a DIY website builder. Most of small business owners have little money, and usually also little experience. Yet, most of the online tools are inexpensive, easy-to-use, and accessible to majority of people, regardless of their level of IT skills.

Shawn C. H. LeamonShawn Leamon

Shawn Leamon is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Honey R Capital, a venture capital firm. Prior to co-founding Honey R Capital in 2012, Shawn worked at J.P. Morgan and Bernstein Global Wealth Management.

My number 1 tip for small business owners looking to save money is…

When possible, have a coffee or drink with the person who can help you solve an issue rather than employing them.

Get them in an informal setting, and “happen” to bring up an issue that you need help solving. You get the advice for almost no cost and they have no idea that’s what you wanted anyway.

John PeeblesJohn Peebles

John Peebles is the CEO of Administrate, an online training administration system built just for training providers. John has spent the past 12 years growing healthcare and education technology startups in America and Scotland. He is passionate about education, great teamwork, and technology and often speaks on these subjects around the world.

Our number one, fool-proof tip for saving money within a small business is…

To instill a culture of frugality with employees.

Teaching frugality and the principle of treating company money just like your own will pay off in almost every are of the business, often with shocking results. We’ve mad this a priority for the last three years and we are often pleasantly surprised at how much our team contributes to keeping our expenses lean.

Lori CheekLori Cheek

Lori Cheek is an Architect turned Entrepreneur, Founder and CEO of Cheekd, a mobile dating app that makes missed connections obsolete. Lori, a Shark Tank Veteran, was recently listed as “The Digital Dating Disruptor” and “One of the Top 10 CEOs to Watch.” A University of Kentucky Architectural Graduate, Lori is no longer building structures. She’s now building relationships.

Coming from a career of making $120K a year, I’ve bootstrapped my business for nearly five years and have had to get extremely creative in funding my startup and have become quite the expert in saving money while building my startup. My tip for small business owners is to…


I launched my business in May of 2010, had hired a PR firm a couple of months before launch and got a couple of articles written. After paying them nearly $10K, I realized I had more passion for the subject, had tons of connections to start out and could do what they were doing and decided to go for it. The growth of my startup has been solely dependent on PR and Marketing alone. On a shoestring bootstrapped budget, I wasn’t able to continue paying a PR firm. As a very creative, social, ambitious and passionate entrepreneur, I decided to take on the responsibility on my own.

After I launched my business in May of 2010, I simply mailed a lone black Cheek’d card that read, “this card could change your life.” in a plain black envelope to 20 of the main journalists in New York City. This stunt cost $12.50 and a few weeks later, we were featured on the cover of The New York Times Styles Section and coined as “the next generation of online dating.” That article lead to our site crashing for hours, orders from hundreds of customers all over America, inquiries from all over the world and finally this email from Oprah Winfrey’s Studio:

I am a producer at The Oprah Winfrey Show. I am looking to talk to Lori Cheek about I can be reached at 312.633.**** Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you soon.”

We never ended up on Oprah, but the interview with their studio could have been the most exciting day of my life! I’ve been doing my own PR for the past 4 1/2 years. Ten thousand dollars lighter and a few years wiser, I’ve been covered in just about everything from The New York Times to Tech Crunch and Forbes. Our press has extended internationally now and we currently have customers in 47 states in America and 28 Countries Internationally.

Don’t just think outside the box; Get rid of the box! Be creative. Think Guerrilla. And if that doesn’t work, sometimes it just doesn’t hurt to “ask.” I’ve ended up on the news many times by just calling up the news channels and asking them if they’d be interested in featuring my business. It’s sometimes that simple. I would say the most crucial thing in getting Media Coverage is a subtle yet persistent approach…

Ian JacksonIan Jackson

Ian Jackson is Managing Partner with Enshored. Enshored specializes in optimizing business operations for mid-market companies by leveraging consulting and outsourcing capabilities previously reserved for the largest corporations, and generally finding 60-80% reductions in staff costs.

My number 1 tip for small business owners looking to save money is…


Any small business owner not already doing so should take a look at outsourcing of any functions which are not core, and do not require direct physical contact with the customer or client. Anything from selling through accounting and administration can often be done for a lot less money offshore.

Key advantages for the small business owner include lower salary costs, less overhead cost (no need for a chair and a PC for someone in the Philippines), less tax and insurance liability, and a greater flexibility to scale up and back for more seasonal businesses, as many small businesses are. The big myth is that outsourcing is only for the larger firms. Not so any more.

Jeff DriscollJeff Driscoll

Jeff Driscoll is the IT Manager of Marketing Mojo, a digital marketing agency, and has worked in SMB IT consulting and support for 20 years. He has experience in SMB networking and cluster servers as well as virtualization, cloud hosted solutions, and systems integration.

The number one way I’ve seen businesses spend too much is by…

Not being educated about what they are buying.

Whether it is a subscription/monthly service like eMail, VOIP, or Internet, or when they purchase hardware, I often see them buying too much power or items they don’t really need. The majority of businesses I’ve worked with have always had significant savings once a thorough review of their vendors and purchasing habits has been completed. Often, the savings more than equals any consulting or contract fees.

Additionally, the savings tends to recur over time, as new purchases are made or the subscription adds up over time. A corollary to this is to streamline purchasing and control who makes purchases. Some businesses I’ve worked with allowed nearly anyone to by new equipment with little or no oversight. Even if that worked for a business, it’s that much harder to make sure all those people know enough about the technology they are buying to make informed purchasing decisions.

The business doesn’t need to be an expert in technology, but knowing the difference in speeds or sizes and why it matters is crucial. It’s worth hiring someone to help you out if you can’t dedicate the time to learning.

Katie ClearyKatie Cleary

Katie is Business Strategist, Life Coach and Group Facilitator. She specializes in working with women business owners who are looking for ways to incorporate heart based and spirit based strategies into their business to create a better bottom-line and quality of life. Learn more about Katie and her work at

My number 1, fool-proof tip for small business owners looking to save money is…

Make your own website on Squarespace.

Website costs is where I’ve seen small businesses waste the most money. I’ve had clients who spent $10,000 – $20,000 on a website that they could have easily done for $2,000 – $5,000 (and this includes a sales funnel, SEO and copywriting). That’s a loss of $8,000 – $15,000 dollars and that doesn’t even include the lifetime maintenance on a custom coded website. I would recommend a Squarespace website.

There is a lot out there you can do to harness the power of the internet, and most business owners make this costly mistake because they don’t hire a professional business strategist to create the plan that fits their needs and goals. In fact, across the board, the most costly mistakes I see are due to the fact a business owner didn’t make the initial investment of hiring a professional to help them make smart and strategic decisions.

My recommendation to business owners is to find a business strategist, who specializes in working with small businesses, put a plan together, and then get a support system in place to execute that plan. If you don’t have the resources for a full-time team, there are great resources like to help you handle project management, and project execution for much less than a full-time staff.

Business owners would save the most money, by honestly assessing where their personal genius is and only doing that, and then finding other smart people to run the rest of their business.

Jacob ChapmanJacob Chapman

Jacob Chapman is an entrepreneur, amateur futurist, and an attorney whose articles have appeared in both WIRED and in peer reviewed journals. As VP of Strategy for Sazze he helps consumers find the best products at the lowest prices through websites like Dealsplus and ProGrids. Jake was also a seed stage investor in the US Vom Fass franchise system. Since Jake’s involvement Vom Fass USA has grown from 0 to more than 20 locations nationwide (With more than 60 stores currently scheduled for development). He has served as a director, advisor, attorney and logistics director at various times for the company.

One of the most commonly overlooked money saving small business strategies is…

The use of online coupons.

Individuals use coupons all the time but businesses often forget that this resource is also available to them. Ecommerce retailers like, and routinely provide coupons ranging from 10%-30% off. Given the prevalence of ecommerce and the rising coupon trend, no matter what business you are in, there are probably online retailers who serve your industry and who provide coupons.

Most small business owners are much too busy to constantly scan and search for relevant coupons. Considering this, I recommend using one of the many coupon websites like DealsPlus. These websites aggregate coupons from tens of thousands of merchants and make them easily searchable. Even more helpful, small business owners can sign up for email alerts from all of the stores that their businesses rely upon. Whenever a new coupon is available for those stores, the small business owner will receive an email containing the coupon. Using this one strategy, even small businesses can save tens of thousands of dollars per year.

David WaringDavid Waring

David Waring is the Co-Founder of, a site that provides in depth how to guides for small business owners.

My number 1 fool proof tip for how small businesses can save money is to…

Hire independent contractors instead of employees whenever possible.

When hiring independent contractors you do not have to pay payroll taxes, which automatically saves you around 10%. Unlike many employees, independent contractors also do not expect to get benefits. Finally, independent contractors generally work on a project basis, so you only pay them for the work that they do, when it’s completed. This is in contrast to employees who you pay each month wether they complete the specified projects or not.

Jennifer MartinJennifer Martin

Jennifer Martin is a Business Coach and Founder of Zest Business Consulting and Conscious Business Owner Camps. She helps Business Owners understand how to build a thriving business and enjoy their lives in the process.

The #1 thing I recommend that every business owner looking into to help them save money is…

If and how their business space can be utilized 24 hours a day. Here are a few examples:

  • I have a client that has a kids learning center and they rent the space out in the evenings for ESL classes and BNI groups.
  • I have a Catering kitchen that rents out their shop early mornings to a baker and a homemade jam company.
  • I have a wine company that offers their space for catered dinners and parties.
  • I have a therapist who rents her reception area to a writing group and a life coach who does group seminars.
  • I have a home shop that sublets space to other businesses to sell their products in my client’s shop, with a commission going to my client.

Make sure that if you are going to pay rent ( or a mortgage) that you are getting the most bang for your buck 24 hours a day.

Daren BoozerDaren Boozer

Daren Boozer is the CEO of Addison-based NCC Data, a technology consulting company which provides managed services, VoIP, computer network support and cloud computing to businesses in Dallas Fort-Worth. Daren leads a team of network engineers and business consultants in supporting IT departments in healthcare, technology and many other industries.

My number 1 fool proof tip for how small businesses can save money is to…

Re-negotiate vendor contracts.

Very few contracts are ever set in stone. Whether it’s a building lease or many of the technologies employees need each day to continue providing a product or service. Cut down on the month to month expenses that eat up profit.

Technology is a great place to start. Consolidate any individual subscriptions until you have an accurate number and idea of which technologies are needed.

Many technology vendors rely on a competitive sales force that are weighted more towards getting the sale than losing out on commissions. There is always a time to re-negotiate technology vendor relationships: downsizing, upsizing, worker layoffs, employee growth and more. Meet with your vendors and cut technology expenses to save money in the long term.

Jimmy PageJimmy Page

Jimmy Page is the Founder and CEO of Inseev Interactive, a San Diego based full service online marketing firm with core competencies in search marketing and analytics.

The best tip I would give to small businesses who want to save money is to…

Not spend too much money on furniture for the office.

When you’re first starting out, it’s better to spend that money elsewhere and get your furniture from eBay or Craigslist.

Lauren FairbanksLauren Fairbanks

Lauren Fairbanks is Co-Founder and CEO of Stunt & Gimmick’s, a content marketing firm, where she has worked on campaigns for Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, STERIS Life Sciences, Mimoco, and a number of other brands in industries ranging from tech to healthcare to retail. She’s also the Co-Founder of Digital Remedy, a chain of iPhone and computer repair shops in Louisiana and Mississippi.

I run a small chain of electronics repair stores, and the single most thing that has saved us a ton of money is…

Learning how to code.

My business partner taught himself Javascript and HTML, and built out a customer relationship and inventory management system. That alone would have cost $15,000 – $20,000. Instead, it took two weeks and a few hundred dollars.

Coding also saved us a bundle on a new website.

Jake CainJake Cain

Jake Cain is the Brand Manager for Long Tail Pro, a software that helps businesses grow their website traffic by targeting the right keywords with their website content.

My best surefire way for small businesses to save money is to…

Change how they think about marketing.

Many businesses are consumed with the traditional approach of buying ad spots in print, TV and radio – which are expensive. However, many small businesses have shown that “inbound marketing” which is creating original content that gets found by your prospective customers online, is more effective and costs less.

In fact, one of my favorite quotes comparing the two is “If you have more money than brains, you should focus on outbound marketing. If you have more brains than money, you should focus on inbound marketing.” Guy Kawaski, former Chief Evangelist – Apple and Co-founder –

You can start by simply creating a company blog and start answering the questions you receive most often. The odds are that other people are searching for answers to that same question online, and if you produce content people are looking for – they’ll eventually find you.

Nathan Vander HeydenNathan Vander Heyden

Nathan Vander Heyden is the Owner and Co-Founder of TranslateLab, an online translation services agency. He writes about general business strategy, cross-cultural marketing and translation.

My advice may come off as obvious, but my number one tip for small businesses who want to save money is…

When you hire a freelancer, don’t spend a penny until you get what you asked for.

Avoid spending money on the wrong person is more difficult than you think—and it’s also one of the most valuable skills an entrepreneur should develop.

When I started planning the new website for my company, I had to hire a freelance plugin developer. The WordPress theme I had chosen didn’t offer all the features I was looking for and I needed to tweak it to meet my business needs.

Hiring a skilled freelancer is one thing; hiring a reliable one is another. The tasks I had given to the web developer were fairly simple and I let him know that they would require further development during the few weeks that followed the initial requests.

Once my original requests were met, I paid the freelancer only to never hear from him again, and had to hire someone else to finish the job.

Lesson learned: hire the right person. While interviewing a potential freelancer, gently set the rules. Make it clear that the job will only be paid for when it is fully complete.

It’s not bad practice—you will come off as someone who cares about their business, and at the same time, dissuade dishonest people from doing business with you.

Jeff StephensJeff Stephens

Jeff Stephens is an Author, PodCaster, and the Co-Founder of the Crazy Dad Life, an online community dedicated to all dads (and moms) trying to navigate daily family chaos and build online in the off hours.

My #1 tip to small businesses and small businesses owners for saving money is to…

Do some things yourself.

Given the accessibility and ease of use of many of today’s business tools, the ability to complete tasks efficiently and effectively has never been higher. Furthermore, the capability to complete tasks using free tools is abundant in today’s online world. Leverage the tools that are out there, roll up your sleeves, and move your business to the next level.

Mark BurtonMark Burton

Mark Burton is a Managing Director at both the GENRICH Family Office, a multi-family office, (MFO) and California Capital Partners (CalCap), a merchant bank. At GENRICH, Burton shares responsibility with John Nelson in overseeing all activities including the private investment and management of client families’ illiquid assets, family governance, concierge services and the firm’s dealings with third party vendors. Burton’s corporate development firm, ShurGrowth Advisors, merged into CalCap Partners in 2013. Prior to founding ShurGrowth Advisors in 2009, Mark headed up practice development for a boutique “Wall Street” law firm with offices in Los Angeles and New York that focused its activities on alternative investments and financial service firms including Registered Investment advisors (RIA) and Family Offices, M&A and going public transactions practices. Before that, he spent a number of years heading up legal affairs and development for both a national valuation firm and a boutique merger and acquisition firm with an international reach. In addition, his career has included being an editor at the Daily Journal Corporation and an Associate in a law firm in Minnesota; focusing on the practice areas of corporate finance and business transactions with a concentration on merger and acquisitions and other liquidity events for low middle market to middle market companies.

Although I believe there is no fool proof tip for how businesses and small business owners can save money, I have about a hundred must do tips. Two of those are:

  1. Know your market and be able to define it very specifically.
  2. Invest in your management and key employees, they are your business.