Posted: Wed 10th Apr 2013
Last week, we asked for your money-saving tips, and promised to share them here on the blog - so we could all improve our financial fitness together, ready for the new financial year!
Thanks to everyone who sent in their tips - in our blog comments, on Twitter and on Facebook. We've picked our 10 favourites and one winner to receive their copy of Emily Coltman's Finance for Small Business book, a "straight-talking guide to finance and accounting." Read on to find out who won that prize. We think you'll agree, we're all winners with these excellent money-saving tips:
1. Work from home.
"Work from home, if you can. Don't hire office space until you absolutely have to. It's far more acceptable to work from home now than it used to be." Trevor Wood of Network Midlands
2. Hire, don't buy.
"Find high quality services and solutions, but don't buy them outright. We use shared workspace Central Working and Zipcar car club - both examples of a 'pay as you go' approach to business costs." Nicky Imrie of The PR Network
3. Order on the phone rather than online.
"When buying supplies, buy over the phone rather than accepting the price on the website - you can often get a discount or free shipping, if you play your cards right!" Rebecca Holder of The Handmade Emporium
4. Create word-of-mouth.
"Word-of-mouth marketing is perhaps the best and most cost-effective way to build your business in its early days. Position yourself as an expert by sharing stories, testimonials, best practices, etc, via your blog and social media - both free - as a great way to kick-start conversations about your business." John Hayes of Becoming THE Expert
5. Use alternatives to premium numbers.
"Cut down on phone charges by using SayNoTo0870.com to find freephone or geographical phone numbers instead of using expensive premium numbers." Paul Hills
6. Bulk buy services.
"I always say 'think in pictures', but I appreciate that not everybody has the budget for a photo-shoot each time they do a press story. So, book a half day with a photographer, rather than an hour here and there, make a wishlist, and fully brief the snapper so that you get maximum value from your time and money. Try and think of the shots you may need a few months down the line." Greg Simpson of Press for Attention
7. Collaborate and barter.
"Always look to collaborate and pull in favours. If you need something think about who you know that might be able to help, first and foremost. Look at what you could offer in exchange and haggle at every opportunity!" Rachael Oku of Creative Bloc
8. Reuse and recycle.
"For equipment - and even stationery - get used or bargain items and improvise! I use Preloved, Gumtree, Freecycle, the 99p Shop and my local charity shop. All you need is a little imagination - And by bringing unwanted items back into use we can do the environment a favour at the same time!" Silver Ray Healing Therapies
9. Buy your packaging materials on eBay.
"Don't buy packaging or boxes from High Street shops or supermarkets. Packaging can be found at excellent prices on eBay. I've been very impressed and saved loads of money this way." Beverly Ranger of Robin and Scarlet Design
"Remember, your time is money - so even if it seems like a big cost, outsourcing things like bookkeeping is usually cost-effective, will get the job done quicker, leaving you free to work on your business and get more money in." Helen Bailey of Helen Bailey Wedding Photography and Stationery
Winner of Finance for Small Business book
Supported by British Gas
This post is supported by British Gas. We've partnered with British Gas and Business Debtline to create a free online 'toolkit' for small businesses that includes advice on closing a financial year, creating a business plan and reducing your energy costs. Find out more at www.britishgas.co.uk/makingiteasy