Reduce Ongoing Expenses Just By Asking

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If your business has lost clients or needed to scale back, take action. Don't just wait for a rebound; use the moment to renegotiate terms with your suppliers and service providers. You might be surprised that many will be willing to cut you a break to keep your business... and keep you in business.

Call everyone. Contact your land and mobile phone companies, ISP, web host, and private courier. Get in touch with your office supplier, delivery company, and other contractors. Scrutinize every bill; especially if you're paying for ongoing service, such as a cable TV connection, ask those companies for a break.

Remember to think even bigger. Renegotiate your office lease and other major expenses. Offer to to trade services where appropriate, if that's an option. Just approach those contacts with humility and try to work something out.

Tell them as much as you can about your losses, citing specific numbers, especially if you can project when things will improve. Chances are, at least with some of these services, you'll be able to cut costs that would normally be fixed.

Zack Stern is a San Francisco-based freelance writer and editor who has cut his business costs just by asking nicely.

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