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Save money by becoming more efficient

Although economic conditions have begun to improve in recent months – with lending to small businesses on the rise, along with manufacturing activity and private employment – many startup businesses are stuck bearing the brunt of the recession's aftermath with tightened budgets and few credit opportunities.

However, there are a number of ways small businesses can cut back on their expenses, and one of the best places to start is by making their marketing initiatives more efficient. For example, place the same print advertisements in all of your invoices, direct mail items and packaged marketing materials.

For retailers, continue to provide customers with coupons, newsletters and circulars in their shopping bags, but reserve such promotions for bigger purchases and more loyal customers. While your at it, clean up your mailing list to fix incorrect addresses and get rid of old or non-existent ones. The U.S. Postal Service will do this for free and you will save on postage costs.

Entrepreneur magazine suggests business owners consider joining forces with neighboring businesses, organizations and even competitors.

"Split advertising and promotion costs with neighboring businesses," the magazine writes. "Jointly promote a sidewalk sale, or take your marketing alliance further by sharing mailing lists, distribution channels and suppliers with businesses that sell complementary goods or services."

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