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Sometimes you have to spend money to make money, as the oldadage goes. But many small business owners also know that to makemoney, you have to save money. It isn’t enough to have a goodrevenue stream. It’s equally important to control costs -especially in this economy.

Two key ways to save money are to spend less and to spend inways that give you cash back. These tips can help you improve your business cashflow by keeping more money in your account each month:

1. Negotiate.

Your business isn’t the only one to feel the economic pinch ofthe recession. The vendors and suppliers you do business with arelikely just as inspired to retain customers as you are. Asking themfor better terms on everything from interest rates, Internetservice, and rent to service charges and payment deadlines can helpkeep more money in your pocket longer.

2. Use a cash rebate card.

It’s easy to find cards that purport to give you cash back onpurchases. But does that pledge only apply to big ticket items thatyou buy rarely? Or does it require you to complete paperwork to getthe cash? Look for a card that quickly gives you cash back on itemsyou purchase on a regular basis. SimplyCash from American ExpressOPEN automatically credits the cash back to your statement. You getcash back for things you actually spend money on every month, suchas wireless services and office supplies (5 percent back), gas foryour automobile (3 percent), and other purchases (1 percent). Youalso get cash back on business expenses from FedEx, Hertz, OfficeMax,and more (up to 10 percent with OPEN savings), And there’s noannual membership fee.

3. Control phone expenses

Between cell phones for multiple employees, the office landlineand the temptation to use business phones for personal calls, it’seasy to see how phone expenses can get out of hand. Start trimmingphone costs by comparison shopping for mobile service and landlineproviders. You may find bundling mobile, land and Internet from asingle provider offers big savings. Competition is fierce so itpays to look around. Be sure all office staff are clear on yourcompany’s phone use policy. Check monthly statements and requirereimbursement for personal calls that fall outside your policy’sguidelines.

4. Evaluate utility costs

Whether you own the building you operate out of, or simply rentit, it pays to look at your utility costs. Drafty, poorly insulatedbuildings will mean higher heating charges – and possibly electricas well, if you have staff who use electric space heaters to staywarm. Consider improving insulation and weather stripping arounddoors and windows if you own your office. If you’re renting, askthe landlord to take care of this. If he balks at the cost, see ifhe’s willing to pay for high efficiency electric space heatersinstead. Also, be aware of what electrical appliances you leaveplugged in or turned on. Do all the computers in your office reallyneed to stay on 24/7? If not, have staff turn them off and unplugthem every night. And make sure the lights are turned off wheneveryone leaves for the night.

5. Market smart

Save money on costly promotional mailings by developing ane-mail list of current and potential customers, and posting specialofferings on your company’s website or Facebook page. Encouragecustomers to spread the word about your business and considerrewarding those who post positive reviews about your business onthe Internet.