Difficult economic times tend to hit smaller businesses hard, especially the ones that are just starting out. Sometimes a fledgling business might have to shut down in hard times if it didn't manage its limited resources properly.
That is not to say that every small business will shut down from financial crises. Indeed, it is in times of adversity that the best businesses are born. All a business owner has to know is how to survive long enough and keep the business above water until better times allow for better business growth.
From the growing need of businesses to economize on all its resources, an industry trend is born - B2B online coupons. Some service providers that cater specifically to other businesses have begun cutting their prices in an attempt to become more competitive in the now cutthroat market.
Almost all direct suppliers offer bulk discounts and various other cost cutting alternatives without compromising quality. As long as you are a discerning business owner, you can take advantage of many services and products offered at less than listed price - from printing services to customized checkbooks.
Some of it is just common sense - like buying office supplies in bulk or choosing to buy them when they're on sale, or simply allowing your salespeople to telecommute instead of having them in the office or on the road all the time. It also pays to curb the unnecessary use of utilities by simply unplugging all electrical appliances at the end of the working day, aside from the security system and the main servers, if you have them.
Some budget saving techniques are trickier - like cross-training your employees so that they are competent in more than one job function and ready to take on additional roles within the company. This has some drawbacks - employees who are more competent are worth more, and eventually, you may train them to become overqualified for the job they hold with you, or they could become unsatisfied with their work load. While cross-training does increase office efficiency with a minimum of cost and effort, it is definitely a technique to use only after careful consideration.
Part of managing resources also means training employees to respect office supplies and property such as office furniture and fixtures. If people are more careful with things, then that means you won't spend more money renovating or replacing things broken by simple carelessness or misuse. Maybe you could have mandatory training sessions for your employees on the proper use of certain office equipment, from the basic computers to even the copy machines. This is useful for everyone, even the people who don't use the equipment regularly. Such measures will teach employees the basic skills and hopefully minimize the misuse of the machines.