Friday, June 13, 2008

Finding Free Stuff for Your Business

I will let you in on a little secret I've learned as a boot-strapping entrepreneur and small business owner: the Internet is a wealth of special deals and free stuff.

Sure, you already know you could search on eBay or Amazon for great prices on name-brand merchandise. And maybe you've learned from my previous posts about how much free advertising you can get on Craigslist and how many free ways there are to promote your business online.

But did you know that you can find discounts, coupons, promotional codes and giveaways on many products and services that you use for your small business?

Bloggers like more successful than me, for example, arrange deals from the likes of Yahoo! and MSN to provide discount offers for new advertisers in their sponsored search programs. Don't believe me? Type "Yahoo advertising promotional code $75" in Google search to find some. When I opened my advertising accounts with Google, Yahoo and MSN, I loaded them up with more than $200 in advertising credits.

Similarly, I was able to refer a friend of mine to a partner website that offered a coupon code for 20% off all services for new e-newsletter account sign-ups. My friend saved a bunch on her custom designed e-newsletter and account management services.

I recently found another resource on John Jantsch's DuctTapeMarketing blog: free magazines. Makes sense. After all, publishers are always looking for ways to reach new subscribers. It doesn't cost them much to give away samples or subscriptions of their magazines—they print and mail by the tens of thousands; what's one more?! Sign up to receive free Business Week, Creativity and other business rags.

Free pens from promotional imprinting companies, free shipping boxes from the USPS, discount digital printing of postcards and business cards, advertising special offers...everybody wants your business, so every price is negotiable.

What are your favorite scores or resources for free stuff? Share!

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