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Business owners and entrepreneurs can give themselves a leg up by making the most of the many freebies available to them.

Small costs can add up: web development, accounting and bookkeeping help as well as new software can all end up costing a pretty penny. To minimise these extra costs, entrepreneurs should get savvy and take advantage of some of these freebies:

1. Use your network

If you don’t have a LinkedIn account already, get one now. Networking is vital for business owners and staff, as it will help you to forge connections that could end up scoring you a good deal later on. Maintain your relationships by boosting them every few months with a catch up phone call or email.

You could try to save yourself some cash by bartering your services – don’t be afraid to ask for discounts, but be prepared to return the favour. 

2. Get free quotes

Looking to hire? Whether you need someone on a permanent basis or for a one-off job, it’s always a good idea to shop around and compare quotes. Websites such as www.ServiceSeeking.com.au can save you time by quickly getting you quotes for business services. A few clicks, a quick description of what you need done, and you start receiving quotes. It’s easier than going through the Yellow Pages, where you might come across businesses that are already booked out or demand payment for quotes

3. Make good use of free advice

Got friends in the know? Ask them for advice (as long as they know what they doing!) and return the favour later. Usually your friends will be familiar with how you work and what you do, so their advice – while casual – could be very valuable.

Alternately, hit up organisations that offer free advice. The Australian Taxation Office runs a Small Business Assistance Program that gives clear, practical counsel explaining tax, super, ABNs, and more. You can also score a free assistance visit from a tax officer.

4. Attend events

Instead of paying for consultations, go to events, public talks, forums and festivals. You can learn the do’s and don’ts of running a business,  how search engine optimisation works so you can write online and how to manage your social media and PR all from free events.

Make sure you go home with all the handouts and get in contact with the speakers, as they might be able to pass on a few more tips if you follow up after the event.

5. Take advantage of free trials

Never make the mistake of buying a product or service that you haven’t already trialed. Most products will allow a month-long free trial, so make the most of it whilst you can.

Compare your experience of the different products and services, and pick the one that suits your business the best. Remember that there is no obligation to buy the full program or upgrade to premium services.