I’ve been contributing a series of articles on how small businesses can improve their financial situation through frugality and thoughtfulness to the Open Forum. Below is an index of these articles.

More Money, More Happiness? Not for Your Employees
Several years ago, I spent the better part of a year involved in a team project that was filled with almost every flavor of poison you can imagine in a workplace. Gossip. Tension. Missed deadlines. Sucking up to supervisors. Secret meetings that only included some of the group. Continue reading…

Harnessing the New Age of Customer Frugality
The last year has been filled with breathless stories – like this BusinessWeek one – describing how consumers have responded to the rapid economic downturn of 2008. Namely, they’re going frugal. They’re spending less and saving more. Continue reading…

Five Free, Effective Ways to Make Your Employees Better
Not long ago, the hot water heater in our home went on the fritz. I knew enough to try to light the pilot light on my own, but in the end, I ended up having to call a repairman. Continue reading…

Ten Ways to Easily Reduce Small Business Energy Bills
Like clockwork, utility bills drop unwanted news on your desk on a monthly basis. Communications bills, supply bills, and energy bills all amount to a big chunk out of the bottom line of your business – and a smart businessman will look for effective ways to trim away some of that spending. Continue reading…

The Little Things
A few weeks ago, I stopped in a local office supply and copy store in my area. I had an unusual special request, so I explained what I wanted to the guy behind the counter. As I began to speak, he picked up a rough-looking little notepad and began to jot down what I was saying. When I was finished, he took a tiny piece of Scotch tape, tore off the note, and taped it to the front of the CD I gave to him. Continue reading…

Core Competencies and Saving Money
Herbert Bayard Swope once said “I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is: Try to please everybody.” This rule holds especially true for small businesses. As small business owners, we’re constantly confronted with ideas for how to “improve” our business, but often those improvements don’t gain us much at all and cost us a lot. Continue reading…

8 Simple Rules for Practicing Frugality While Traveling for Your Business
Whenever I have the opportunity to take business trips, I’m often stunned at the endless opportunities to rack up expenses. Tickets. Meals. Cab fare. Hotels. Entertainment. Pretty much anything in an airport. Sure, most of these expenses are tax deductible, but they still eat directly into the bottom line of a small business. Continue reading…

Five Essential Reads for Small Businesspeople – And How to Get Them for Pennies
Here are the five most useful business books for my small business that I’ve read in the last year. Keep reading…

Dreading the Cost of Software for Your Business? Try These Free Solutions
Several years ago, one of the biggest costs for small businesses was software. Accounting software? Expensive. Word processing and spreadsheets? Expensive. Contact management software? Expensive. Calendar and scheduling software? Expensive. Quite often, the total bill would be enough to make you wince in pain. Keep reading…