Running a successful small business in today’s economy is no small feat.  It seems like everything is getting more expensive, and it is more and more difficult to stretch every dollar as far as you’d like.  Big businesses often have the clout and buying power to force their vendors to offer discounts, but small businesses simply do not.  But when small businesses band together, they can sometimes obtain as a group what they could not get individually.

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The Allied Business Network (ABN) was created to give small businesses the type of discounts that many companies offer to their big-business customers.  With your free membership you get access to a large catalog of discounts in a number of categories including car rentals, hotels, marketing services, technology services, promotional items, shipping, and even entertainment.  You can check out the full discount directory without registration. ABN claims to offer discounts up to 85% off standard pricing, and currently has almost 140,000 members.  While you don’t need to sign up to use the discount codes, if you do you can elect to receive emails with special member offers, and you can list your business in their small business directory.  If your business can accommodate a U.S. national customer base, you can offer discounts of your own to the ABN network.

Another option for small business discounts is Rewardli.  Rewardli is a promos and perks site with a social networking twist.  The site is divided into two categories—Offers and Requests.  The Offers section provides a host of discounts and trials available to members in a wide range of small business categories including accounting, telecommunication, computers, marketing, payments, software and travel.  The Requests section is an opportunity for you to request an offer you’d like to see.  Other members vote on the requests, and when one gets enough votes Rewardli contacts the vendor to try to turn it into an “offer.”  For example, a recently requested and granted offer was for a discount on ZipCar business memberships.  You need to join (for free) in order to take advantage of Rewardli offers.  When you do, you also have the opportunity to make offers of your own to the Rewardli community.

Of course, you don’t need to join a small business network in order to get discounts.  Many of the companies offering discounts through ABN and Rewardli also offer similar discounts via coupon codes and consumer offers. (For example, check RetailMeNot for coupon codes on a wide variety of consumer and small business goods and services.) However, these networks not only offer the convenience of grouping offers together in one place, they also provide a venue for you to market your services to other small businesses.

Check them out today, and see if they make sense for your small business.

Image Credit:
Savings by Images_of_Money, on Flickr

Lisa Hephner

Lisa Hephner

My name is Lisa, and I'm the Vice President of Knowledge, responsible for the management of corporate, product, competitor, marketplace, legal, and regulatory knowledge, and creation and dissemination of knowledge tools using these assets to PaySimple prospects, customers, employees, and partners.

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