A small business often has to budget very carefully to see profits grow.

It only takes a few careless expenditures or underestimating costs to have a company in the red.

Here are five tips to help you cut costs and save money:

1. Cut costs with advertising
The internet has provided numerous ways to advertise for free, so find the method that works best for your company. You can also partner with other businesses to combine marketing efforts and split the costs. For example, sponsor an event with another store or advertise your sale in conjunction with another one going on at the same time.
2. Consider recycled office supplies
Buy office supplies at a reduced cost by looking for items that use recycled materials. Two of the most common items include print cartridges and copy paper. However, you can find many other products that use recycled materials and often cost less. While not quite the same as recycled, look for refurbished and used equipment at a reduced price. You can save money on everything from office furniture to electronic devices with this method. Refurbished electronics often come with a warranty and provide very few problems since the issues have already been worked out.

3. Compare free software
Instead of purchasing an expensive software application for your business or having one developed, search for free or low-cost programs that meet your needs. If you have a specialized business, this may not work. However, you can find many project management platforms, CSR programs and even email and calendar applications that will be adequate for your business.

4. Work from home
As the following article shows, the new and improved way to save money for many businesses is to allow employees to work from home part-time. As the owner or manager, you may even want to consider it for yourself. For staff that does not need to be in the office at all, consider allowing them to work at home all of the time. It is far cheaper to set them up with the ability to call in to meetings than to pay for the extra space. If you have several employees that can work at home either part or full-time, you could have one workstation for when they are in the office instead of multiple ones. This reduces the cost of electricity as well as the price of rent if you can move into a smaller space.

5. Utilize alternative options to staffing
Instead of hiring all full-time employees, consider switching to temporary staff during busy times. You may also benefit from using independent contractors instead of full-time staff. Look at offering internships to college students at a low cost or even for free. These changes not only save money in salaries but in benefits as well. Small businesses have to learn to think outside the box and find unique and unusual ways to save money and cut costs. These steps allow the companies to focus the money they make on helping the business grow instead of just paying expenses.

About the Author: Joyce Morse is an author who writes on a variety of topics, including business and finance.