Whether you run a small business or are just a consumer in search of the best deals possible, what are you doing to accomplish this?

On the business side, many small business owners have to run their companies close to the vest when it comes to finances. In the event they don’t, they run the risk of ultimately having to put up a “closed” sign, something all too many small businesses have come across over the years.

On the consumer side, the individual running his or her home must always be looking for deals, specials that can mean the difference between living paycheck to paycheck and having a little extra in their wallets or purses at the end of the month.

So, how can you go about making the right decisions in businesses and in life?

Research Products and Services

It doesn’t matter if you are a small business owner, a consumer or both. When it comes to finding the best deals, make sure you do your research.

Among some of the research items small business owners need to review regularly are:

  • Office products – Make sure you shop around for the best deals on items like office paper, computers, printers, phone service, company vehicles (if your employees need to make deliveries etc.) and more. If you can buy office items in bundles, you tend to save more money over time than if you buy them piece by piece;
  • Rental properties – While some small business owners own the office or offices their employees work out of, many others rent spaces. Make sure you’re getting the best deal for your dollars. Even though you certainly don’t want to be in an unsafe area just to save a few dollars on monthly rent, shop around if you’re paying too much on your current lease;
  • Health insurance – As more and more smaller companies have discovered in just the last couple of years, health insurance is all but a must unless you are not required to have it (depending on the size of your small business). With rates changing on a yearly basis, make sure you invest the time to see what plan offers you and your workers the best coverage at the best price.

Among some of the research items consumers (including those who run small businesses) need to review regularly are:

  • Go online for the best deals for the home – Whether you are in need of new home furnishings, thinking about charter vs satellite tv for your home entertainment needs or wondering whether or not to remodel, spend the time online researching various brands. More and more small businesses are using their websites and social media to promote their products and services, so connect with them;
  • Network with families and friends – Just as many small business owners network with others in their respective industries from time to time, consumers can do likewise. See what brands those you know are buying and their level of satisfaction with them. If you run a small business out of your home, you’re not only shopping for your personal needs around the house or apartment, but also your professional ones.

When it comes to making the right decisions with one’s purchases, take the time to investigate and see where you can come out ahead with your wallet or purse.

About the Author: Ben Snyder covers various small business topics for a living on the Internet.