Ben Franklin put it well when he said, "a penny saved is a penny earned." Indeed, in today's world, anything a company does to stretch its financial resources can mean less dependency on banks or other sources of capital. We surveyed business owners about what they've done to trim cash outflow, asking them to estimate the dollar savings. Below are some of the highest-yielding ideas we heard.

Accurate Information Services
South Plainfield, N.J.

Founders skipped salaries for 18 months; company negotiates extended vendor-payment terms


Dickens Data SystemsNorcross, Ga.

Got customers to pay 30% to 50% of contract price up front

Improved cash flow by $200,000 to $250,000/ month

Milo TechnologiesTucson

Acquires production equipment and office furnishings at auction or by bartering

$800,000 over the past 6 years

PDQ Printing & SignsLas Vegas

Barters printing for radio advertisements

$1 million over the past 10 years

-- Researched by Michael P. Cronin and Christopher Caggiano