Hard times come to all small business owners at one time or another. That’s why it’s so important to make a contingency plan for your small business. Things might be going well now, but when they’re not, you’ll be glad you had a plan. If hard times have struck already and you don’t have a plan, all isn’t lost. There are still steps you can take to save your small business. Here are four ideas.

Team Up

Chances are you know a number of small business owners. If you do, then see if you can share the costs of items, like printer cartridges, paper and other business necessities. To make this work, you need to shop at a place, like Costco, that allows you to shop in bulk. Once the necessary items are purchased, split the costs of these materials with your business friends.

Wait to Pay Bills

It isn’t that you’re never going to pay your bills. You need to in order to keep the lights on and your cell phone working. However, if you wait to pay your bills until the last possible moment, you can earn interest on your money in the meantime. This practice also allows you to keep more of a cash cushion in your account for a longer period of time, which can be helpful when unexpected expenses crop up.

Buy Used or On-Sale Items

If you own a small service business, like a hair cutting salon or a maid service, try to get your cleaning supplies or salon equipment at a lower price. Do this by shopping for sales or by going to auctions or second-hand outlets to get what you need. You’ll save some serious cash this way, allowing you to stretch your money farther during a difficult time.

Try to Get Discounts With Long-Term Vendors

If you have vendors you work with week in and week out, see if you can strike a deal to get a discount. Many vendors appreciate their long-term customers and will offer discounts to those who provide them with long-term contracts. Doing this not only saves you money, but it allows a vendor you care about to remain afloat, too. Your long-term business provides them with stability in uncertain times.

Having a downturn in your home business feels scary and discouraging. However, making a plan for your business allows you to continue working through difficult times. Implementing any of the suggestions on this list allows you to save money during difficult times. More importantly, adopting these ideas and sticking with them, even after the tough times are over, will eventually allow your business to thrive.