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Intuit Offers 10 Tips with Free and Affordable Services for Small Businesses to Survive and Thrive Through Downturn


MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - Small business owners remain relatively optimistic - yet realistic - about opportunities and growth for their businesses, despite tough economic conditions.

The latest “Small Business and the Economy” survey by Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq: INTU), found that 82 percent of business owners still see opportunities for their business, compared to 91 percent in a similar Intuit survey conducted six months ago. In the most recent survey, conducted in the second week of October, 64 percent said they still expect to grow, compared to 77 percent six months ago.

While remaining fairly optimistic, small business owners are also realistic about the downturn in the economy. Sixty-seven percent say worrying about how to find new customers keeps them up at night, while 60 percent plan to focus on reducing costs and retaining current customers.

This mix of optimism with realism may reflect the fact that many are not new to tough times. More than 60 percent of the survey respondents said they had previously survived a recession.

Intuit, a leading provider of software and services for small businesses, offers 10 tips to help small business owners survive and thrive during tough economic times.

* Look for freebies: Many free and nearly free business tools and resources are available for small businesses, including software and marketing advice. Now may be the best time to take advantage of them.
* Get online and get found: Intuit Websites,, offers easy Web site design tools and services, including 2,000 design templates, to help create a Web site and sell online. It’s free for the first 30 days and inexpensive thereafter.
* Find customers: Go to and click on Promote Your Business. Here business owners will find online services to list their business on local Web sites, place Web ads next to search results related to their business, and drive sales using e-mail marketing with a free 60-day trial. There are also tools to create professional-looking business cards.
* Manage your money: QuickBooks ( is easy-to-use accounting software to help business owners make sure that their money isn’t slipping through the cracks. It helps them stay organized, look professional and be ready for tax time. Get started for free with QuickBooks Simple Start Free edition (
* Get paid faster: Billing Manager ( offers free online invoicing to help business owners get paid fast. It lets them get and stay organized, see all overdue invoices and send reminders, and create and send professional-looking invoices. For a small monthly fee, they can also accept credit cards.
* Let them pay with plastic: Whether you run a retail store, take orders by phone or sell online, customers will appreciate having the option to pay by credit card. Check out Intuit QuickBooks Merchant Service ( for a free 60-day trial and a competitive rate thereafter.
* Do payroll yourself: Run your own payroll with easy-to-use Intuit Online Payroll ( Pay employees, pay taxes and file forms online in just a few easy steps, starting with a three-month free trial.
* Free for the day incorporation: Use to file business documents and save hundreds of dollars in attorney fees. will let anyone register a new corporation or LLC for free from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. Pacific time on Nov. 11, saving nearly $150. Use the coupon code - FREE149 - to get the discount.
* Stay connected:QuickBooks Online Community ( is a free small business resource site where business owners and QuickBooks users can share advice and tips with each other and get answers from small business experts. They can also join an online community of like-minded entrepreneurs.
* Barter it: You’re a Web designer and a small business down the street is a printer. See if you can revamp their Web site for free for a reduced cost on printing. Joining a community of entrepreneurs like the one above might let you help each other out by bartering complementary services.

To share and find other tips and resources on how to weather the economy, go to:

Survey Background and Methodology

Decipher Inc., an independent, full-service market research firm, conducted the Intuit “Small Business and the Economy” survey from October 7 - 10, 2008, sampling 751 small business owners with less than 10 employees. Respondents accessed the survey via Decipher’s online system.


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