How To Get Leaner And Meaner

-- Cut 15% to 35% off your fax bill by trading in your fax machine, says Business Consumer Guide. Older machines send faxes more slowly, increasing phone bills by several hundred dollars a year if more than two dozen faxes are sent daily. The $25 report outlines the best overall bargains among more than 125 models and specifies two transmission features that cut down faxing time: 14.4 Kbps and MMR data compression. Call 800 938-0088.

-- High energy bills? Paint your building baby blue--or some other light color to deflect the summer sun. That's among measures businesses can take to cut their utility bills, according to a new Energy Dept. guide. Energy Saving Tips for Small Businesses suggests buying smaller company cars, opening blinds in the winter, lowering the water temperature, and installing lights that turn off when a room is empty. For a free copy, call 800 363-3732. Or download it:

-- You may think your business is shaved to the bone, but The Frugal Entrepreneur (Portico Press, $12.95) would disagree. Author Terri Lonier offers hundreds of tips. Among them: Buy used desks and copiers; sign up for a class and get Internet access at low university rates; use bunched-up plastic bags instead of bubble wrap.

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