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10 Ways to Start a Business on a Budget

If you've been thinking about starting a business, but are held back due to cash-flow issues, there are plenty of ways you can get your plans off the ground. Though your vision may be to own a big store, restaurant, warehouse, or office, consider starting on a smaller scale.

Every business must start somewhere. In fact, the founder of Kinkos started with one copy machine and some spiral notebooks for sale in a tiny rented space near a college. With a little ingenuity and some perseverance, you can make your business dreams come true. Here are ten ideas to get you started:

1. Start part-time and reinvest the profits into your ultimate business goal. If you really want to make your business dreams come true, carve some extra time out of your day by skipping the evening news and bad sitcoms.

2. Offer to speak a local school, adult learning center, or business. Give a killer presentation then pitch your products or services when it's over. These are called back of the room sales. Another bonus-many of the schools will even pay you to give a presentation.

3. Get your product on QVC-it's not impossible! Many small businesses got their big breaks through television shopping channels. Check out

4. Sell your products at flea markets, farmer's markets, or consignment shops. Think outside the box and start pounding the pavement.

5. Go door to door. Leave your fliers with your neighbors. Your brochures don't have to be expensive, just aim for professional and unique. Since color copies are expensive, print in black ink on pastel paper. Design your brochure with a program like Microsoft Publisher.

6. Host an in-home party like Tupperware, Mary Kay, and Pampered Chef. Start with your friends and family and get them to spread the word while you build experience.

7. Launch a website. It's easier than ever to get a website up and running and the startup costs are minimal. Your own website will open all kinds of doors. You can start your own newsletter or e-zine, online forum, and sales center. Paypal even offers free shopping cart set-up.

8. Sell on auction sites. EBay, Yahoo!, Amazon, and UBid all offer online sales. The added advantage of selling on auction sites is the exposure it can bring for your business. Millions of people visit these sites each day and even if they don't buy your product the first time around, they will get familiar with your business name and may come back later to close the deal.

9. Place classified ads. Check out for listings in most big cities. There are categories to suit virtually any kind of business.

10. Rent space in a commercial location. Independent retail stores, coffee shops, car washes, and even restaurants could be willing to strike a deal for shelf, office or floor space. Talk to the owner and explain your situation. Many caterers rent kitchen space from churches and community centers. Retail stores will often be willing to rent out a shelf or corner for product sales, and offices often have empty space that the owners will gladly fill for a fair fee. Put an agreement in writing and specify a length of time that works for both of you.

Stephanie Chandler is the author of "The Business Startup Checklist and Planning Guide: Seize Your Entrepreneurial Dreams!" and founder of, a directory of resources for entrepreneurs. Subscribe to the newsletter for hot tips and small business tools by sending an e-mail to

In The News:

NASA launched a spacecraft Tuesday night on a mission to smash into an asteroid and test whether it would be possible to knock a space rock off course if one were to threaten Earth. The DART spacecraft, short for Double Asteroid Redirection Test, lifted off from Vandenberg Space Force Base atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
The federal government is embarking on a new attempt to explain the unexplainable.
NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission, the world's first planetary defense test mission, is scheduled to launch early Wednesday morning.
The historic November 2021 partial lunar eclipse stunned viewers around the world on Thursday night.
A partial lunar eclipse will take place on Thursday night and into early Friday.
A prosthetic-tailed dolphin named Winter that starred in the "Dolphin Tale" movies died Thursday evening at a Florida aquarium despite life-saving efforts to treat a gastrointestinal abnormality, aquarium officials said.
Four astronauts returned to Earth on Monday, riding home with SpaceX to end a 200-day space station mission that began last spring.
If you don’t want to believe tech companies at face value, take your privacy into your own hands
A U.S. survey of astronomers puts the search for extraterrestrial life at the top of their to-do list for the next 10 years.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Hubble Space Telescope is in safe mode yet again.
Climate change may impact the production of corn (maize) and wheat as early as 2030, according to NASA researchers.
Humans introduced a new life form to outer space on Friday as NASA astronauts harvested the first ever chile peppers onboard the International Space Station.
The Northern Lights may be visible just in time for Halloween.
On Thursday, the sun released a significant solar flare toward Earth, peaking at 11:35 a.m. EDT, scientists say.
A good cleaning goes well beyond just the screen. If that’s all you’re focused on, you’re making an expensive mistake that could take years off your TV’s life.
The scale presented contains seven levels that NASA said are "reflective of the winding, complicated staircase of steps that would lead to scientists declaring they’ve found life beyond Earth."
The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance announced Thursday that two female critically endangered California condors had successfully hatched eggs without the help of male condors.
NASA is now targeting February 2022 for the launch of its powerful Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.
The U.S. military launched three suborbital rockets this week from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
As cooler temperatures move over the eastern U.S., the West is forecast to see heavy rain and mountain snow, including what's known as a "bomb cyclone" near the Northwest.

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