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Saving Accounts

Pick up a few money-saving tips from these entrepreneurs as they share their startup stories.

How did entrepreneurs pinch pennies when launching their businesses?

  • "We outsourced some of our services that weren't key items, such as copywriting and print advertising. We felt that outsourcing helped us stay competitive, allowing us to bid for larger jobs and handle them should we land them. This helped us to grow faster and eventually bring those services in-house, giving us a higher gross profit. [We were also] frugal. There were times when we [worked] in the dark with our doors propped open and no AC."

  • -Michael J. Beresford, 35, founder of NetScope Inc., an interactive marketing agency and web design firm in Irvine, California
  • "We took advantage of the unfortunate fact that many dotcoms in the San Francisco Bay Area didn't succeed, and we bought almost everything in our office used: credit card terminal, desk, computer monitor, chairs, lamps, you name it. And using Craigslist.com, [an online community], we found an infinite amount of office materials. We saved a lot of money by doing a little extra legwork."

  • -Lynn Deregowski, 32, co-founder with Jenny Maxwell, 32, of The Cat's Pajamas, a novelty pajama manufacturer in Berkeley, California
  • "We worked from home. At the beginning, we basically just had furniture and equipment that was in working condition. We wanted to make sure our profits were not going into making our office look beautiful but into good customer service and excellent product. [Also], we did not take a salary the first couple of years because we wanted to reinvest it in the business."

  • -Gina Catan-Eckstein, 38, co-founder with Ivette Catan-Helfend, 37, of Linx & More, a distributor of Italian charm bracelets, in Woodland Hills, California

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This article was originally published in the November 2004 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Saving Accounts.

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