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Use barter to build your business.

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This story appears in the May 2007 issue of Start Up.

Question: I just started my own web design firm and don't have much money left for anything else now that I've bought my new computer, printer and software. What tips do you have for making my company's dollars go further?

Answer: One way to conserve cash is to use barter to build your business--that is, swap the products and services your business produces for products and services offered by other companies that have what you need. Let's say you're looking for someone to help you contact local newspapers, TV stations and websites to pitch stories about you and your company. If you can find a publicist who needs to redesign his website, you may be able to convince him to waive all or part of his fee in return for helping him with HTML coding and programming. Likewise, media outlets such as newspapers and radio stations are often receptive to bartering advertising slots for products and services they need.

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