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Growth Will be Organic

Here are some tips for growing without an external cash infusion.

This story appears in the February 2009 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The term organic may take on a new context this year, as entrepreneurs turn to natural growth rather than loans or investors for expansion. Growing without an external infusion of cash can be a challenge, demanding ingenuity and creativity.

Bonnie Marcus, 37, saved money while starting her Westport, , stationery company, Bonnie Marcus Collection, in 2002 by creating samples of her work and sending them to magazine editors. The low-cost approach worked: She landed mentions in New York magazine and Modern Bride, helping her secure orders from stationery stores including Bloomingdale's and . Even as her broke the $1 million mark in 2007, Marcus found other inexpensive ways to grow: She licensed her designs to Kodak for photo cards and produced holiday cards for a Beverly Hills PR firm, gratis. The result? Model and actress Molly Sims placed her holiday card order with Marcus.

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