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Cost And Effect What's the real price of doing business? Dun & Bradstreet and Entrepreneur find out in a new exclusive survey.

By Mark Henricks

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In the movie "Dr. No," James Bond is admiring a hugeaquarium in the archenemy's laboratory when a voice from out ofnowhere surprises him. "One million dollars, Mr. Bond,"Dr. No says, walking into the room. "You were wondering whatit cost." Bond coolly responds, "As a matter of fact, Iwas."

Small-business experts say entrepreneurs should be more likeBond--not necessarily employing a license to kill but being moreconcerned about costs. "Usually small-business owners thinkgrowth in sales is all they need to worry about," says WilliamF. Doescher, senior vice president at Dun & Bradstreet, aninternational research-based business information provider inMurray Hill, New Jersey. "But they might grow right out ofbusiness if they don't watch their costs."

To help small-business owners control costs, Dun &Bradstreet and Entrepreneur surveyed 501 small businesses tofind out what they're spending on, how it's changing andwhy. The results reveal some surprises, a lot of strengths and morethan a few weaknesses in the ways entrepreneurs measure, understandand control their costs.

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