There are always ways to produce big results with small means, which is critical to an entrepreneur’s long-term success and sustainability.
The entrepreneurs I have interviewed over the past 20 years and the ones we met on our "Main Street Entrepreneur" tour are masters of efficiency. They create new ventures from practically nothing, get more from less along the way, and keep costs below industry standards. They have a real knack for finding and using a host of resources other than money: They find free advisors, acquire used equipment, defer compensation, negotiate excellent terms, partner with their customers, and use someone else’s building rather than buy one. They think resources first and cash second. The strategy is to create a low-cost prototype, prove that it works, and then grow with cash flow.
Here are some stories about how these resourceful entrepreneurs used what they had to grow their business. (Some of the stories have been edited for clarity and brevity.)