Reining in New Biz Startup Costs

By Joyce M. Rosenberg, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Starting a business can be expensive, as people find when they become entrepreneurs after losing their jobs. But many of these brand-new company owners have also found ways to keep those costs down.

The biggest money saver is working out of your home. Asking friends and family to refer good but low-cost help, from accountants to graphic artists to lawyers, is another way.

Keeping startup costs down is essential when a business is young and money isn't yet flowing in. But always watching your expenses and being sure they don't get out of hand is a good way to help any company weather the downturns.

"We didn't have a choice" but to keep costs low, said Michael Volpatt, co-owner of the public relations firm Larkin/Volpatt Communications. "What I've learned in the last 10 years is that financial stability is about sustainability." And that, Volpatt said, means making sure a

business isn't ever undermined by costs.

Here's a look at ways that new entrepreneurs can keep their startup costs down:

WORK AT HOME, OR IN A FRIEND'S SPACE

Since many people who have lost their jobs tend to be at home, that's where they start their businesses. They can't beat the low overhead.

When Volpatt and Kate Larkin started the public relations firm Larkin/Volpatt Communications 10 years ago, they both worked out of their homes. Volpatt is based in Sonoma, Calif., while Larkin is in New York.

"It made sense financially," Volpatt said.

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