Lesley Spencer Pyle

Lesley Spencer Pyle is the founder and president of the, Inc. Network which includes Home-Based Working Moms ( and ( Pyle has been featured in numerous publications including Forbes, Entrepreneur, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Parenting, Dr. Laura's Perspectives, Family PC and many others. She has 4 children ages 18 months to 14 years and has been working from home since the first baby was born! Copyright 2008 by Inc. All rights reserved.

Lesley Spencer Pyle has written 3 articles for SB Informer.
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Starting Your Home Business Without Going into Debt

Lesley Spencer Pyle

March 23, 2009

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One of the most common obstacles many home-business owners face is trying to start a new business on a limited budget. The first few years of a business are usually the hardest financially. Some women leave full-time careers and substantial salaries to start a new business. Other women start home businesses as stay-at-home moms wanting additional income to support their family as well as a professional outlet to balance their diaper-changing days.

In either case, starting and running a home-based business takes money. How much money, will depend partly on you and the type of business you choose to run.

Here are some money-saving tips to help you start your home business without going into debt:
1. First, do your own market research.
Find out what the competition is and if there are enough potential customers to support your business. Also determine the correct pricing for your product or service. You don't want to price it too low or too high. Find out what similar businesses charge and what they offer for that price.
2. Look for other non-competitive businesses that target the same market and do some co-op marketing. For example, a virtual assistant can team up with an accountant to market one another's services in their mail-outs, invoices, print ads, etc. It's a great way to double one's marketing efforts while splitting any advertising costs.
3. Barter or trade your services for other products or services you need. Associations and organizations are not only great places to network; they are also great for finding businesses that offer services and products you need. (Be sure to check with your tax professional for tax issues involving bartering and trading.)
4. If you have small children at home, find another home-based working mom to swap babysitting with. By swapping with another mom, both can work on their businesses without adding to their childcare costs.

5. If you hire sales help, pay by commission only so you only spend money if you make money. A salesperson can increase your sales without adding any up-front fees or salaries.

6. Ask for referrals.
What better way to save marketing and advertising dollars than using word of mouth. When you have a satisfied customer, don't be afraid to ask for a testimonial or if they know others who may need your product or service. People like to help others especially new businesses trying to succeed. Another great way to encourage referrals is to offer a discount or special offers for any customers who are referred to you.

Rebecca White, Owner of  Heal Yourself Talk Radio and  The Health Podcasting Directory of Sylvania, Ohio, offers some additional money-saving tips:
*Look for web hosting companies that offer web design discounts when you purchase web hosting from them.  

*Set aside an advertising budget each month. Find websites that are in your niche market and advertise with them for at least three months to test your response.  Even if you can only invest $5 a month, a well placed $5 ad is better then sporadically spending $5 here and there.

*Write articles in your area of expertise and submit them to websites catering to your target market. You can also send your articles to article directories.  
*Do online chats to show your expertise. The hottest chat room around now is the audio/text chat room which allows you to talk to those in the room using your computer microphone.

Sue Anderson, Training and Development Consultant and Owner of Change Happens in Pleasanton, California, offers her money saving tips,

*Design your own business cards and letterhead by using free templates from the Internet like those found on


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