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Tech tips to start a business for free

Make sure your wallet doesn't take a bashing

Times are tough, money is tight, and starting your own new business takes an iron gut. However advancements in the technological landscape mean everything from raising money to finding staff to getting the word out about your business has evolved. Here's some great ways the web can help you start a business with practically nothing besides a good idea.

Office squatting

The true startup cheapskate sets up shop in the basement, in the garage or on the living room sofa. But if those options don't cut it, check out LiquidSpace, which offers short-term, part-time and temporary workspace options ranging from full business centres to unused conference room tables. An iPhone app makes it easy to find the nearest available place to squat.

If Starbucks isn't your ideal office, Loosecubes has alternatives. Loosecubes offers similar features, but it isn't designed for mobile users. Naturally, if the prospect of spending even a dime on your desk rental fills you with horror, there's always free Wi-Fi at Starbucks.

Find workers around the World

You can outsource manufacturing - and you can hire someone anywhere to do just about any other job you can imagine, too. If you're comfortable giving the work to someone whom you won't be interacting with physically - and who may not even speak English - a host of online services will help you find a warm body who possesses the skills you need.

Elance is probably the most visible outsourcing site, and oDesk and Guru offer similar services. All three sites are set up to help you find contract work via a system where you can post your job and invite users to bid on doing the work.

Those in the know say that your best bet is to search through contractor CVs and portfolios until you find the best candidate for the task, and then to approach that individual directly with an offer. Open-to-all job postings on outsourcing sites rarely end with your drumming up any decent applicants at all (as I can attest from my own experience), and the wasted effort delays your project and costs you extra money.

Another hiring tip: Craigslist remains a rich market for talent, but the associated fees can add up.

NEXT PAGE: Market your business for nothing

  1. Make sure your wallet doesn't take a bashing
  2. Office squatting
  3. Market your business for nothing

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