Apparently there are millions of people out there thinking about starting a small business. Many doing so for the first time, losing your house or pension should not be part of this experience.

Here are some things not to do when you start a new business venture:

1. Don’t spend money if you don’t have too.

Think about what you need to start your business. You’ll have many items in your house already, like a computer, ADSL/DSL broadband, desk or even an office. Get free software, like for your word-processing, etc. – get bundles of services, not single applications – it’s often much less expensive.

2. Don’t pay for business ideas.

There are many free business ideas online, just google for them. Don’t spend you money on paying someone else to give you an idea, that may or may not work.

3. Don’t pay big bucks on marketing or PR.

Do you own PR and marketing online, get your website and online shop setup. Join twitter, facebook, linkedin and write a blog to promote your products & services. Go to local business networking events or talk to your local paper and give an interview – it’s all free.

4. Don’t pay, barter.

Whatever it is you do, you can use bartering techniques to get things or services you need – cash is king – so keep it.

5. Don’t hire, use a virtual assistant.

Hiring people is a big responsibility, don’t burden yourself and your new business with unnecessary fixed costs – outsource and timeshare professional virtual assistants. Make sure you get value for your money, not all VAs are the same.

6. Don’t buy, rent, lease, borrow or subscribe.

Again, “Cash is King” – keeping the money for as long as possible, is the name of the game. There are good finance deals out there – people are willing to make a deal in a recession – use that to your advantage.

7. Don’t borrow from banks, get equity from friends, family or business angels.

Banks are stripped of cash, they need to show profits and reserves on their balance sheets – they will see you as a risk, and that is best case. In other words if they give you any money, it will be very expensive money – don’t do it. Find friends or family to go into business with you, get an angel investor, he/she will not only give money but experience & contacts to get your business of the ground. You may also try to “crowdfund” in order to get money to help start your business.

Business bootstrapping, there are always alternatives, you just need to think and find them. – ST.