My friend George needed a good-sized space for his business – with a reception area, conference room, and a couple of offices. He didn’t want to shell out the money to buy or rent that much space. But he found a novel solution that got him what he needed… almost free of charge.

Here’s how he did it:

After searching around, he determined that it’d cost him about $2,000 a month to rent enough space for his business. Instead, he leased a larger space for $3,000. It had three extra little offices and a large reception area.

He rented out the small offices for $700 each, for a total of $2,100 a month. Then he sectioned off four workstation cubicles in the reception area, leaving room for a receptionist’s desk. He had no trouble renting out the four workstations for $300 each. That’s another $1,200.

His gross monthly income from these rentals is $3,300. Even allowing for a few vacancies during the year, he’s pretty much breaking even on his own rent.

In other words, George has a $2,000-a-month office practically for free.

Using the same general idea, you can keep your overhead down so you can start a business with very little capital.

[Ed. Note: Want even more strategies for starting and growing a business on a shoestring? Paul Lawrence is a successful entrepreneur and publisher who has started over a dozen profitable enterprises. To get more practical small-business tips, check out Paul’s “Street Smart” program by clicking right here.

Office space is a secondary business concern, something to think about once you have a proven way to bring in sales and revenue. To learn how to get to that point as quickly as possible, check out Michael Masterson’s book Ready, Fire, Aim: Zero to $100 Million in No Time Flat.]

Paul Lawrence

Paul Lawrence is an entrepreneur who has made his living starting and running a series of profitable businesses. One day while cleaning his mother's pool for a few extra bucks, it dawned on Paul that he could perhaps start his own pool cleaning business. He carefully employed all the marketing techniques that he had learned in school and designed his first flyer. Immediately the business took off and within a week, Paul had his own little business. He quickly expanded, hired employees and then eventually sold it some relatives who made well over $250,000 in the next year before they eventually sold it for a six figure profit. After finishing college, Paul did a brief stint in a management program for a national rental company, but he quickly realized that he was much happier running his own show. Paul left the rental company and launched one of the most financially successful independent ballroom dance instruction companies in the state of Florida where he received quite a bit of media attention for his revolutionary business practices that included front page features in the Life Style section of the Sun Sentinel, features in the Miami Herald, Boca News, Center Stage Entertainment and many others. With that business running profitably, Paul started several other businesses either individually or as partnerships that included a million dollar video production company, a mortgage brokerage, a home maintenance business, several mail order companies, a business consulting service among others.With a love of movies, Paul began to work at breaking into Hollywood as a screenwriter where he's beaten the odds by becoming a produced writer. He is a credited writer for the film CRUEL WORLD, starring Jaime Presley and Eddie Furlong and has signed a development deal for a national television series with one of the world's largest producers of television and films among his half a dozen sales and options of movie scripts he wrote. Paul is the creator of the Quick & Easy Microbusiness program.