When I launch a business, I tend to try and bootstrap the business so I can retain as much ownership, and sometimes get the business launched with no outside investment capital. When you work with that goal, you tend to get extremely creative with your strategies.

A few years ago, we needed a phone system for a start-up that could start small and grow with the company handling as many as 300 employees or more. We accepted bids from many phone equipment companies who all seemed to come in around $150,000 for the system that we were looking for.

We didn't have that kind of money to invest in the phone system, and weren't too excited about raising the capital to pay for it. On top of the $150,000 we would be paying a company to support and service the upgrades and maintenance. This was way too expensive.

Fortunately, my partner developer found an open source phone system that did everything and way more than the phone system we originally were looking at. The phone system was capable of scaling to the level that we needed to have. The initial cost of the phone system was under $6,000 and cost $12,000 when it passed the capabilities of the $150,000 phone system.

We had a habit of saving money and it paid off in a big way. We didn't have to sell stock and weren't relying on support from an outside company. The phone system worked fantastic and was more than we needed.

It's amazing what you can accomplish when you're focused on getting your project done while saving money.