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Want to Save Thousands in Your Startup Budget? Get a Library Card


In an age of co-working spaces and digital everything, it can be easy to forget the business benefits that come with a free library card.

Co-working spaces are sprouting up in almost every innovation district in the country. In my neck of the woods, Denver, there are so many they have created a consortium. Sure, they offer 24/7 beer on tap and lots of coffee, but is the price tag — which can vary from $50/month for limited access to hundreds or more for the full meal deal – really worth it? I don't think so. Instead, get a free public library card realize these savings:

1. Free access to unlimited WiFi

2. All the books you want that can be downloaded to your mobile device

3. Free access to the Wall Street Journal and other business publications

4. Reference and research help from those friendly people behind the sign that says "ASK"

5. Free parking

6. Time to exercise and chill, since most libraries don't open until 9 or 10 a.m.

7. IT support

8. A return on your tax dollars since you are already paying for it

9. Conference rooms and private studios

10. Small business help like this

Here are 10 other ways to reduce your burn rate:

1. Create an operating budget and keep track of your monthly spending

2. Shop for the best deals when it comes to auto or business insurance

3. Create an LLC or other corporate entities so you can track and deduct legitimate business expenses

4. Compare freelancers and their rates

5. Don't comingle personal and business bank accounts and check monthly statements for spending and possible fraud or identity theft.

Keep your burn rate low and your investors happy. Get a library card. Just do your work far from the children's books section.

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Victor J. Dzau, MD, gives expert advice
Victor J. Dzau, MD, gives expert advice