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What have you got to lose if your business fails? It's an important question to ask yourself as you work toward a start-up. If you're borrowing a lot of money to start, or if your family income is dependent on a successful start-up, remember that it's better to start slow and keep your expenses low. I tried to start several businesses before I finally got going, and while I have never regretted those failures, I could probably have been "less aggressive" on expenditures like letterhead and office space.