Starting a small business is a great way to earn extra money. Its is a perfect way to bring in more cash to supplement your regular income. Or it can eventually help you escape your regular 9-5. It also helps protect you in the case of job loss or injury. But if you’re already are short on cash then starting a small business can be difficult. So the question is, how to start a business with no money?
(Looking for other opportunities to make money? Check out our monster post of ways to earn money online)
How To Start A Business With No Money:
Start Small: By starting small you’ll decrease your startup costs. Start the business at home. Do it on the side of your existing employment. Not only will this decrease your startup costs but it will provide a base level of income while you pursue your small business.
Start A Services Business: By selling your services rather than a product you avoid a lot of costs. For examples, you wont need product development, product testing, inventory, logistics or distribution. Selling your services also means that you don’t need an office and can work directly out of your home. Accountants, website designers, financial planners, graphic artists and more all can easily work from home and save a lot of money this way.
Sell What You Already Do: What do you do that people would be willing to pay for? Could you make something? Do you have unique skills? Maybe a hobby that you could turn into a small business? By selling what you already do you can avoid a lot of the startup costs because you already own these tools/resources. Here are some examples:
- Woodworking Hobby = Create & sell unique furniture like harvest tables
- Computer Programer = Make websites for local small businesses
- Hobby Baker = Start a cottage bakery in your home and sell at farmers markets
- Gardner = Start a small landscaping business
- Amateur Photographer = Custom family photos or wedding photography
Finding Extra Tools/Resources: The trick with starting a small business with no money is that you need to use the tools/resources already at your disposal. This could be your car, your kitchen, your computer, or even your personal skills and talent. But if you don’t have the right resources then try using Craigslist or Freecycle to find items for little or no cost. Also look into groups that share tools/resources. There are lots of examples of shared office space where a few small businesses share common office features like meeting rooms and board rooms. There are also small business incubators that are sometimes subsidized by the government.
Professional Logo And Artwork: There are online resources like DesignCrowd, Fiverr or GigBucks that are great for finding inexpensive but professional services.
Inexpensive Marketing And Advertising: Advertising can be tricky if you don’t have any money. Use online resources like WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram to market your products or services for free. Starting a Facebook page or Tweeting about your business is incredibly easy to do. By getting your network to share your Facebook posts and retweet your Tweets you can reach thousands of people at no cost at all.
Raise Money Through Crowd Funding: A totally new way to raise cash to start a business. There are tons of examples of startup companies raising millions in cash to help fund their product development. Crowd funding campaigns that do the best already have a prototyped product to share. They also have a high quality video to share their product/passion.
Raise Money Through Peer-To-Peer Lending: Another totally new way to raise cash to start a business is through peer-to-peer lending. Sites like Lending Club offer peer-to-peer loans to start a business. They’ll loan up to $300,000! Peer-to-peer lending is different than a traditional business loan. The loan is split up into many chunks and then other people loan you the money through Lending Club.
Start An Online Business: The best part of starting an online business is that the startup costs are very low. Using free templates its easy to create a slick looking website for only a few dollars per month. If you’re only selling information/services then an online business can be started for as little as $150!
Work Like Crazy! Starting a small business takes a lot of work. It will require long days and long nights. When you first start your business you’ll likely be CEO, CFO, CMO, COO all in one. This will be a ton of work but can help avoid additional costs and will create a lot of “sweat equity”.
How To Start A Small Business With No Money:
Starting a small business is tough. It requires a lot of work and dedication. But it doesn’t necessarily require a lot of money. By following some of the tips above you can start a business with the minimal amount of startup costs.
Do you need some small business ideas? Check out our list of 37 easy small business ideas.
Have you ever started a small business? How did you reduce the startup costs or raise cash?
Photo by La Citta Vita via Flickr