Are you wanting to start a business with little to no money?
You have this brilliant business idea but have no cash to put in place, your funding alternatives are not coming through, OR you may just feel like it’s possible to start your business with no money, but just have no idea how to get started! Barriers to entry, meaning the things that prevent most people from starting businesses, are almost non-existent with the recent surge of low-cost technology and online business resources.
People with a dream in their heart and a little bit of grit can make ANYTHING happen.
In this article I want to share with you the other options you have left and businesses that CAN start with little to know funding upfront.
To start a business with little to know capital, you need a complete mindset change. If you’re an entrepreneur who went to business school, you’re taught to empathize with the target market about satisfying a particular need. You have to identify the gap that requires bridging. That breach can vary from a new invention in the market to an upgrade in one that already exists.
From there, the entrepreneur is guided on how to come up with credible goals. There are numerous ways of doing this, but writing a business plan remains vital.
Read my blog post, 10 Things to Consider Before you Start a Business to learn more on how to create a business plan and all that it should entail to set yourself up for success. Having a business plan in place will enable you to approach financiers for funding. If they embrace your idea, they can provide you with the startup money to get your business up and running.
Even if you don't plan to seek financing, a business plan will help you identify the micro decisions that add up to make a big impact on the lunch of your business.
It sounds so simple but when you hit the market, things are can be different than what you initially anticipated, so it’s important to be prepared for the possibles. Coming up with a convincing business plan is only the foundation. The challenges that come after are more overwhelming, but the good thing is that the business world is constantly revolving and change always presents opportunity.
To embrace them, you need to ask yourself what skills you already have and who can help you to dive deeper in your desired industry. Below are four different ways to guide you to start a business.
1. Put What You Have on the Table
If you’re an entrepreneur with little to know upfront capital, start categorizing first. Think: What do you have at your disposal? Time? A skill set? Connections? Ability to learn? Then, analyze the skills you have which can influence success. Consider past experiences that have shaped who you are. Then, combine those experiences with your knowledge. What tips and techniques did you learn that can help you through? These will often align with your values and interests.
From there, determine what you have to start a business. What resources do you have, if any? Resources will come in handy to create an offering and testing the market. Entrepreneurs are incredible skilled at creating something out of nothing, so if at first you can't think of any resources, change your perspective to start seeing the things that help you get through each and every day. If you cannot think of resources, it's because you're overlooking what's right in front of you.
2. Consider Your Connections
Relationships make the world go round, especially in business. It’s important to have a to-go-to list of people in your network who you can always ask for help or guidance. To start this consider who can show you the way from your past and present relationships.
Sometimes it is not always about funding. A piece of good solid advice is SO much more valuable than money. Find people who more than likely have previously gone through the hurdles you are facing. If you feel like you don’t know anyone, start your networking journey now.
Get on social media and search hashtags to find entrepreneurs in the same industry, read their content and advice. Try searching YouTube to find how to start a business, entrepreneur tips and advice, etc. You can also network locally and try to find local entrepreneurs who would open up to you. Rotary and the local Chamber of Commerce are great places to start connecting.
Most business owner’s obtain an amazing entrepreneurial spirit that naturally want other entrepreneurs to succeed and tend to love sharing what works and hasn’t worked for them.
Their experience will be the pedestal you need. You will find having other people in similar situations as a resource can possibly be the best thing for your business. Such relationships can result in business partnerships. If you combine your knowledge and expertise, it can make big strides.
Lastly, don't forget to give before you receive - it works wonders and shows other people that you're interested in a mutually beneficial relationship, not just one based on taking what you need.
3. Consider how you can creatively loan yourself startup capital
To consider what you could leverage to get your business off the ground, think about money or resources that you've set aside for alternative uses. For example, my husband and I were paying off his student loans at 7% interest while we had more than enough in savings to cover the principal of the loans. We decided to pay off his loans in full, earned the 7% we would have paid in interest, and paid ourselves that 7% as we continued building our savings back up on what we would have paid in monthly student loans.
The same goes for business capital. If you have money set aside for other purposes, perhaps a vacation fund or money for a new car, consider using that to finance your business, paying yourself interest as your business turns a profit, you pay yourself, and can in turn build the fund back up to where it was.
I've written more about, How to Take Charge of Your Business Finances and make smart investments that grow your business to help support your approach to leveraging your investments.
4. Embrace Experimentations to Adapt
The benefit of starting small is you don’t have many rules and regulations like large organizations do. This provides flexibility and agility to pivot as needed. Flexibility is a competitive advantage used by many thriving businesses. The achievement is based on not having fixed goals that can't adapt to the needs of your business.
Don't regret starting small because it allows an easier adaptation of technology and realigning of business strategies. When a business has flexibility with various options, there tends to be less lead time communicating with the customer to reinforce the know, like, and trust factor on which your business will be built. With client retention of repeat sales and referrals, your business will grow faster.
Adopting a different approach will help you to succeed with whatever comes along - even a global pandemic. You will find that it’s crucial to learn how to transform positive and negative incidents into useful opportunities. With the knowledge above, you can comfortably venture into any business. Below are the types of businesses you can try out.
Businesses You Can Start with Little to No Capital
The types of businesses that prosper when starting with little to no money have certain characteristics. Most of the owners have adapted alternative mindsets to succeed and they typically fall under events, service, performance, education, or brokerage categories.
These businesses depend on the skills of the entrepreneur, so frankly that's most of what you need to get started. Service-based companies offer their expertise to others while gaining upfront investment, which is a great way to get started.
To start, the most important requirement you will need are the skills and tools within your trade to provide your services at high quality. Don’t forget to also create a marketing strategy for your business to get the word out! When starting out with low startup costs, take advantage of the many free marketing platforms that will give your business the boost it needs in the beginning.
Compared to a service provider, a consultant is also required to have tools of the trade. From there, you can start to market your work through the relationships you have already created. You can even begin a consultant business from your house and not have to spend anything for opening an office.
Event organizing businesses can require more capital to start due to prior payments often required by other service providers, but it's possible. The main focus lies in proper marketing. If you do it well, you can sell tickets before the event and cater to the major expenses. In the end, it will limit the capital required from you to stay afloat.
The current business shift is focusing more on value addition. To beat this, an entrepreneur can engage other business providers to improve performance. For instance, an event’s organizers may integrate professional photographers for combined success.
In the end, both of them will spend less compared to working solo. In other instances, they can charge some down payment to cover for the basic requirements.
Starting your business with limited money IS possible. it's really just figuring out the best way to approach your strategy of starting up. Utilize all of your available options to bring in more resources but also remember if none of them are possible, there are several businesses that can get going without money. All you need are the skills! You've got this!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR, FRANCIE HINRICHSEN
Hi there, I'm Francie. I started my business, Simply Integrated, in 2015 and have fallen madly in love with teaching small business owners how to start, grow, and market the successful and profitable business they dream about.
My knowledge and experience comes from earning an MBA and from coaching small business entrepreneurs while managing and marketing their projects. I focus solely on business strategy and marketing and created this blog to help others run more successful businesses. If you’re interested, you can read more about me on the About page of Simply Integrated’s website.
WE WANT TO DESIGN YOUR COMPANY'S MARKETING STRATEGY
If it turns out we’re a good fit to work together, we’d love to help drive customers to your business and positively impact your bottom line. Get in touch for a free consultation. To get in touch, use this contact form, email us at hello@SimplyIntegratedLLC.com, or call/text us at 309-431-2266.
Check out our list of services below: