7 Ways To Start A Business With No Money
When planning to start a business, half your battle will be answering the question – what do I sell? The other half will be ‘is starting a business with no money possible?’
Having a great idea but having no idea of how to start a business with no money does not mean that your entrepreneurship journey is over. There are multiple ways to get money, but for all of them to work, you need to have the business mindset – passion, patience, hard work, ability to take feedback with a grain of salt, and boatloads of creativity.
Our guide will show you how to start a business with no money.
Things To Consider Before Starting a Business Without Money
If you are passionate about on starting your business with no money, then you need to be strategic in your approach. Unless you have funds stored or have a backup, here are a few things you need to do before you jump into your business:
Don’t stop/leave your current work
Do not build castles in the air. Be realistic and accept that your business may not take off. This will ensure that you are not relying on your business to earn your livelihood. Yes, it does take away your concentration from your business, but it is better to run your business in your free time, or on weekends, or holidays, rather than having to plan on how to survive on Ramen for the next few months.
Look into free resources
When you plan on starting a business with no money, you need to make the best of what you have. Analyze your business requirements and what you can offer. If there are any gaps, then start searching for them online.
You can try using trial periods of free tools or downloading templates online – to get what you need. This will also help you in the long run as you can determine its functionality and if any company or tool is worth investing in.
Connect with the Relevant Network
When looking for tips on starting a business without money, the main one you need to follow is to forge the right networks. Interact with people in the same industry, connect with other entrepreneurs, and try talking to experienced business owners – you will learn a lot, especially when it comes to the best business to start with little money options.
In some cases, your business idea may be so unique that you may not come across others in the same field. Connect with entrepreneurs to understand what it takes to build a business and how they overcame their failures.
How To Start A Business With No Money?
With everyone looking to be the next big business guru, you may be wondering, “how can I start a business with no money?”
Here are our seven recommendations for starting a business with no money.
1. Get your business idea ready
Before you start jumping into your business, you need to have a strong business idea. In your entrepreneurial journey, this is the first step. In a research conducted by Harvard Business Review, 16% of entrepreneurs who write formal business ideas achieve viability then their non-planning counterparts. Start brainstorming your options and pay attention to what is trending and what people are looking for.
When you have a few ideas planned out, ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I passionate about this business?
- Will my talent offer a bonus in the business?
- Would I be able to make the business successful with my present skill set?
Here are some tips on starting a business idea
- Look into selling services – When it comes to the best business to start with little money, look at what services you can offer. Are you a good chef? Start an online cooking class! Do you have the flair for writing? Start freelance content writing! There are multiple options you can look at such as – virtual assistant, handyman, dog walking, personal shopping, house or pet setting, and more.
- Selling handicraft goods – Are you good at making jewelry or painting? Then why not make some extra money from selling your hobby. You can sell handcrafted goods on marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace and Etsy.
- Drop Shipping – One of the most popular business models for starting a business with no money all you need to do is create an online store with platforms like Shopify. Choose drop shipping suppliers like AliExpress, and that’s it. When you get an order on your eCommerce store, then just forward it to your supplier. It’s their job to package and ship the order. The best part about dropshipping is that all you need to buy is the Shopify account. No inventory is required. When someone orders something from your store just pass the order forward.
- Printing on Demand – Everyone wants personalized products right now. In fact, globally it is estimated to be a $38 billion industry. Just like dropshipping, some companies such as Printful will print your designs, ship the inventory and charge you only when you get paid from the customer. Just like dropshipping there are no storage costs, or inventory costs involved.
- Sell digital products – If you have knowledge about an industry or field that you think others are looking for, then package your solution into e-products like online courses, templates, or e-books.
2. Keep conducting market research:
Understanding what the market wants is invaluable, especially when determining your business ideas. Now that you have your business ideas start looking at market research based on the industry and the present customer base. This will give you an idea of how well the industry is doing, the best business to start with little money, and how your business will perform.
Did you know that the market research industry exceeded 76.4 billion US dollars in 2021.
With thorough market research, you can identify your competitors, what they are doing right or wrong, and determine the best cost-effective way to outmaneuver them. You can also find holes in your competitor’s business strategies and find your USP or Unique Selling Point.
3. Start with creating a prototype or Minimum Viable Product
When selling a product or service, start with the most cost-effective prototype or MVP possible. An MVP or minimum viable product is one with basic core features to test how viable it is in the market. The main purpose behind MVP is to see how customers react to it and get their initial feedback.
One of the most excellent ways to start a business with no money is by starting a crowdfunding campaign. If people are interested in investing in your business, it is a good indicator that the idea is worth pursuing. In case you do not get the funding required, the feedback that people leave will be invaluable.
Another tip on starting a business is to use social media to see how people react to your MVP. Create a page and showcase short videos, blogs, and posts to see how many likes, shares, comments, and reactions you get.
You could also go the old-fashioned way and test your MVP on family and friends. See what feedback they give you.
But, in case your MVP does not get great feedback, do not get discouraged. Use the feedback to better your plans and product/service or check if it is worth pursuing.
4. Developing a business plan
At this stage, you already know whether your business will sustain or fail. Based on all the feedback you have received, it is time to plan your business goals. A study examined 223 ventures and found that those who finished their business plans were twice as likely to succeed than those who had no plans.
In case you do not know how to write a business plan, you can always go online and download a template. Since this business plan will be your starting resource, keep it short and actionable. But, remember to include your business operation statements, product/service description, market research, and analysis.
Good business plans have both long-term and short-term benefits. They help you set the roadmap for all the steps while explaining your startup costs.
5. Start your initial marketing strategy with organic communication
One critical section of starting a business with no money is by spreading details about your product or service to potential customers. Now is not the time to have a radical marketing plan; rather, it is better to focus on organic options as your initial marketing strategy.
Create a website
Launch a small website using free SEO tools and simple website builders like wix.com, weebly.com, and others. Create pages such as about us, product or services page, and FAQ section, and share videos and images of your products/services. Add your business address to the contact page to show up in regional searches.
Add a blog section where you can publish content regularly to make sure you can rank your website. In case you are not sure about content writing, you could always outsource the work. Also, you could take some free courses online to teach you how to rank your website.
Look into social media
Now that you have your social media pages ready start sharing details about your brand and products on your page. Get people to view your page and engage with your products. Start responding to customer queries or comments and participate in groups. This way, you can build your audience organically.
6. Don’t forget to set up payment methods
Once your website is up and running, there may be a chance that you will get customers interested in your products/services. So, do not pass up the chance and set up payment options. When choosing the different methods available, check which is the best fit for you. This will depend on your popularity, customer demands, transaction size, and others.
Cash payment is one of the fastest, easiest and cheapest options available. Anyone can order with payment on delivery options. But this can have disadvantages such as rejection of products or theft. It would be better to combine two or three payment options, keeping your customers in mind. Millennials and Gen Z prefer card payment, while the older generation prefers cash. Depending on your clientele age group, choose your payment options.
7. Look at different funding options
When your business reaches the ‘point of no return,’ you need to start looking for funding. If you have enough money saved, you can put that into your business. But, in most cases, you will need outside funding.
The most traditional option is to apply for a bank loan. You can explore options from regional, state, or federal agencies. There are also multiple private funding options available from major organizations. But they grant funding to specific demographics such as veterans or minorities.
If you wish to adopt the modern way, there are always crowdfunding sites. You can raise money in exchange for a share of the product/service via this option. Another option is from friends and family. But set up a payment plan and work professionally to avoid ruining relationships.
In case you are a startup, then look for venture capitalists and angel investors. Usually, they fund businesses in exchange for royalty, equity, and convertible debt.
YES, You Can Start A Business With No Money..
With this guide, you will understand that you do not need money to start your business. All you need is a brilliant idea, lots of commitment, and the spirit to push through when things seem hard.
Hundreds of entrepreneurs have successful businesses without any funding and a full-time job. Find what works for you and stick to it. Remember that no two business ideas will be the same. So keep moving forward even if you plan on starting a business with no money.
Related Reading: Building Blocks of Successful Small Business
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