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How To Start A Business With No Money

  • July 13, 2021

If you're reading this, I'm earning money. Thanks for helping to feed my family. Please see our disclosure for more information. Also, any advice provided is for informational purposes only. I'm not a CPA, lawyer, or doctor, although my parents wanted me to be all three. So, talk to a professional before acting on anything you read below.

In today’s modern world, a world that is run by technology, starting a business is a relatively simple thing to do – you can create a website quickly, have it online immediately, and start selling. Of course, making any money from a business is something entirely different; this is not so easy, and you’ll need to work hard to ensure it happens. Plus, there is a lot of competition; around 800,000 new businesses are launched every year. 

Most of the time, however, no matter what kind of business you want to start or what your plans are, it’s almost impossible to start a business without any money. Or rather, that’s how it might seem, and it’s what many experts will tell you. And having money behind you is something that will make life a lot easier. Yet don’t worry if you have no money because there are ways that you start a business with no money. It won’t be easy, but it can be done. Read on to find out what your options are. 

Use Assets You Already Own 

When it comes to starting a business, your first thought may well be that you want to borrow money or find an investor. These are excellent ideas, and they could be exactly what your business needs. If this is the route you want to go down, then creating a startup pitch deck and having a business plan behind you are going to be essential. 

But what if you can’t borrow any money due to poor credit or a business plan that doesn’t fill a lender with confidence? What if no investors want to put their money into your business until you can prove that you can make money, which is hard without their money to begin with? 

In these situations, you can use assets you already own. We’re not talking about selling your home or possessions to raise money, and we’re not (necessarily) talking about using your savings. What we mean is that you already have a device (a phone, laptop, or tablet), and you have wifi, or you can find a place with free wifi if need be. So you can start a website and online store. Do you have a car that you’re already paying for? Then you can get to customers’ homes or deliver goods locally. These are just examples; look around your home to see what you already have and start a business with these assets. Not only will it cost you nothing extra, but it will help you narrow down your choices and even create something entirely unique. 

Find Free Equipment 

It could be that you already know what kind of business you want to start, and perhaps it requires specialist equipment that you can’t currently afford. If this is the case, then it’s a good idea to see if you can find this equipment anywhere for free. Searching online is a great place to start. Bear in mind that free equipment might be out of date, it might be damaged, it might not even work, but if you can make do with this until you start making money and can buy something better, then you’ll be able to launch your business. 

Sites such as Freecycle, Craigslist, and Gumtree all have free items on offer. Think carefully about exactly what you need so you’re not gathering together too many things that are just going to take up space, and you’ll soon have what you need to help your customers or produce your products. 

Keep Your Job 

When you start your own business, you’re not doing it so you can work two jobs and be busier than ever before. The entire premise behind becoming your own boss is that you have more free time (eventually, at least) and that you’re not beholden to anyone else. Surely keeping your current job just means a lot more hard work and no free time at all? 

In essence, that is what it means. But making your startup into a successful business isn’t easy and will require a lot of hard work and dedication. If you genuinely feel you have a good idea and you want to make it work, you’ll have to put in the labor required. 

By keeping your current job, you’ll be getting a paycheck each month, so you don’t have to worry about paying the bills. You might even be able to invest some of that money into your small business that you start on the side and work on at weekends and during the evenings. Eventually, if you work hard and have a plan to follow, you’ll find that your side job becomes more profitable than your main job, and you can quit the latter to concentrate on the former. Don’t do that too early though, or you could put yourself in financial difficulties. 

Use Funding Platforms 

Maybe you need a lot more money for your startup than you can manage by yourself, and maybe you need it before you can start at all. This will be the case for some businesses. Don’t despair if you don’t think you can make your business into a reality just because of a lack of funds though. If the traditional methods of getting money aren’t working, then why not look into online funding platforms? Websites such as CrowdFunder and Kickstarter have been known to launch a number of businesses, for example. 

You need to have a vision to do this, and you need to impart that vision to other people. This is the most important element of using one of these platforms. Unless you can explain to the public what your business is and – significantly – how it will help them, no one is going to want to invest. However, if you can get this aspect right, you’ll find that people are willing to give you money for your dream to come true. 

Know Your Service Strengths 

Now that businesses can often work remotely, you don’t need to think about rent or finding any office space – at least not at first. You won’t even need to think about staffing initially as you can outsource or try to do it all yourself. These are the two most considerable costs associated with running a business, and you are able to ignore them both. 

However, something you can’t ignore is the cost of your product. You are going to need to buy stock to sell, and unless you’re already making money, this can be an issue. So instead of buying stock, think about what service strengths you have. Offering a service is much more cost-effective than providing a product as there is nothing to buy. Options include tutoring, selling photography, website design, becoming a personal trainer, and much more. If you still like the idea of selling a product, you can add this to your range once you start making money from services. 

Learn To Barter 

If there is something you need for your business but you can’t afford it, it’s helpful to know how to barter to get it. This won’t always work, but it is certainly worth trying, and you might find that by offering a service to someone in return for the equipment or service you need can work out well. 

Although this will potentially necessitate you working for free, if you can get something in return that will boost your business and enable you to take the next step forward with your success, then it’s something to consider. 

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