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How to Start a Business With No Money

Start a business with no money
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Many people dream about having their own business. But the idea that they need a lot of money and financial security to start stops them in their tracks. But depending on the kind of business you want to start, you might not need much money to get going at all. In this article, we’ll discuss how to start a business with no money. We’ll also give you some examples and tips to help you succeed.

 

Can You Start a Business With No Money?

You can start a business with no money. The most important aspects to focus on when you want to start a business are your resources. Starting without money is not the same as starting without resources!

Everything from skills, past education, general knowledge, social circles, networks, creativity, and your ability to seize opportunities can all be considered resources. If you don’t have the money to build up your dream business in one go, you’ll need to put in some effort and rely on your resources instead.

However, some business will need funding of some sort.

 

What Businesses Can You Start With No Money?

There are many different types of business that you can start with no money. Let’s take a look at some examples.

Online Content Provider

The internet has allowed for the creation of many kinds of online businesses, from online stores to streaming services. You can even offer your freelancing services through marketplaces like Fiverr and Upwork. Setting up accounts on websites like these is free. So, you won’t need to spend any money to get your business out there on the internet!

Selling Personal Creations

Maybe you’re more of a creative person with great skills in painting, designing, or crafting. In that case, you can sell your arts and crafts straight from your home. Take pictures of your beautiful creations, post them on your socials, and ask your friends and family to spread the word. You might have to pay for supplies and postage, but you can charge prices that cover these costs. Consider platforms like Etsy for this kind of business, or build your own website!

In-Home Services

There are some services you can provide in person without needing to have a formal business. Babysitting, dog walking, landscaping, and cleaning are some examples of work you can do without having any financial help to start. You start by asking friends and family if they need any of the services you’re providing. Then, ask them for referrals, and from there it’s all about spreading the word!

Consulting

Maybe you’ve been working in the same field for years and consider yourself an expert, and you feel like it’s time to spread your wings and become your own boss. Why not take all of your knowledge and provide it to other companies in the same industry that are just starting out? You don’t need any money to become a consultant, as you just need experience and the will to pass on your best advice.

But what if your dream is having a brick-and-mortar business? Can you still start that kind of business without any money?

Starting a Brick-and-Mortar Businesses With No Money

If your dream is, for example, to open up a bakery, consider selling your treats from your own house at first. Sell your product to your friends and family and ask for feedback. Get their help advertising your business and sooner or later the customers will start coming. You’ll start building a reputation and all the money you get from the initial sales will then help you get the store you’ve always dreamed of.

There are business licenses you might have to consider if you go down this route. However, starting out from your own house or selling your products through other vendors before opening up your own shop with the profits is a great way to get the ball rolling.

 

Starting a Business With No Money – Getting Investment

So, you’ve started your business and now you feel like it’s time to take the next step and grow. But what if you aren’t making enough money yet? You can always try asking for a loan from a bank, but interest rates are always high and you don’t want to build up a lot of debt when you’re starting a business.

In these moments you can start looking for someone to invest in your business, or research any available business grants. Let’s explore some of the best options that can get some money flowing into your business.

Crowdfunding

People looking to gather some capital for their business can post their work on crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, GoFundMe, and Patreon. On these platforms, different people can take a look at what you’re trying to create and decide if they want to contribute or not. In some cases, you can even create a reward system, through which you give them something in return for their support.

For example, if you want to start a design business you can choose to create a special sticker for people who donate £5 and then draw out a personal sketch for those who donate £10. If you need the funding to print a book, consider giving away signed copies to anyone that supports you.

Startup Competitions

If you feel like your dream business is creative and innovative you could also try to enter some competitions for startup businesses. Programmes like The Pitch or The Responsible Business Awards are great for getting your work out there and possibly trying to get some early investors. Even if you don’t win, you’ll get an insight into how others run their businesses, you’ll get some visibility, and you also get the chance to build your network.

Angel Investors

Angel investors are people outside of your company that invest in your business. These investors sometimes take on a mentorship role, helping to guide you in the right direction. Getting yourself an angel investor isn’t easy. However, if you have a great idea and know how to sell it to the right person, you could land yourself major investment!

 

Starting an Online Business With No Money

You can start an online business with no money, but it helps if you have a clear idea of what you have to offer. There are many platforms online, like Fiverr, where you can profit from any type of skill or service you have to offer. All you need to do is create an account and advertise your services.

Becoming a Freelancer

Let’s take freelance writing as an example. You realise that you enjoy writing and decide that you want to do that for a living. It might seem a bit overwhelming at first if you don’t know where to start. But it gets easier as you learn about the business and understand your strengths and capacities.

Starting Your Own Website

You can also start your own website if you don’t want to use freelance marketplaces. While this might require some investment if you go down the traditional web hosting route, it’s worth it to have full control over your online presence.

Selling on Other Platforms

You could also use other platforms to set up your online business. There are ecommerce platforms like Shopify that charge monthly fees in return for the use of their platform’s services. Others, like Etsy, charge fees based on your listings and sales. It’s worth considering the options available to you and deciding which ones match best to the kind of business you want to start.

 

Tips for Saving Money to Start a Business

Perhaps you have an idea of what your dream business could be, and it does require some money after all. In that case, you’ll need to save up some money to get things going.

What Can You Do for Free?

The internet is full of resources that can help you get some things for free. For example, instead of spending money on creating a website right away, you could try creating a Facebook page to promote it instead.

It comes down to knowing what’s essential for you and your business. Can you save some money by designing your materials yourself? Do you have any friends that can help you with any of the aspects of your business for free? Could one of your friends help you out with marketing or promotion? Is there someone that you can barter with and trade your skills for theirs?

Asking for Help

Your friends and family could be your first clients, so why not ask them for some financial help? This doesn’t have to be like a donation, as they could become actual investors. Explain to them your vision and goals, show them that you have it all planned out, and pitch to them as you would to any other investor. Keep track of what they lend you and then pay it back, and use their investment to grow your business.

Reinvesting Profits

Once you start seeing some profits it’s time to put that money back into your business. You might feel tempted to spend the money right away, but keep in mind that reinvesting your profits in your business will only make it grow further, which in turn will generate even more money.

 

How to Start an Online Business With No Money

Take Advantage of What You Know

Sometimes resources are more important than money when it comes to starting a business. Try to create a business based on what you already know (your skills and expertise).

Test Your Market

Selling the wrong product to the right audience or selling the right product to the wrong audience are both common mistakes made by beginner business owners. To figure it out, you need to test out your market. Ask for feedback on your product, see if you’re trying to sell it to the right people, and find out what your audience/market wants. Continue to do this as your business grows as well, or you risk losing touch with your customer base.

Aim for Free Marketing

If you’re just starting your business, chances are you don’t have the funds to hire marketing professionals. But you don’t need to! Friends, family members, business colleagues, and just about anyone you know can be a great ally in promoting your business for you by simply spreading the word.

Plus, almost everyone uses social media nowadays. So, if you start spreading your business’ page across your socials, the people you know will likely share it. Then it will reach other people from their networks. This is a great way to boost your business’ exposure for free.

 

You Can Start a Business With No Money!

Now you know that you don’t need any money to start your dream business! It’s more important to have the right resources on hand, and to build your network to help you get started. Whether you’re looking to start an online business or dream about opening up a physical shop to sell your goods, there are many ways you can succeed without any financial help.

One great source of information is right here on the Sophical Blog!

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