How To Start A Business With No Money
Do you want to start a business but you have no startup capital?
The great news is that starting a business with no money is possible. You just have to get a little creative with your ideas and be willing to think outside the box!
Many small business owners, myself included, started a side hustle while still working full-time. With two babies, a mortgage, car notes and other expenses to pay, I did not have a lot of “free cash flow” in my budget to invest in starting a business.
Instead, I explored online based businesses that required little to no money to start. I slowly built my secondary income from my side hustles while still having the comfort of the steady income from my 9-5 position.
If you are ready to start a business, but you don't have much cash, the information I share below will help. It all starts with assessing where you currently are and what resources you have access to use to your benefit.
How to Start a Business with No Capital
Assess Your Skills and Strengths
I'm a big believer in using your skills and strengths to start a business. When you build a business idea using a skill set you already possess, it shortens the learning curve for starting a business.
I encourage you to examine your existing skills and creative talents. Explore your natural abilities and tap into skills that you've learned from past jobs, self-taught skills, and more. You can build a profitable business around these skills.
Assess Your Budget
By taking a closer look at your expenses, you may actually be able to free up some cash for your business. It doesn't have to be a large amount. Every little bit counts.
For instance, when I was first getting started I was able to negotiate a lower payment for my monthly cable bill and my cell phone bill. This freed up $50 or so per month that I then used to grow my business.
Assess Your Network of Friends and Family
I learned a long time ago that closed mouths don't get fed. This means that you can't be afraid to speak up and ask for something when you want/need it.
If you have a great idea for a business but lack the startup capital, there may be a close friend or family member that you can ask for the funds you need to get started.
Your network of friends and family can also help get the word out about your new business venture and help you to build connections that will grow your business over time.
Assess Other Resources
There are a variety of resources and funding options available for women who are starting small businesses.
- The Small Business Administration offers resources that help women entrepreneurs to launch new businesses and find funding.
- Kabbage offers small business loans for women up to $250,000.
- Ellevest is another company that offers great financial resources for women.
If you are considering applying for a small business loan, make sure that you create a solid business plan and that you have a thorough understanding of the terms of the loan.
Business Ideas You Can Start With No Money
Here are three business ideas that you can launch without much money.
Start a Service-Based Business
Selling a service a great way to start a business without the need for much cash. A few service-based business ideas include:
The biggest point to take into consideration when it comes to creating service businesses is that you will need to grow a customer base. You need to make finding paying clients a priority for this business model to work.
Sell a Digital Product
Selling digital products requires very little funds to get started. You can create and sell digital products such as ebooks, online courses, printables, and more for a very low monthly cost and possibly even for free!
For instance, you can start a business creating and selling online courses on a platform like Skillshare for no upfront costs. All you need to do is choose a topic you know well, outline and record a few short lessons, and then upload those lessons to the platform.
You can use free tools to record your course. Skillshare then allows you to upload your online course for no cost.
Productivity Tip: When exploring a product idea, it doesn't have to be perfect! Instead, aim to create a minimum viable product. This is the version of your product that has the bare minimum features necessary for it to work. You can always improve on it later.
Start a Coaching Business
The time that you have spent gaining experience in a particular industry can help you launch a coaching business. Large companies and even individual small business owners will pay you for your expertise as a means to grow their businesses.
You can offer financial coaching, health coaching, relationship coaching, career coaching, etc. The possibilities are endless and you don't need much to get started:
- A Website – While I'm an advocate of creating self-hosted websites, there are trusted free website builders like Wix and Weebly that allow you to set-up a website for no cost.
- Software for Making/Recording Calls – You need to be able to communicate with your clients. Personally, I love using Zoom for coaching calls. You can also use the free version of Skype.
- A Payment Processor – You need to be able to send invoices and collect payments. PayPal is an easy to use platform that allows you to start accepting payments with no upfront costs.
Of course, when starting a coaching business you will also need to actively promote your services in order to find paying clients.
Whether you decide to sell a product or a service, my hope is that this post has helped you to realize that there are many ideas for businesses to start without investment.
Choose a skill you already have and build out a business idea from there. Don't let lack of funds derail you. As you can see from the information above, there is always a way to bring your business dream to life! Make a plan and take action!