HERE’S HOW TO START A BUSINESS WITH NO MONEY:

starting-a-business-no-money

STEP 1: IDENTIFY WHY YOU NEED MONEY AND WHY IT’S EVEN NECESSARY

When I started my business, I was caught up in what I *thought* I needed vs. what I could actually do without.

For example, I thought I needed an office/art studio space. And yes, while that may have been nice to have, it wasn’t in the budget. And so I made do with a corner in my closet and a corner in my basement and a corner in my living room. Guess what? It worked out just fine and it saved me thousands of dollars in rent.

Some day I will graduate to have a real office and studio space, but I know right now is not the time for that. Surprisingly – I’m thankful I didn’t get the office space in the beginning because it would have just added to a lot of stress and pressure on me to pay the expense.

So, right now – think about what you *think* you need money for. Now brainstorm alternatives.

  • Office/Storage Space: Could you clear a corner in your house somewhere?
  • Marketing: There are a number of free ways to promote your company.
  • Product Development: {AKA Craft Supplies}: What could you make with things from your stash to help you raise start up capitol? Alternatively, are there any items in your stash you could sell to raise some funds?
  • Website: Could you start with a free blog/website or sell your items online on a third party site until it’s in the budget to launch a proper website? Heck yes you can!

STEP 2: SAVE UP MONEY TO SURVIVE ON

It takes almost any business at least 3-6 months to see some activity, so you are going to need savings/income to survive on for that first 6 months. This is the hardest, most painful truth about starting any type of business – you probably can’t afford to quit the day job just yet. Thankfully, there are a lot of ways to hustle!

  • List items for sale on Facebook Flea Market Groups + Craigslist. Sell everything in your house that is not absolutely essential – yes this may mean the furniture and possibly even your rarely used kitchen accessories!
  • Get your personal budget in order:Track your spending and see where you can spend less.
  • Save money on everything in every way you can: Use coupons, apply for a tax ID number and buy wholesale, reduce your utility bills, cancel the cable {though do keep the internet!} and eat nothing but Ramen noodles for a few months {Caution: while affordable I am pretty sure Ramen Noodles are not a good source of all the essential daily vitamins and minerals – you may not want to heed all of this advice!}
  • Offer to Do Odd Jobs: Help a neighbor with their garden, Babysit, get a side gig delivering pizzas – whatever you have to do to pay to the bills!

STEP 3: CONSIDER A SMALL BUSINESS OR PERSONAL LOAN IF YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED CASH NOW

You may need money now. It’s okay. If you’ve carefully thought of every way to come up with savings and alternatives to spend money, then you may want to learn how to apply for a small business loan.

  • Be sure to only borrow as much as you absolutely need
  • Don’t borrow more than you can afford to repay each month

STEP 4: BARTER SERVICES/PRODUCTS FOR OTHER SERVICES/PRODUCTS

There are so many great ways to trade people for products and services. This is a great option when two people are just starting a business – you can help each other out!

STEP 5: UTILIZE FREE SERVICES

There are tons of free and low cost services you can use when just starting your business. You can always upgrade to the more expensive better services and products later at any time.

STEP 6: EMBRACE THE DIY APPROACH

Learning to do things on your own can help you start out small and simply. Maybe you learn how to create your own website, or you build your own branding using free graphic design apps. While these things are best left to professionals – at the same time if you have no money the DIY approach can help you get much farther than taking absolutely no action at all.


 

Most businesses do not need much money to start. Sure, it’s nice to have money to invest in yourself and your company. But if you think about starting your business in small steps and sticking to the philosophy of “Do what you can with what you have” – you will be able to follow that dream and find success!

Any wisdom on how to start a business with no money that you’d like to share? Your thoughts, questions, and comments are always welcome below!

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