The majority of companies rarely have a large amount of funds when starting up. Understanding how to start a business with no money is something all entrepreneurs need to manage. Getting there involves making a lot of concessions, hard work and applying innovation strategy to just about every factor of business.
If you want to know how to start your own business with no money, or at least very little, then it really comes back to understanding the very basics of commerce:
- Spend as little as possible to reduce your outgoings. Put off early expenses until you actually have an income stream coming in.
- Do as much work as you can for yourself. This is a necessity when starting up a small business from the ground up.
- Get as much free stuff as possible (including free marketing).
- Be innovative about how you build, develop and promote your business (e.g. using viral marketing ideas to promote your company).
With these key principals in mind you’re ready to start looking at how to start a company on a shoestring…
Simplify your outgoing expenses and income payments
- Work from home! You don’t need an office or shop to get started
- Do as much work as possible by yourself. Employee wages are always the biggest financial outgoing of any company so do without them for the time being. Learning how to run a business for yourself is enjoyable and give you insights into every area of business (even if you later decide to hire staff to do particular roles).
- Get free legal advice or use legal documents from a similar website and adapt them to your own purposes. Starting a business with no money does not mean you’re going to scrimp on your legal commitments.
- Learn to do your own expenses and financial statements. There are numerous step-by-step books on how to do this – a few hours reading can save you thousands. This is taking strategic cost management to the extreme. Once your business is open running should of course secure a good accountant and lawyer.
- Setting up a commercial business account is initially unnecessary with the small amount of income you receive. Accept payments via PayPal or Google checkout when starting out.
Make the most of your web presence
- Build your own simple website (e.g. using WordPress.com). It is preferable when starting a business with no money to have your own domain as this allows you to expand the company at a later stage.
- Use free themes/designs along with your web page/site design packages where possible.
- Create your own logo for the website and branding on all e-mails and documentation. If you’re not content to do this yourself then try outsourcing (you’ll find plenty of cheap graphic designers advertising online).
- If you don’t wish to use a shopping cart plug-in on your own site then avail of using the Yahoo! Store as your primary shop front.
Marketing – testing the waters & low-cost promotion
- Prove your product has a customer base with eBay. Try selling your products on eBay to establish what kind of prices you could charge. This also helps establish the potential size of customer base. Some of the most easy businesses to start may actually be run completely via eBay as your sole business model (e.g. selling craft products).
- Promote your site through creating podcasts, free newsletters and videos on YouTube. Let them go viral.
- Establish a social media presence. In particular, focus on Twitter and Facebook.
- Use Google Adwords to promote your products/services.
- Sign up to various directories and register with forums and online communities related to your niche.
Create information products that can be easily sold online
- Use your past experience to develop an e-book about your hobbies, technical areas, traits, professions, etc. All you need is a word processor to actually create documents in the first place. Not everybody knows how to go about inventing something physical, but does have knowledge others will find valuable.
- Sell digital products on your own website, eBay and Yahoo stores.
- Sign up to Commission Junction and Clickbank and have affiliates promote and sell your e-books for a commission.
Understanding how to start a business with no money really does come back to simplifying the entire process of business. Make it easy for your company products and services to be found online, reduce your expenses as much as possible and avail of as much free/low-cost services as possible.