Whether your current boss is wearing on you or you’re just ready to make the jump to self-employment, being your own boss comes with plenty of perks. Starting a new business from scratch is rewarding, enjoyable, and can eliminate a lot of the stresses you feel at your current job.
But starting a business usually means investing your own capital. The old adage, “you have to spend money to make money” comes to mind. So if you want to learn how to become an entrepreneur with no money, you’ll have to get thrifty. And probably some other things, too.
If you’re lacking funds, consider these eight top tips for starting or growing your business. Where there’s a will there’s a way, so it’s doable.
How to Become an Entrepreneur with No Money: 8 Top Tips:
1. Start A Service To Start A Business:
This option might seem funny, but it’s actually something people do all the time. Start a service-based business that allows you to generate enough capital to start the other business you are considering.
Service-based business can be simple (manual labor) or complex (consulting in a specific niche). But the truth is, your trading time for money, and people probably know right away if you’re qualified to do it. This means they will be more likely to pay you without asking questions (something you probably can’t say about that startup app you’re considering).
Sites like IndieGoGo and GoFundMe have soared in popularity in recent years, and for good reason. If you have a product or business idea worth its weight in gold, people can actually pony up their own cash to prove they believe in you.
Keep in mind that these sites do keep some of the money you generate from any campaigns you run. You’ll also be responsible for giving people a compelling reason to give you money—making videos, offering them free stuff, or even offering them parts of your business.
Crowdsourcing and crowdfunding take a lot of work, but it’s certainly an option if you are low on cash.
3. Get A Loan:
Even with bad credit, you can still secure monthly payment loans for your small business. While there is always risk associated with accumulating debt, this might be your solution if you are financially impaired. Starting your own business with no money does require you to be flexible, after all.
Shop around for low-interest rates and flexible terms. Try to work with people that support small businesses.
4. Start a Low-Cost Business:
Think about what you need that capital for. Is it for the product? Machines? To hire new staff? Inventory?
You can alleviate (or eliminate) many of the normal costs associated with a business by using low-cost models like dropshipping. This means that another location creates, packs, and sometimes even ships products to your customers.
Obviously, this would eliminate a lot of the hassles and costs associated with starting a business. Most drop shipping businesses can be set up in a day or two and have low overhead from the start.
5. Use Low-Cost Services:
People will argue that you need a website, nine social media pages, a brand, and more. It’s nice to have these things, but between hosting, web design, plugins, and other “opt-ins” from sites like WordPress or Squarespace, you’re going to put up a lot of money.
6. Read Books:
Plenty of awesome books out there cover the gamut of starting a business with no money. The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau or The Lean Startup by Eric Ries both teach budget-savvy budding entrepreneurs how to stretch their dollars thin. Most importantly, they teach you how to decide what matters and what doesn’t.
In The $100 Startup for example, Guillebeau shares case studies about how to create a minimal viable product (MVP). Discovering what the lowest amount of work you need to do to get your business going is an important question to answer.
7. Be Different:
At the end of the day, your business requires two ingredients: a valuable product and people that want to buy it. Starting off with no money can seem like a hindrance, and in many ways it is. But there’s nothing to say you can’t turn it into a strength, too.
Nowadays, people are creating businesses simply by being vulnerable about where they’re at in life. With your business, let people know you’re on a budget and don’t hide from it. Share your story, both the triumphs and successes. You may be surprised who wants to help you achieve your goals.
8. Have An Exit Plan:
For peace of mind, perhaps you consider waiting on your business or startup a few months. Perhaps now is the time to design your exit plan, not start a business. Use the next few months to decide how exactly you’ll save up for and execute on your new business plan.
This can keep you motivated for the future as well as give you the tools (and resources) you need down the road. Delaying your dreams of owning a business isn’t the most fun at first glance, but if it helps you be successful, it’s worth it.
How To Become an Entrepreneur With No Money: Wrapped Up:
If you’re trying to learn how to become an entrepreneur with no money, you’re going to need to be creative and resourceful. Forget a lot of the conventional wisdom that comes with starting businesses and forges your own path. You may not have money, but you always have people and the internet. Both of these can help you find the green paper.
Check out our entrepreneurship section for more articles on starting your own business.
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