Updated: Jul 4, 2018
When starting a business it’s good to have some money, credit, and some mentoring from friends, family, professors, someone who has experience.
But what if you don’t have any money? Is it still possible to start a business?
Yes, yes it is.
You would have to first start by looking for like minded people.
There are so many meetup groups and networks on startup businesses that you can get together with. This is a great way to start networking and getting advice from people who already have a business or who starting a business.
Then you would need to find information on how to do different business related things like forming a corporation, getting your DBA, business license, etc.
And lastly, when you have limited resources/money/startup capital, your best best is to look at your skills, abilities, education, and experience and offer a service.
The fact that you want to start your own business already shows that you have certain aspirations in life. It may be that you aspire to better yourself, to be your own boss, to do something that will matter.
Not everyone has that desire. Some people are fine working 9-5 and that’s great, you need people like that to work for you, but you want something more and you can do it, it’ll just take 100% dedication and hard work.
There are a lot of businesses you can start with little to no money. The best being a service business.
Consider this, what can I offer to someone and get paid doing it?
Examples of Services
There are several service based businesses you can do, like being a:
Photographer, begin by offering your services to friends and family, get a portfolio going.
Landscaping, this can get pretty lucrative if you work hard and make connections. You can focus on high-end clients and offer landscaping design.
Writing or editing, you can begin with freelancing or offer your services to local businesses. But you need to do your research. Research your customers websites, find mistakes or things they are missing and offer your services and help them.
Social Media Marketing, there is so much information online with this. Just get educated and go out to your community, find businesses that maybe don’t have a social media footprint and offer your services. Or maybe they have a Facebook but it’s not really doing anything, so offer to manage it for them.
If you have an eye for design, same thing, go to your community find businesses like salons, restaurants, etc, and offer your services. Or if you want to do homes start with friends and family, get a portfolio going. Go to real estate offices and offer staging service.
Catering, if you love to cook you can cater business events, parties, weddings, etc.
These are just a few examples of service businesses you can start with little to no money and you can definitely scale into a legit business. But it will take time and effort but eventually you’ll get traction and begin to make money.
Where to Being
You begin by considering the need and if you want to focus of Business-to-Business or Business-to-Consumer.
Let’s say you are great at taking pictures. You understand how to use your camera and you’ve even taken pictures as your siblings graduation parties, school events, and/or birthday parties. You take the pictures you have taken and you begin by creating a portfolio online using google photos or on your Facebook and Instagram pages.
At this point everything you have been doing is free of cost (assuming you already have a camera and SD card). You can also leverage your Facebook page and use that as your website.
Once you have created your portfolio you can begin offering your services. You can do this on Facebook. You want your Facebook page to be clear and ready incase potential customers want to look at your work. This may also entail you get a Facebook Business Page (also free). Begin posting and sharing your previous work on there and ask people to like, share, and comment.
Once you have done that the real work begins. Start looking for clients. Go out to your community and find businesses. Maybe they need professional pictures for their website, or maybe a school is putting on an event and needs a photographer. You’re not going to know that unless you go to them.
Usually your local government will have a business section on their website. You can go there and see if they’re doing any events, if they are join the event and tell people about yourself, or go to join a meetup group. You need to do the leg work to get clients and you are going to spend the majority of your time doing this because you do not have the money to advertise yourself on Facebook.
This strategy can be applied to almost any service type business. You have to network and put a lot of effort into it because you will be doing everything with no money. And you have to do your research, keep in mind this isn’t something you can do from one day to the next, don’t get discouraged, be persistent and it will pay off.
Once you begin making money, invest it into your business. Get your legal paperwork into order ASAP, get a website, business cards, new equipment, and you can start hiring people to take care of certain aspects of your business. And maybe there will come a point where you want to expand your business, that’s where I can help by writing a great business plan that can help you get the funding you need to grow your business.
Let me know if that helped you on your road to business startup. Comment below or share on Facebook!