5 Ideas on How to Start a Business With No Money


Given the current economic conditions and the almost ever-present uncertainty, an entrepreneur may have tremendous difficulties in launching a start-up with a limited or no capital. Still, that does not mean you don’t have any options available. Actually, it is possible to start a business with limited resources, if you possess the right skills, work ethic and know the ins and outs of marketing.

Chris Guillebeau, author of The $100 Startup, states that:  “To succeed in a business project, especially one you’re excited about, it helps to think carefully about all the skills you have that could be helpful to others and particularly about the combination of those skills.”

Here are some simple guidelines that will help you start a business with little or no resources whatsoever.

  1. Create something

While creating something does require some revenue for raw materials and supplies, in most cases, the products one creates can be sold for many times over what they actually cost. Regardless of what products you decide to sell, there are several online places where you can sell your handmade crafted products such as: eBay, Bonanza or Etsy.

A large number of business owners sell their products on several platforms to benefit from as much exposure as possible. However, it is important to ensure your inventory is always updated on all platforms you use.

Related: 7 Steps to Start an Etsy Shop

  1. Resell a product or service

If you’re not a creative person or you simply don’t want to create anything, it’s not a problem. A lot of entrepreneurs have managed to grow their businesses by reselling products that are already created. You can do this through many channels or a variety of ways:

  • Drop shipping: Launch an online store and partner with drop-shipping companies that will take care of the order fulfillment for you.
  • Thrift stores and garage sales: If you’re patient enough and know what you’re looking for, you can find lots of items at antique shops, flea markets or even garage sales which you can later sell online or, why not, in your local community.
  1. Sell a services you can provide

A great way of starting a business with little or no capital is to provide a services, instead of a product. The services you can offer can vary, depending both on your interests and your background.

Some of these services may require advanced degrees, such as translating, accounting, while others may require little more than working knowledge of how it’s done (babysitting, lawn mowing, etc).

Given the fact that you are selling your services, you will need to create a branding plan to ensure that both your name and company reaches the people that may require your service. Places that are free for promoting your services are as follows: Fiverr, Craigslist, Elance, or Skillshare.

You should consider creating your own website where you can showcase your work, present your experience and post blog articles about your industry to attract visitors.

  1. Barter to obtain what you need

You probably know by now that starting a business with no funds whatsoever is extremely hard. Working as a freelancer or starting a freelance-writing business using Elance and a free WordPress website will require not only a computer to work on, but Internet connection as well. The good news is that there are several ways in which you are able to get the supplies you need to start a business with no revenue.

For example, if you are looking for a used laptop, why not barter for it? Maybe, you could create a website for a used electronics supplier or even offer babysitting services to one of your neighbors for his or her laptops.

  1. Make use of low-cost services

As we’ve previously mentioned, you can make use of sites such as Elance or Fiverr to help you advertise your products and services. Also, you can use these platforms as a way of developing your company. For example, some designers offer 5$ to %25 logo designs along with free revisions. Check the reviews and take a look at past examples to find the right designer for your product or service.

Bootstrapping is the way to go when starting-up your own company.

Launching a start-up requires a solid dose of ingenuity and passion for what you’re creating. Once you start doing something that makes you happy, you will be more likely to find ways to make every aspect come together.

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