Is It Possible to Start a Business with No Money?

The common belief for starting businesses today is that you must always begin with a hefty amount of money. This is not necessarily true. Many success stories over the years have proven that you can have little to nothing except a great idea and still make history.

Take the famous story of Apple Inc., in which college dropouts Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started their company in a garage in hopes of making computers more accessible to people. After becoming the first company from the U.S. to be valued at $1 trillion in 2018, the tech brand is now worth $2.5 trillion in 2021.

There are many similar stories, such as those of Spanx, Hewlett-Packard, and even Cards Against Humanity. But despite not having the funding when these companies first started, they all had one thing in common. Each of these companies had a brilliant idea that they developed with the few resources they already had.

Build on Your Idea

Do not start on a complicated note. Take your initial idea and flesh it out first, considering how you can make it come to life with the limited resources at your disposal.

  1. Consider putting up a low-cost business

Since you are in a position where you do not have a lot of money to spend, it is wise not to settle for a business model that requires you to have ample cash out at the start. These are usually businesses that sell a product, which will inevitably have you spending for materials and labor to create it.

You will have fewer initial expenses if you opt for a business that specializes in a particular service instead. That usually requires you and your expertise as the primary “product.”

For a service business, make an inventory of the skills you and your partners bring to the table. You can, as an example, pool together your skills in digital marketing if you have PR consultants, social media managers, writers, graphic designers, and the like and set up a marketing agency. You can also offer these services on their own if you are working by yourself.

  1. Create a plan

Once you have decided what your business will be, you need to start making a plan. This is the time to start writing down your formal business plan on paper. Note that there is no one “correct” version of a business plan, but it should have a short description of your business and your organizational structure.

You should also do research about the market you are entering and include it in your business plan. Do not treat this as optional, as it gives you an opportunity to go in-depth into your future customers and competitors.

Additionally, planning also involves preparing for problems you could encounter in the future. This means contacting tax relief experts and other solutions that could help you in case an issue arises or let you avoid them entirely.

Finance Wisely

computing finances

Because you do not have an immediate funding source, you must limit your spending and find the right place to gain financing for your business.

  1. Reduce expenses from the get-go

You need to devise smart methods to maximize resources while minimizing cash outflow. One practice you can borrow from the current top companies of today is to make your garage your office. Working from home spares you additional expenses for renting an office space and paying the monthly bills for it.

Use resources you already have, too, such as your computer or subscription to certain services (cloud storage, design software, project management tools, etc.). Take advantage of websites that offer services for free, including Canva for simple design work and the free version of Slack for messaging.

  1. Find funding sources

Some businesses can start running with little funding, but others require a significant investment to get the ball rolling. When this occurs, know that there are various ways to obtain the money you need.

The most straightforward route is bank or government loans, although this usually requires a good credit score and a clean credit report. You can also seek the support of friends and family who may be interested in investing in your business idea. Another route you can take is crowdfunding, which is the same method the creators of Cards Against Humanity used to develop the product.

So many companies with similar backgrounds have succeeded despite the lack of initial funding. This means that your big business idea can flourish with no money. You only need to plan well and follow through on it.

The Author

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