Do you have great business ideas that never get past the daydream stage because you have little or no money? A lot of us have been there, but don’t give up just yet! Obviously it would be nice to have a million in the bank, but even if you’re living from paycheck to paycheck or don’t have a job at all, there are still options and techniques to start a business.
Let’s dig a little deeper …
1) Provide a Service
While you might have one grand business idea that does require substantial capital, not all businesses do – especially if you are providing a service. Becoming an online freelancer for example requires next to no startup costs (unless you don’t already have a computer) and you will be paid as you go. Depending on your goals and how you approach freelancing this could be the business for you, but it is also a great way to bide your time, make some extra cash and save, while you work on other business ideas … which brings us to our second point:
2) Research and Plan
Just because you don’t have the funding now doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. If you are serious about starting a business there is nothing stopping you researching the market, drafting a business plan, estimating costs and carrying out other vital research. ll businesses start with research and planning, and some of this can be carried out at home on your PC for free.
So you have no capital right now? Save!Whether that means revising your monthly budget and cutting some outgoings, freelancing (see Provide a Service), selling unwanted items, or doing odd jobs – good old fashioned saving should not be dismissed. Imagine how great you’ll feel when your business is a success and you know you put in all that hard work at the beginning!
4) Sharing and Reducing Costs
At first glance startup and day-to-day business costs might seem overwhelming, but you can get by a lot cheaper when you think outside the box. Do you need to rent office space or can you utilize public facilities, shared work spaces or even your own home? Why pay for a phone line when you can use Skype? Do you need to pay for professional marketing, advertising or other services, or can at least some of this be done yourself?
Most large businesses are not funded solely by the founder’s pocket; they borrow from investors and partners or take out loans on the hope that the business will be a success and make enough to repay them. Someone with a good credit score and a business plan stands a strong chance of getting a business loan from the bank. Others might choose to use a regular personal loan, though this might carry some added risk. If you have bad credit or are between jobs there are still loan options out there that you can use to fund a business. You can learn more on how to get a loan with no job from MatchedLoans.com.
6) Seek Investors and Incubators
If you are particularly confident in your business idea and have thoroughly researched the market and crunched the numbers, you could approach individual and groups of investors who fund startups. Incubators are funding programs designed specifically for startups that come with extra benefits such as expertise, admin services, office space and other support. They might also be sponsored by local colleges or universities.
Crowdfunding puts you in touch with investors and regular members of the public, and if your idea is something viable you may be able to fund it all the way. Some sites like Fundable are designed specifically for crowdfunding startups. Although you can accept straight-up donations on most platforms, usually you will be required to offer perks in return for a set sum of money. This might vary from a simple thank you or piece of business/product related merchandise, to early access to the product or even pre-ordering of the finished product itself.
Exactly how you set this up is up to you and will depend on your business idea and business model, but you must obviously account for any perks you offer. You must also be enthusiastic and capable of marketing your idea through the crowdfunding platform as people still need to know it exists before substantial capital can be raised.
These are just some of the ways you can get a business going with little to no money. Have your own methods? Let everyone know in the comments or share the article if you found the information useful!