How to Start a Small Business Without Capital

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So you’ve got a great business idea in your head–the only thing missing is the capital to turn this into reality. Money will always play a huge role in starting up a business. Not everyone is lucky enough to have enough capital to shell out. But you know what? If you have the drive to make things happen and succeed, it is possible to start a small business without a capital.

There are many reasons people resort to business ventures. It could be for a career change, a personal finance strategy, a startup dream come true or you just have finally decided to be your own boss. 26% of American small business owners are motivated with the thought of being their own boss. No matter what your reason is for finally taking the big leap, you ought to stand firm on your idea and not let the lack of capital deter you from exploring a business.

Money is a reasonable factor in starting up a business, but you should never let it get in the way of finally making your business come to life. In fact, as a budding entrepreneur, it counts to look up on successful businesses that all started from scratch such as Hewlett-Packard or HP, which started out as a tech startup bunking in a garage. Its founders Bill Hewlett and David Packard began the team with only $538. Look at them now, the IT Company is worth $31.5 billion

You see, when you have the drive, you can make things happen. Money won’t be a hindrance to you at all.

Steps on starting your small business 

So how do you even begin with your venture? Here are pointers to guide you in building your small business and avoiding the common pitfalls of a business owner. 

1. Do not quit your job just yet!

With not enough money at the beginning of your business, you can’t lose your only safety net. You need a source of income to continuously fund your startup. Expect to double the hours of work as you try to juggle a business while also working.

This is the only way you can shell out money in growing your business. Once your business starts to soar and generate your revenues, you can then start deciding if you will keep your job or focus on your business full-time. 

2. Work hard on your business plan and stick to what you’re good at.

Before launching your business venture, you have to ensure that your business is unique, relevant, and marketable. Your business plan should be strong enough to identify your market, your vision, and your determination to serve others. 

Upon planning your business, you ought to stick to what you already know or what you are passionate about. This way, you know you are truly invested and familiar with the industry you have chosen.

3. Identify what type of business you want.

There is a wide roster of types of businesses you can venture in. Tons of them do not require you to shell out money and here are some of your best choices:

  • Service businesses

This kind of business will focus on providing customers with your service or products. You only need the tools and skills in order to provide them your service. This kind of business includes retail, home services, marketing and sales, personal services, computer and technology services, and children’s services.

  • Consultant

Consultant business is more like service business but you are paid for the authority to check on something. You will need your tools, computer, and other equipment to provide your knowledge and service to them. Some consultant businesses include any IT-related services, handyman, sales, marketing, and more. You are also selling your service, but this time, you are being consulted for your expertise.

  • Event-based business

This kind of business is far more complex and needs a bit of funding. You will be organizing events to incur large sums of profits when you hit success. The advantage of this business is that you just have to be effective in marketing your events and when you sell all the tickets, you can pay off all the expenses of the events. Event-based business lets you generate income first before you even get to pay the capital.

  • Performance-based business

Businesses like this focuses on providing your expertise to boost other people’s or team’s performance. You will be hired to enhance the performance of these people through your skills.

4. Consider generating a passive income.

Passive income refers to the earning you get from a rental property, limited partnership, or a business which you are not actively involved with. The most common types of passive income are real estate, peer-to-peer lending, dividend stocks, and index funds. Since you are strapped on a budget, the rental property may work for you especially if you own a lot of spaces. 

Passive income is a great way to explore as it doesn’t need much of your time and effort while you are earning. You can focus on other things while you have another stream of income generation. Earning passive income consists of a lot of business models you can explore. To learn more of these, you can check out this passive income course to help you.

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5. Assess your market and the challenges.

Do you think your brand is unique and there is no probability of copying your idea? Or have you evaluated your potential competitors in the market? These are some questions you need to answer before jumping into the market and building your business. A potential investor will ask you these questions as well, so be prepared to analyze them carefully. 

Understanding the market trends and the challenges you may face will help you identify the steps in conquering them. Once you have planned out the contingencies, you can assure yourself that your business will stay profitable. 

6. Take all the work by yourself.

Having not enough funds, you wouldn’t have the budget to pay for an employee to help you out. After all, no one works for free. You have to exert the extra effort to do all the work so that you can ensure that all the profits will be yours—making it easier for you to expand. 

It is tough at first, but when your business starts to flourish, you can then opt to hire a helping hand on your one-man team. 

7. Market your business well.

With the latest technologies at this time, it’s easier to market your business. You can first share your business with your network and friends, create a business website or social media page, then employ effective social media marketing, and boom—your business will be recognized in no time.

Marketing your business doesn’t cost much. You just have to know how. You can even build social media pages for free. This step is essential in expanding your reach and letting your market know that your business exists. 

8. Seek help from others.

As a first-timer in business, it counts to have someone you can seek advice from. You could ask for some common advice from entrepreneurs you know, seek help from investors for funding, or get your family’s support for your business. As you start building your empire, you will need helping hands for sure. 

9. Team up with someone with money.

Most businesses are co-founded by two or more entrepreneurs. You can find your co-founders in your friends or network who are willing to do the work with you. If you are lucky enough, they could be willing to fund the whole idea to trailblaze the whole business plan you got.

10. Get a credit line.

Most solo business owners are funded by credit lines. It’s understandable after all as you are just starting out. However, you need to be careful to use this in essential things only, and avoid making this a resort to pay off all business expenses.

11. Try crowdfunding.

Serving as a marketing tool, crowdfunding is a good way to earn capital for free. When the public believes in your idea, they will vouch for you—resulting in giving you help through funding you. The great advantage of this is that apart from earning a capital for free, you get to do some PR for your business.

12. Loan business money.

One of the biggest steps in turning your business plan into reality is taking the risk of loaning money in order to start. It is a big step that takes a lot of consideration as you have to pay this off whether your business takes off well or not. 

Although most businesses resort to this upon starting, you should evaluate your capacity to take this step. If you can start your business without money at all, then proceed. But if you think you badly need to loan, take responsibility upon doing it.

You see, there are many ways you can start your small business without having to shell out a capital. You just have to equip yourself with the courage, knowledge, and determination to fully implement what you have in mind. It will be hard as you start building your venture, but as you conquer each obstacle that comes, you are just proving to yourself that your business is worthy of your efforts.

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