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How to Start a Business With No Money

As I get out and about in Las Vegas, I often run into people with amazing business ideas. The unfortunate part is that they wait and wait and wait to get started and many never do. One of the main reasons I hear for people not pursuing their business goals is that they don’t feel like they have enough seed capital to get started. You don’t need to have a lot of (or in some cases any) money to start a business.

Consider a Side Hustle

You may not have startup capital for your business idea, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get started now. Plenty of successful businesses were started with nothing more than the effort that the founders put into it. What it does mean is that your best chance for success is to start small but think big! Depending on your idea, you don’t need to go all in and quit your day job right away…or maybe ever. If you’re limited on funds, starting your business as a side hustle is a great way to manage the financial risk of going into business and allow you to move forward deliberately. You’re going to be busy all the time and exhausted, but I promise it will be worth it. If you’re looking for some inspiration read 11 Epic Side Hustle Success Stories.

One of the great benefits of a side hustle is that you don’t need to pay yourself out of the business now to cover your personal expenses. Taking this deliberate approach to your business lets you set milestones for growth and clear goal to go full time with the business

And be able to pay yourself when you reach a pre-determined amount of revenue and profit.

I want to be clear that starting small doesn’t mean you have to go slow. Taking the right small steps early can build momentum rapidly. If you make good choices and build on your early successes, you could start making enough money with your side hustle to replace the income from your day job and start working full-time on your business. You could even grow fast enough that you’ll need to hire help. And it all started by spending a little bit of your time each day on your dream.

Sales cures everything

You may not have any money now, but if you want to have a successful business, getting some money is one of your top priorities. Bringing revenue into your business should be your top priority whether you are just starting out or established and profitable. So, what are some of the ways you can bring money into your business without spending money?

One way you can bring in revenue without spending any of your own money is to offer presales of your product before you even make the first item. This is especially great if you are making a product to sell because it allows you to test the market to see if people are really interested in what you are selling before you put the time and effort into making them or spend any money on production. If your product is easily made or inexpensive, you can just approach friends, family, or people in your community to see if they will by your product now and have it delivered later. You can also do this on social media if you want to reach a larger audience. If your product is complex or expensive to make, you can do this through one of the many crowdfunding platforms that exist online. For an excellent guide to the why’s and how’s of preselling, check out Pre-selling Simplified: 6 Steps to a Successful Presale.

Once you’ve brought in the money from your presales, use part of that money to fulfill your orders and then make some decisions about how you spend the rest of it (Hopefully you set a price higher than it actually costs to make and deliver the item. I’m sure you did!). Now you get to make some choices. Do you spend that some money on marketing to more customers to expand your revenue further? Do you use it to make your next batch of product? Do you spend some of it on both?

Put in the Sweat Equity

If you’re not quite ready to start asking potential buyers for presales, there is still plenty you can do to move the ball forward on your business without spending money. You can spend a few hours (or even one hour) a day designing your product or service and developing a clear message about how you help your customers solve a problem they have in their lives. Research your market and potential competition so that you can tell people all about how your solution is the best way to solve the problem. Start sharing your idea in the community and online so you can build a list of people who show interest and when you are ready to sell you have a list already built of who to talk to.

Cost of all these things to you? $0.00!

All you are spending is your time and effort and it will be way more rewarding than binge watching a few episodes of a show you’ve already seen a dozen times! Coincidentally, these are the most important things you need to do when starting any business, even if you have all the startup capital you could ever need.

Don’t Wait, Start Today!

If we put in the time and do these things correctly, we’ll go from having no money for our business to handling lots of money every day. That gives us more choices on how we grow our business. When you reach that point, you need be smart and use good financial planning and management practices, and you’ll get there. Right now, you don’t need to have thousands of dollars to get started. Business is about providing something of value to your customers and getting paid for it, not how much money you have in your bank account. We all have something of value that we can provide, let’s get out there and start doing today instead of waiting for the situation to be perfect!

Article Links:

11 Epic Side Hustle Success Stories

Pre-selling Simplified: 6 Steps to a Successful Presale.


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