Most businesses cost a considerable sum to get started. It takes a particular focus to bootstrap a business with almost no capital when beginning. Many who try to capitalize on Silicon Valley alternatives for bootstrapping businesses struggle financially. If you try to start a business with little capital, you’ll be spending most of your money on setting up a formal business structure initially. This leaves you little time, if any, remaining for the business itself. This presents some unique challenges compared to other entrepreneurs who are flush with capital. Here are some practical suggestions for how to start a business with almost no capital.
Create An Online Business
Creating an online business is a useful way to build a business into a full-time venture. It avoids the need to rent an office or even a desk in a coworking space when you can set up in a living room or spare bedroom at home.
Some online businesses require little upfront investment. For instance, websites that generate income from ad revenue and/or affiliate income are inexpensive at the beginning. Offering to create websites or managing social media accounts are two possibilities when wanting to offer a service to clients.
Offer A Local Service
If you’re stuck for a business idea but don’t wish to create an online business, then sit down and make a list of inexpensive services that you could offer locally. Then, look into how local business citations can assist you in establishing an online presence.
People who offer local services have several service offerings to balance out demand and revenue over time. Providing dog walking, window cleaning, handyperson or IT repair person services all require minimal equipment to get started. Advertising for free on popular sites can provide your first customers with no advertising spend too.
List Inexpensive Startups Ideas
Brainstorm business ideas that can be started small with little or no money, but can be scaled up over time. This avoids restricting business growth later.
Rule out anything that requires much upfront cash. For instance, selling goods on Amazon via Amazon FBA requires ordering quantities of goods, having them manufactured and delivered to one of Amazon’s warehouses. An upfront investment is usually at least $10,000, despite what the FBA gurus tell you.
Establish A Side Hustle First
Setting a business up as a hobby or side hustle initially lets you develop it out gradually. Just like with traveling slowly around the world vs hopping from country to country every three days, everything is cheaper when you proceed slowly. The same is true in business because you can plan each step along the way and always pick the free or cheapest option. There are plenty of inexpensive strategies for marketing a home business. Use them to make a profit from your side hustle. Take advantage of the opportunity to run a side hustle to increase your finances and avoid making expensive business decisions.
Never Met a Freebie You Didn’t Like
Look for ways to get free items for your business. There’s nothing to stop you from using Freecycle to pick up items that other people are giving away. This might be a desk or a desk lamp or an older PC that still has some life in it. With older PCs, you install a Linux operating system that doesn’t require a fast PC or many resources like RAM or disk space.
Seek lots of samples of free stuff where you can find them too. There are plenty of giveaways and promotions to look for. Anything to get your fledgling business what it needs to get off the ground while flying on vapor.
Starting a business with almost no money takes a steely mindset. You must be determined to succeed and be willing to persevere through lean times. That’s not for everyone, but if you have the right mindset, you can pick wisely and push through until your small business grows to a more substantial one.