Ever wondered how to start your own business with no money, or very little money? The cost of starting a business can be astronomical but it does not have to be. Looking back on some of the other articles covered here, like how to start your own business and how to start a business with no money it seems like we have a bit of a theme here. Very few new entrepreneurs have an endless stream of credit or cash at their disposal. With this in mind, how can you build a business from the ground up next to nothing? It’s not easy for most people, especially if you lake the characteristics of an entrepreneur, but it is possible.
With the Internet as your guide, here are some low cost ways to meet your business’ needs:
Design a free website. Use a website like Wix.com. You can easily personalize the different templates on the site to meet your needs.
Build your social media following. Make Facebook.com, Twitter.com, Klout.com, LinkedIn.com, and Google Plus as platforms to build your business upon. If you don’t know much about social media marketing, pick up a book. You’ll learn very quickly how valuable social networking is.
Create low cost business cards. Use companies like VistaPrint or Moo to create attractive promotional materials. Sign up for the mailing list on each site and take advantage of specials like free shipping.
Trade services and/or product with other businesses. Craigslist is a great place to go and barter for your needs. Make sure to get an agreement in writing before delivering your end of the deal. This will prevent you from having any misunderstandings in your exchange.
Don’t be afraid to buy things secondhand. You’d be surprised how many items you can find at yard sales, auctions, thrift stores, and through retailers like Amazon. You can find furniture, computer hardware and software, office supplies, and more at discounted prices if you look hard enough.
Ask for referrals. Word-of-mouth advertising is effective and free. Offer some type of incentive for referrals. Your customers will love receiving an extra discount on your products or some type of free service for helping spread the word about you and your business.
Take advantage of free learning. Sign up for free classes through CreativeLive, iTunesU, and the Small Business Administration. Learn something new and fine-tune the skills you already have. The more you have to offer the more your business will stand out.
Work from home. If you use a space exclusively as your office, you can write it off on your taxes. You’ll also save money on gas, clothing, and meals out because you can work in the clothes you already own and eat the food you prepare in your own kitchen versus paying for lunch each day.
Hire freelancers on an as needed basis. Rather than start out with a full staff, see what kinds of jobs can be done by Independent Contractors. You can utilize their services when you need them and save yourself the cost of full-timers until you can afford to hire them.
When searching for how to start a business with no money it sometimes takes a lot of creativity and guts but it has been done. Apply the tips listed above and make your start-up successful. A little creativity can help a small budget go a long, long way.
How have you saved money starting your business?
Charissa is into frugal living and saving money.
A great way for a business to distinguish itself from opponents is to create an efficient product. Marketing can be achieved through a business's name, logo, web existence, motto and much more.
Great post! As someone else said, when I first started my blog I was with WP.com for free and did all the ''design'' myself. I'm just now in the process of having a professional design done up now that I'm generating a bot of money.
These are great tips. I think a lot of people assume that you need a bunch of money to start a business, but as you showed above, this isn't always necessary. It depends on the type of business, but a lot of times you can get going for pretty cheap. Another method I've learned is to get your customers in on the idea before you launch and have them pay upfront (with a discount of course). Then, those initial customers help fund any start up costs you have.
Great tips but for the most part its be smart and do it yourself if possible. I have a few friends that have used Wix I have never actaully tried it though. Hiring freelancers is great if you don't have the time to do it and are willing to spend a few dollars instead.
When I first started my website, I did everything myself. It was't meant to be a business but it turned into a profitable venture in some regards. Once I started making enough to outsource some things, I took the opportunity.
These tips are great. Even if you are not starting a business, they can be incorporated into any business for some serious savings.
Great tips! We've done a few of these things with our business and they really can be helpful. We trade services quite a bit and can work out great as it can be a win-win for both parties.
Great tips. I'll have to check out Wix. I started a website for under $100 with just a free theme and hosting. Then with the income I bought a paid theme. But if you want money now, you should rather look into freelancing, tutoring, selling a skill... a website takes time.
My brother is currently using Wix to design a new website. I'd never heard of it before that and was blown away by how good it looked even though a total beginner was putting it together.