People traditionally start businesses when they discover that there is a gap in the market that they believe can be fulfilled by them. A gap could be a dissatisfied customer or something new that has never been seen in the marketplace. For example, a gap in the personal trainer market could be a video incorporating self-defence moves as part of a 2-month exercise programme.
So, you decide to create this business idea. You look around you to see what is at your disposal and to make this idea a reality. You google the internet or read books on how to put together a business plan. You present the idea to the bank, or an investor…They just don’t see how your 60 days exercise and self defence programme will make a return on their investment.
However, you believe in the idea. You want to continue, but you just do not know how to do it. Let’s take a look at how to start a business with no money at all?
Don’t worry, you are not alone. No one told you there’s another way to do it.
HOW DO YOU START A BUSINESS WITH NO MONEY AT ALL?
In most cases, people just simply give up because they think it’s impossible to start a business with no money at all — They tell themselves they will wait until they have saved up enough money and then go back to completing their business idea. This is the worst thing you could do because the momentum stops and you are running the risk of someone else taking your idea to the marketplace before you.
A better approach before diving into the marketplace is asking yourself, “What do I have and who do I know?”
When you look deeply at the resources and relationships you have available, it allows you to carefully consider how you can put these assets to work in your marketplace. You can use combinations of what is available and just continue to fine tune until you have something that is valuable for others. Instead of waiting to have the money to hire a video production team to film the 60-day programme you have your heart set on, you could ask a friend to assist you to film smaller snippets on an I-phone that you can release on your social media pages/Website.
This approach allows your overall goal to come to fruition over time by considering what is available to you. It also steers you away from investing money you don’t necessarily need to use at the start.
I want you to steer clear of the traditional approach of how a business should begin, especially if you have no money. You should always consider looking at alternative ways. We will call it the alternative approach.
The alternative approach is like hosting a Saturday evening dinner for friends. You look in your cupboard and fridge and see what is available and put something together with the ingredients available.
DEVELOPING THE ALTERNATIVE APPROACH
WHAT’S AVAILBLE TO YOU.
- SKILL — What can you do in the business? Are you good at marketing? Design? Drawing? Discover how it relates to your business and how it could be used.
- EXEPRIENCE — What things have you done in the past
- KNOWLEDGE — What do you know?
- TANGIBLE RESOURCES — What do you own and what do you have access to? Do you have a camera that you have never used? Do you have a space that could hoist an event?
Think deeply about these questions. Take out a pen and paper and write down your answers. You will discover that you have more available to you and that business loan is not needed.
WHO DO YOU KNOW?
This is an exercise to really look at your network and connections. Look closely at your closest relatives to the people that you are connected to on social media. Don’t dismiss any person or anyone, especially if they are not currently practising what you know them for. They could be dying for the right project to reignite those copywriting skills.
Imagine your auntie and schoolfriend working together because you investigated your network and combined their skills together to kickstart your business idea.
INVEST AND FORGET THE REST.
Mindset plays a big part in how your business will develop, especially when it comes to what you put into it. When you say, “I am going to invest £1000 and expect to double that money,” you have already put a level of tension that is not needed. You are most likely going to be hesitant starting the business. Instead, go with the mindset that you can afford to lose a certain amount of money irrespective if it works or not. I have stock investments that I put a small amount of money into every two weeks that is expected to mature in 10–20 years-time. If I waited to save up a large amount, there’s a likelihood I would never have started.
Take the alternative approach every day.
TEST, TEST, TEST. You will hear me screaming to always test the market. This mindset allows you to be flexible to the changing terrain. I always wished that my favourite video store, ‘Blockbusters’ took on this mentality, especially when rental prices dropped. We would be streaming blockbusters now instead of Netflix. Existing businesses in that traditional mindset take longer to adapt because of established routines.
As a new business, you are not tied to anything that has been done before and you can benefit when things start to change in the marketplace by shifting your alternative approach.
10 BUSINESSES THAT YOU CAN START WITH LIMITED CAPITAL OR NONE
FOOD DELIVERY — Advertise on social media that you are offering delivery services for those who like the late-night munchies or need essential items but do not want to leave their house.
DROPSHIPPING — Sell online without having any stock. A wholesale stores the stock and actually sends the items to the customer. All you do is have an online store front that makes customers buy from you.
CLOTHES REPAIR — If you’re good with a needle and thread, you could offer a clothes repair service.
PERSONAL TRAINER — If you love to take care of your mind, body and spirit, why not help others to do the same. You could even do it from the comfort of your home through Zoom.
CLEANING COMPANY — Busy people want to come home to a clean home, so this could definitely be a snatch. Use the clients products to reduce your overheads.
IRONING AND LAUNDRY — I know, I’m not the only person out there who hates ironing clothes. You can take away that hatred by providing a clean ironed cloth and folded service.
SOCIAL MEDIA ASSISTANT — Help businesses to manage their social media by managing it for them
PERSONAL BRANDING — Help businesses to obtain visual content and connect with their audience by capturing video and still images.
COPYWRITING — If you have a way with words you could become someone that writes for businesses websites, social media and newsletters.
POST FLYERS — Offer to deliver flyers for local businesses.
There are so many other businesses you could start with limited or no money. Don’t get caught up in the cost. Get caught up in what’s possible with what you have available and adopting the alternative approach.
This story was originally published on The Startup Seed Blog.