How To Start an Amazing Business With Little to No Money

 I really want to teach you how to start a business with no money.

But, the reality is no business can start with actually NO money.

Okay, there, I’ve already crushed your dreams…

But don’t leave yet!

Because even though you can’t start a business with no money, you can start one with very little money.  And you don’t have to have a huge savings to get started with many businesses.  You just have to have passion and persistence.  So let’s do this instead…

How to Start a Business with Little Money

Trying to teach someone how to start a business without money would be like trying to open a storefront without a product to sell.  You have to invest something to make a business.  Whether that’s time, tools for the trade, materials, or even a domain name, there are expenses that need to be paid.  

What I can do is tell you how to keep those expenses low.  I can tell you how to start a business with little money.  

#1: Offer a Service

Services are generally lower cost to start up because you are the product being sold.  You don’t need to invest in material inputs or products to sell.  What you do need to invest in is yourself, your education, and any tools you need to perform the service.  

#2: Advertise for Free

You don’t have to spend a ton of money on Google Adwords or Facebook Ads to run a successful business.

Advertise by word of mouth.

Start with your friends and family and your own personal network.  You many have to do some work for very cheap to get the word spread.  That’s okay!  

But my biggest tip here: over deliver.  

Always over deliver, especially with your first clients.  Do the best work you possibly could do.  Do more than what was in the contract.  Check in on your clients.  Make sure they are happy.  

When you check in on your clients, you aren’t just making sure they are happy.  You’re also reminding them how happy they were with your services.  Referrals are the best clients.

#3 Do the Work Yourself

When you start your own business with little to no money, you have to be prepared to do a lot of legwork on your own.

Hey, I never said this was going to be easy, did I?

When I started my own business, I learned more about SEO, social media, web design, graphic design, and legal jargon than I ever cared to know.  But I did it, and I kept my expenses low.  

There are tons of resources on the internet to learn how to do things yourself.  

So, you need a website?  Youtube it!

Google will become your best friend.  Use it!

Need help staying on track? Check out my Productivity Tips for Entrepreneurs!

#4 Use Low Cost Services

When you really can’t do the work yourself, use low cost services or barter services to fill the gap.  You may really want to design your own logo.  But, if you’re anything like me, your art may look like a kindergartener’s drawings…

Actually, I think a kindergartener can easily out-draw me.  But I digress.

Services like Fiverr and LegalZoom can come in very handy in these situations.  You can get a good logo for $5 on Fiverr.  Mind you, you get what you pay for.  It’s not going to be super custom and look like a million bucks.  But, it will work and look professional.  Most people will have no clue you didn’t pay a designer $500 for your logo.

And when you can’t find a low cost provider, ask your friends and try to barter services.  

I can’t stress enough how important it is to use your network!

#5 Position Yourself as an Expert

Whatever industry you are in, from dog sitting to engineering, you need to position yourself as an expert.  Become the person everyone comes to for advice in your field.  There are a few ways to do this:

  • Start a blog
  • Start a Facebook Group
  • Answer Questions on Quora
  • Be Active on Reddit
  • Join Industry Groups
  • Join Facebook Groups

If you are active in all of these, your name will become recognized as an expert in the industry.  Again, free advertising!

#6 Don’t Get Ahead of Yourself

I admit, I struggle with this.  I want everything to be done as soon as I have a business idea.

But don’t be like me.  Have patience!

There are things that you need as a business, but some don’t really matter until further down the road.  To keep expenses low while you start out you can:

  • Work from home rather than renting an office space.  Or, use a co-working space!
  • Forgo the website and use a Facebook page instead
  • Rather than pay to register a business, operate as a sole proprietor
  • Use LegalZoom rather than hiring an attorney
  • Use your personal bank account rather than opening a business account (which usually have fees and require registration of the business)
  • Buy materials and tools used (if possible) or factory seconds

Cheapest Business to Start Up

Some of the cheapest businesses you can start up are:

  • Consulting and coaching services
  • Photography business
  • Web Design
  • Drop Shipping Sites
  • Handy-man services
  • Handmade Items (jewelry, decor, etc)
  • Event Planning
  • VA (Virtual Assistant) Services
  • Bookkeeping
  • Dog Walking/Pet Sitting

Finally, avoid any “Get Rich Quick” schemes.  It doesn’t work and it never will.  You have to be willing to put in the time and effort before you will become a successful entrepreneur.  

But it’s so worth it!

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Stephanie Yarbrough

Stephanie Yarbrough

Business Strategist

Hi! I’m Stephanie, small business strategist, business planning superhero, and owner of Portage Consulting.  I live for hiking and snow skiing ...oh, and helping small business and startups develop growth strategies and achieve financial success.

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Stephanie Yarbrough

Stephanie Yarbrough

Business Strategist

Hi! I’m Stephanie, small business strategist, business planning superhero, and owner of Portage Consulting.  I live for hiking and snow skiing ...oh, and helping small business and startups develop growth strategies and achieve financial success.

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