- If you don’t have money to invest . . . Invest your time!
- Services business are one of the fastest ways to lay hands on cash!
Many people want to start a business but quickly realize they do not have the means to start that businesses they dream about. Lack of capital is often cited as one of the biggest impediment to start-ups. This is true for many business ideas which require seed funding to get things off the ground. However, for every big business idea that requires seed funding to start, there is another start-up possibility that does not require cash at hand. Do you have a great idea but very little money? Don’t let that stop you! Think of a way around the cash hurdle – yes you may have some ridiculously long days with little to no sleep. Yes, you are going to be stressed. But those that want it bad enough will make it.
Here are seven tips that can help you get your idea off the ground with limited funds.
- Build your business on what you know: Instead of venturing off into uncharted territory, you can as well start off with a business that is built on your skills and knowledge. When your business is built around your own personal expertise you can eliminate the costs of outside assistance. Sometimes having the knowledge and experience in a particular line of business is all that is needed to successfully take the plunge into entrepreneurship. This also involves making maximum use of your personal network . . . inform your family, friends, and past colleagues about your new business. Your friends and family members can help you spread the word, and past business contacts can introduce your brand to their professional contacts as well. This type of grassroots marketing is great for starters and can help introduce your company to a much larger audience.
- Consider services ideas: Think about a service you can render to clients around you. You could think about services related to your original business idea or services that will draw you closer to the type of clientele you wish to have in the future. You could rehearse a line or two with which to pitch your service to potential clients, dress up and hit the streets, hit the phone lines, hit the internet (where ever you can find your clients). One thing is sure, you will come back home with something! You’re either coming back with some money! a promise from potential clients! or you come back with valuable experience!
- Your time becomes your principal capital: It’s important to note that the effectiveness of how you spend your time now becomes very crucial. Your time is essentially what you invest when you don’t have your own money to invest in the business. You spend your time learning and training yourself in new areas, marketing and pitching new clients, delivering quality services and products to your clientele, building partnerships that will move your business to the next level. It is a given that the more quality time you spend undertaking effective tasks and duties the greater your chances of success.
- Be an expert of the Bootstrap: This is obviously what you will be doing at this point. You are going to have plenty of expenses, and there are some that just can’t be avoided. What you can avoid though is overspending. Delay the normal procedures that most people implement when starting a business until your business starts to earn money. These procedures include incorporation, hiring employees, renting an office or retail space, etc. Do everything yourself until you can afford enough money to hire. This means you will spend more time with most tasks, but you will spend little or no money. Being frugal in the beginning can be the difference between success and a failed business.
- Participate in competitions: The internet is awash with so many business competitions and opportunities for pitching your ideas to people. Governments, individuals and businesses around the world are all looking to support small business and entrepreneurs. Even in your local area, keep an eye on invitations that can bring funding. Note: this should not distract you from getting started on your own. It is only necessary that you keep an eye open for opportunities that will land you the funding you require.
- Raise money creatively: Give some thought to creative means of raising money. With the success of several crowdfunding platforms – Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, etc. A very good business idea, packaged into pitching videos and well-written business plans can go places. You could approach local groups within your community, high net worth individuals, friends, and family for support. Note: this also should not distract you from getting started on your own. It is only necessary that you keep your mind open to other funding possibilities.
- Build creative partnerships: Now this is how the cream de la cream of entrepreneurs try to set themselves apart. As you get things started, push to associate yourself with successful brands and influencers. Get creative with your thinking here. Build partnerships that will propel your business forward, give you access to new markets, or give you access to new competencies which you can sell to your clients.
Hard work is an absolutely essential in starting any successful enterprise with or without capital. However, when you are starting a business with little to no capital then you must be prepared to dedicate everything you have into making the business a success. This might mean cold calling, handling customer support, dealing with billing and accounting, and every other working part of your business. You will wear many hats and it will require the majority of your time and energy if you are to make it.
Don’t let the lack of capital prevent you from getting started . . .