It takes money to make money. Or does it? When it comes to starting a small business, it is possible to do it with little startup capital. It does take planning and creativity on your part, but it can be done. Here are some tips to starting a small business even if you are on a budget.
Choose A Business That Can Be Started With Little Money
There are many options out there for small businesses that do not require a ton of capital, just as there are many that require a lot of money. For example, you can’t open your own restaurant without a lot of money. If you are realistic about the type of business you start, you can certainly do it on very little funds. The mantra “start small but think big” definitely applies here. Here are some examples of businesses that can be started with little money:
- Catering – Rather than starting that restaurant, why not start a small catering company if you love to cook? If you have your own van and serving equipment, there should be little startup cost. Especially if you start by doing all your cooking in your home kitchen.
- Handyman services – If you are handy around house, you can offer your services as a business. A work truck and the right tools, and you have the beginnings of your business.
- Freelance writing – Are you good at putting thoughts into words? Consider a work at home freelance writing business.
- Photographer – If you have love for taking photos, you can turn that into a profitable business. You can advertise your services locally, or you can market your pictures online. There are websites that will pay for your stock photos, just make sure to copyright and watermark your work.
- Website design – Are you a skilled website designer? Then you have all you need to start a design business. There are many businesses and individuals who need help designing new and re-doing old websites.
- Tutoring – There are always parents out there who are looking for someone skilled to tutor their struggling kids. All you need to do is find them.
- Babysitting or in – home daycare-Got a knack for kids? You can start your own babysitting service or in-home daycare. You may need to get certified to do so, but other than that, there is little money involved, especially since you will be using your own home to watch the children.
- Selling homemade items – If you are crafty, you can sell your wares and babbles online. Websites like etsy.com provide storefronts for crafty individuals to sell their homemade wares. You can also take advantages of local craft fairs or art shows to bring in local customers.
Consider Your Skills You Already Have
The easiest way to start a business with little money is to take advantage of the skills you already possess because you won’t have to pay for any additional training or equipment. In addition, field experience helps you avoid any costly mistakes when you first start your business. There any many hobbies and interests that can be turned into a small business. Like to sew? Start a clothes altering business. Like baking? Sell your baked goods at craft fairs.
Put Your Thinking Cap On
When you are starting a new business with no money, you will need to utilize your resources and figure out the cheapest ways to do things. For example, rather than dishing out money for a small office, start your business out in a corner of your home with a makeshift home office.
Use Free Marketing Methods
When you advertise, skip the costly banner ads or full color newspaper ads. While they are eye-catching, they are just not in your budget just yet. Start small by advertising your services on public bulletin boards at libraries and grocery stores, hand out business cards at job fairs and spend time on local online discussion boards to spread the word about your new business. If your business is something that is not limited to a local customer base, get online and start posting about your services on sites like Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Also, never under estimate the power of word of mouth. Nothing is more valued than a personal recommendation.
Be Prepared To Work Overtime
The downside of starting a small business with little to no money? You will need to be a one-man team and rely on yourself. Do you need a sales person? It’s you. Do you need a delivery driver? That’s you too. Need someone to keep track of your stock? You get the picture. Until you have start making a profit, you will not be able to afford to hire outside help. This means doing any and all jobs, even the ones you would rather not do.
Utilize Free Resources
The U.S. government offers many free resources for small businesses. The United States Small Business Administration is designed specifically to help get small businesses up and running. They offer services that range from helping you draft a business plan to helping you with accounting and legal advice. Also, check with your city’s Chamber of Commerce to see if they offer any services for small business owners.
If you have been thinking about starting your own business but have always assumed you just don’t have enough money to do so, you’re in luck. There are many ways to go about starting a small business with very little startup money. By following these tips and being creative about the business you want to start, you can afford to start your own business.
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