Say you want to start a business. Great! The world could use more business people, particularly those who are willing to work hard and constantly strive to achieve their goals. There are lots of different possibly businesses you could start, covering nearly every good or service that the world might need. It’s a fascinating area to enter.
But you can’t create a company just by waving a magic wand; you need to put in time, effort, and money in order build up a business. It’s that last resource that many people can find the trickiest to obtain; after all, we get into business so that we can earn money, so it’s not always terribly abundant before the business has started to bring in money. It can lead to a bit of a Catch-22: You need to create the business to generate the money you need to create the business in the first place. It can be a bit overwhelming at times.
Luckily (or possibly unluckily, if you’re hoping for a world where people can easily begin their companies), you’re far from the only broke would-be business owner. If you look around, you’ll find plenty of advice on how to get your feet on the ground when it comes to business creation. Nobody, least of all me, will deny that it’s easier to get into the business world if you have money available to you, but it’s far from impossible to run a successful business endeavor without much cash readily available. In fact, it’s not that tough, if you stick to these
Tips To Break Into Business When You’re Broke
1. Be Ready to Do-It –Yourself – One of the biggest expenses of any business are workers, whether employees or contractors. The more things you can do for yourself and thus avoid paying someone else to do, the more money you’ll save and be able to put toward other expenses (including, just as a thought, profits for yourself). Granted, you will likely need to hire help at some point, particularly when you get involved with legal and technical matters, but the more things you can do on your own (accounting being a big one), the more money you will have in the end.
2. Start Small – Trying to build a world-spanning behemoth of a company is a worthy goal, but it’s definitely going to take some moolah. If you are starting on a shoestring budget, it’s best to begin your journey at the introductory level. This can take many forms, depending on the type of business. If you are providing services, you should start local (and stick with the do-it-yourself plan). If you are making a physical goods of some kind, you could start with low amounts and sell using services like Amazon or Etsy. For informational goods, write them yourself and, again, sell them through sales services. Point being, don’t try to create a huge business right off the bat.
3. Work From Home – While we’re talking about not creating a huge business from the start, one of the best ways to keep things small is to work from your home. There are plenty of sources for how to successfully work at home (some of which I’ve recently shared), making it that much easier to start a business from your living room. Increasingly, with the power of home computers, there are electronic businesses that can be started without having to leave the house. By not getting a separate office space, you can keep your expenses down and provide yourself with an interesting hobby.
4. Look For Other Sources of Money – You don’t need to come up with the full funding for a business yourself (or hit up all your friends and family); there are increasingly other sources of money out there that could help you get started, even if you cannot, or will not, get a loan from the bank. I discussed crowdfunding already, where you can get money from those you never met who believe in your goal. You can also apply for P2P (peer to peer) loans from services like Lending Club and Prosper. Lastly, you can get money for a business by working another job, although, getting out of their jobs is a major reason why most people try to build businesses.
5. Find Ways to Barter Services – Regardless of the many ways to earn money to help support your business, it’s still possible that you won’t be able to provide everything that you need. During that time, you might need to find ways to get services provided without having to open your checkbook. Your best bet in that situation is to do some tit for tat; find some services or good you can provide to others, and then offer them in exchange for services that you need. If you are a good accountant, you can offer bookkeeping services; if you are a writer, you can offer to create articles; and if you are skilled in computer and internet service, well, you can offer your skills in just about every area of our increasingly tech-laden culture. Admittedly, trading services isn't perfect (you need to find someone willing to make your exact trade, after all), but if you have no money, it’s worth considering.