How to start a business with no money

So you’re ready to make the leap and start your very own business. But without a big savings fund, investors or clients lining up to throw cash at you, how do you start a business with no money?


The truth is… there are a ton of way you can start a new business without forking over a ton of cash from your own bank account. Here’s how…

How to start a business with no money

Think strategically.

Without a big boost of money before you start, you’re going to need to choose a business idea that doesn’t need a huge amount of time to develop before you earn anything. For example, instead of opening a brick-and-mortar stationery store, could you begin to sell (via Etsy!) your graphic designs printed on greeting cards first?

Identify your strengths and skills. Next, match them up with what people want or need AND (more importantly) what they will gladly pay you money to do or provide.

What could you offer that solves a pain point for people? Something that could save them time, money, or reduce stress is often a good place to start when you’re thinking about what you can offer.

How to start a business with no moneyTap into free resources.

Do your research and check out what is already available in your local area. Sometimes it takes some digging, but are there organizations that can help you get loans, free training, and/or access to other funds? Who knows, there could also be established business owners who could offer you a one-off bit of advice to spin you in the right direction. If you don’t look, you’ll never know…

Any don’t forget to take a look online! There is SO much free info out there. Whether you need to learn how to build a basic website or figure out how to manage your accounts, there are blogs, webinars, videos… Google is your friend!

How to start a business with no moneyPre-sell your services.

Let’s be honest, starting a business is a risk. To try and reduce some of that risk, you can pre-sell your services before you’ve created them.

The benefits of this include:

  • The chance to see if there is a demand (or not)
  • Finding out if you need to make some changes to what you’re offering (before you sink a ton of money into building something people don’t want or need)
  • Getting a full or partial upfront payment which you can put towards development (and help with cash flow!)

How to start a business with no moneyDon’t let go!

It’s not an all or nothing kind of option. Lots of people hold onto their day job for as long as possible. It gives you some security and a way to fund the basics. Consider starting your new business as a side gig while still working for someone else. That way, you can make the leap once you’re really, truly ready.

How to start a business with no moneyGet professional with your bank accounts.

You might be tempted to use your personal accounts until you’re more established. BAD IDEA. Separating your finances will help you accurately track your business spending. Without it, you could be under or overestimating your monthly overhead costs of running and maintaining this new business. Things like your Canva monthly subscription or your Xero bookkeeping software subscription, etc, etc.

How to start a business with no moneyCreate a 6-month game plan

If you’re serious about starting a business, you have to start planning. Hoping for the best or wishing that it will all work out is not a strong strategy. Trust me  – you need a plan to keep you on track and moving forwards.

Set a 7-minute timer and journal it out… What is the focus and your business goals each month? How are you going to get there? What actions do you need to take to achieve those goals?

How to start a business with no moneyCreate a Business Model Canvas

This is just a simple business plan to get started immediately. Don’t worry, it’s not super complicated. Remember I told you to check out online resources? Well there are loads of templates and info online.

Creating a business plan doesn’t have to be scary!

Resources we recommend:

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