Only a handful of people have the guts to start a business, let alone when they have no money or business experience. If you are among the select few who are ready to face the challenges of entrepreneurship head-on, then let me show you how to get started even when you have no capital or experience running a business.
I will be sharing nine tips on how to start a business with no money or experience. These tips will arm you with the right information and hopefully help you see things from a perspective you never considered. The tips are;
- Start with why.
- Do your homework.
- Go with what you know/have.
- Start with an MVP.
- Build a strong online presence.
- Don’t Quit your Job
- Seek Advice
- Don’t Neglect the Free Stuff
Highly Recommended Next Articles to Learn from:
Nine Tips on How to Start a Business with No Money or Experience
1. START WITH WHY
Why? Why do you want to start a business in the first place? What makes starting a business so inviting to you?
To be successful in business, you have first to figure out your ‘why.’ The ‘why’ is probably the most critical factor for an entrepreneur.
Your ‘why’ keeps you going when all hope seems lost, or when success appears to be elusive, your ‘why’ keeps you on track.
A business aims to make money, but that may not be enough reason for some to get up in the morning and get to work. Make your ‘why’ deeper than just making money (the desire to make money is enough for some people).
Seek to grow as a person, be determined to make others’ lives better, be keen on leaving your mark on the world, do your best to play your part in making our planet healthier.
Latch on to an idea much bigger than you. Grab hold and never let go. With your ‘why’ guiding you, you will always find a way.
2. DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Research. Research. Research and even more research. Become a sponge; soak up as much information you can get your hands on relating to business.
Experience is supreme, but knowledge can help you stay afloat while you become experienced. Knowing nothing and choosing to remain that way is a definite way to fail.
- Figure out the best business ideas as it relates to you and your environment.
- Find that one product people want to buy. Get in-depth knowledge of your market and your potential customers.
- Find out who your competitors are, what are their strengths and weaknesses.
- Survey your target market, figure out what exactly they need.
Your research will help you make better-informed decisions that will hopefully set you up for success.
Remember to not only study but to act; analysis paralysis is real. Your knowledge should not be a barrier to your taking action.
3. GO WITH WHAT YOU KNOW/HAVE
Even when you have no experience or money, you still know something, and you still have something.
Even if you were ignorant initially, you are not expected to stay ignorant if you heed my advice in tip number 2.
Once you have gathered ample information on a particular business or have found a specific business idea that is not only feasible but also plays into your natural strengths and talents, start with that.
Ask yourself, what do I know or what can I do that many others don’t know or can’t do? Can I use my unique abilities in the service of others? What comes easy for me? What others seek me out to get my advice for?
Answering these questions will provide you with insight into your unique edge and how to leverage it when starting out in business. Once you know your ‘edge,’ you can build on it by gaining more knowledge, and in no time, you will become competent in your chosen field.
4. START WITH AN MVP
Your MVP is your proof of concept. It helps you figure out if your business idea is truly viable.
Your MVP is a barebones version of your product. It doesn’t have to have all the bells and whistles; it just has to be functional enough to give anyone who tries it a clear picture of what you are trying to achieve.
When you are starting, you don’t have to spend so much time trying to develop a product range or a full-fledged product.
Your goal as a newbie in business should be to get your product or service out there as quickly as possible so you can start improving the idea or abandon it if the feedback isn’t favorable.
Starting with an MVP helps you keep your initial costs down; you get to test your idea without investing a lot of resources.
5. BUILD A STRONG ONLINE PRESENCE
You really can’t run a successful business today and age without having a solid online presence.
Irrespective of the size of your operation, having social media pages and a website is a must. Social media, especially, can be extremely helpful in getting the word out in the beginning stages.
Even when you don’t have enough resources to run social media ads, organic content can go a long way in boosting your discoverability online.
If you have a little cash to invest when starting, put a large part of that into building your online presence, run ads that target your specific clients, show them how you can be of value to them, set up a website you won’t regret it.
Be sure to maintain a consistent face (branding) across all your social media platforms. The last thing you want is to get your clients confused about what your business is all about.
Having no money when you start your business and running your business with no money are two very different things. Yes, you can start a business without having money, but you will need money to keep the business running.
Once your business is up and running, you will figure out a way to keep the lights on. Here are some of the options available to you.
If you have another income source, bootstrapping your way to business success isn’t such a bad idea. The advantage of bootstrapping is that you remain in charge, you won’t have to bend your vision to accommodate any investor’s wishes, you only answer to you.
However, for bootstrapping to be successful, you have to be financially prudent. You have to be able to manage the available resources in such a way that they yield maximum returns.
B) Friends and Family
Borrowing from friends and family is one of the best ways to get interest-free loans. You won’t have to provide collateral or meet any specific credit requirement.
However, in most cases, getting money from friends and family can be quite challenging as they may not see your business as something worthwhile if you have friends and family who can trust you with their hard-earned money, Great.
Yes, we live in the 21st century, where random people are willing to put their money behind a project or product they believe in, with no guarantees whatsoever.
If you take the crowdfunding route, you can either ask for donations from individuals who connect with your business’s mission and vision or offer rewards in exchange for donations.
Rewards can be in the form of early access to your products or access to your products or service(s) at a discount.
I have not included-based loans as an option because I am a firm believer that it’s best to try these other alternatives if you can avoid it.
7. DON’T QUIT YOUR JOB
There is a lot of uncertainty associated with starting a business, quitting your day job, which is your only income source that raises the stakes unnecessarily.
When starting a business, every little bit counts. You are going to need money to set things up and keep things going before the profits start rolling in.
The income from your present job can provide a much-needed cushion while you try to get your business off the ground.
8. SEEK ADVICE
Go find a mentor or someone that has a business similar to yours. Pick their brain on every aspect of the process.
Who knows, a word from your mentor can be the difference between staying afloat or going under.
9. DON’T NEGLECT THE FREE STUFF
There are many quality free tools and resources out there for anyone who cares to look. These tools can help you get started, especially in the early stages when costs must be kept down.
Some examples of these free tools include Canva (for graphics design), WordPress (for building websites), Buffer (for managing your social media activity), and many more.
EXAMPLES OF BUSINESSES YOU CAN START WITH NO MONEY OR EXPERIENCE
Freelance writing is pretty easy to get into; of course, you will need to put in the time and effort required to be an excellent writer, but all you really need to get started is a computer and an internet connection.
Chances are that you already have a computer and internet access, so you are pretty much set. You can start by selling your service online. There are a plethora of freelancing platforms online to help you do this.
If you are in business, you are either a digital marketer or employ one’s services; it’s that popular.
Becoming a digital marketer isn’t tough, but becoming a digital marketer that everyone wants to hire is tough.
Digital marketing is a fast-paced industry as things are continually changing; you have to be on top of your game to stay abreast of the latest developments.
You can start by offering your service for free, and then after you do an excellent job for the first month, you are very likely to be put on a retainer.
Babysitting, Dog walking, lawn mowing, snow plowing are examples of some of the services you can offer with no money or experience.
All you need to get started is a friendly personality. Start from within your neighborhood, and if you do a good job, word-of-mouth will help you get jobs in other communities.
Blogging / Youtube Channel
Pick a subject you are well versed in or are passionate about and write about that. Granted, it will take a while before you begin to see any returns from blogging, but you have to stay committed.
You can also look into creating information products like eBooks and courses.
SUCCESS STORIES OF INDIVIDUALS WHO STARTED WITH NOTHING BUT STRUCK GOLD IN BUSINESS
Sam Walton’s journey to the top of the retail food chain all started from a $25,000 loan he took from his father-in-law. Sam Walton had just come back from world war 2 and was trying to integrate back into everyday life when he decided to set up a retail store. In no time, he began to see success. Fast forward to today, and Walmart is one of the world’s biggest companies.
A Ukrainian boy, born into poverty, but he never let his circumstance deter him from becoming a world-class computer engineer. By 18, Jan Koum was already a computer whiz kid. He got a job at Yahoo in 1997. In 2009 he launched WhatsApp. Facebook bought WhatsApp in 2014 for $19 billion, Jan Koum became a billionaire.
Against all odds, Oprah Winfrey rose above poverty and abuse to become the richest African American woman. She was born in Mississippi and raised in Milwaukee. She started working on her vision at a very young age. She got a job at a radio station while still in high school. Slowly but surely, she climbed up the ladder of success until she started her own production company. The rest they say is history.
References and Further Reading