How to Start a Business Without Money

Jessica Beauchamp
Latest posts by Jessica Beauchamp (see all)

We want to raise money and make money, right? Isn’t that one of the main reasons you are starting a for-profit business? But then you’re probably thinking to yourself, “you can only make money if you spend money” – let me stop you right there. That line of thinking is just plain wrong. You can make money without going broke. But what about all of the other successful businesses that I see out there making money – they have money at their disposal to use on a vast number of resources for growth and development!? Let me also counter that line of thinking – they all had to start from somewhere – and most of them did not have the resources that they do today to get them to the point that they are. Life is not stagnant, it changes – and so to do businesses, they will grow, morph, and change. With that said, I would also like to reiterate that you are comparing yourself to others out there in an unhealthy light. Look to others to learn from them, not to create self-defeat and prevent you from living the life that you want or starting your dream business. 

Now, the million dollar question – How can you start a business when you don’t have any money?

  1. Start a business in what you know best – this eliminates the need for upfront education, learning, and so forth when you are already an expert in your field, plus you have hands on practical knowledge that is by far more valuable than a theory alone.Build your business around what you already know so that you don’t have to invest in learning something new, getting a new certificate, acquiring new skills, learning new knowledge, and so forth – all of this can come down the road and in the future, but right now, focus on the present. What do you know now? I am sure that you are an expert at something.By building your business around what you already know, this would also eliminate the need to hire a consultant or seek out additional assistant at an additional cost upfront. Rely on your own personal experiences, knowledge, and expertise because yes you are already a professional in your field.
  2. Avoid credit cards like they are the black plague.Credit cards should never be seen as “free money”. Let me reiterate that. Credit cards are NOT FREE. Remember the classic line by Milton Friedman, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” – Credit cards fall right into that lunch bucket.Why burden yourself now when you may need it later in an emergency? The times in which you should consider using a credit card are: emergencies, contingency plan z, the “s**t hit the fan” on everyone’s front – you get it – these are the only time credit cards should ever, and I mean ever be considered in a young business – if at all. They are not a wise financial decision early on as they hinder your budget, dip into any potential revenue, and produce high-stress and unwarranted stress that can carry over well beyond a business and into a home life as well as this affects more than a business but also personal credit.Remember to think of yourself as a growing business and you do not grow overnight but rather you grow overtime. So think of yourself and your business as a plant that takes time, nurturing, and care to grow from seedling to full-grown blooming tree.
  3. It’s time to hustle and produce sweat equity.Number three this is called or sweat equity and hustling or a little bit of both. Basically, you are going to have to put in the time, work, and energy. This means some hard work and managing your business like a business. At some points, it will feel like non-stop work that goes and goes around the clock, but in the end, think to yourself – is it worth it? If your answer is always yes, then this work won’t seem to be like work and one day you will wake up and your business will be heading where you want it to if you continue to put in the right time, effort, and energy. Remember to work smarter, not longer. However, they also say that start-up entrepreneurs end up putting in 80 hours for the same pay as a 40-hour workweek yet they are more satisfied and happier overall because they are living out their dreams and seeing the fruits of their labor from to fruition.
  4. You should feel blessed to live in the Internet age if you want to start a business. Never before has anyone had the abundance of opportunities quite literally at their fingertips, so rejoice in this knowledge and get to using them!If want to learn something new, then all you need to do is search for an infinite number of classes, take a class through UdemyCourseraSkillshare, or one of the other online class opportunities. Watch a Youtube video or even earn you college degree online.There are abundant ways to network, manage projects, collaborate, multitask, and so forth – literally, if you seek on the Internet (in regards to business related resources and so forth), then you will find.
  5. If you are in need of a little funding for your business, get creative.
    1. You can use your own personal savings or borrow from family & friends, but those may not be the wisest of choices. Personal savings is a loss on your own personal front, however, this may be your only option. Borrowing from friends and family is, in a way, starting an investor partnership and remember the old saying, “do not work with friends and family”. This is true because of the personal and emotional connection involved. It’s just best to leave business partnerships at a business relationship standpoint unless you are 100% confident that you can maintain the separation between business and family/friends.Read about why hiring family is a bad idea.
      Read the 5 dangers of working with family and friends.
    2. If your idea is solid, then use an incubator. A business incubator requires acceptance into the program, but they are designed for start-ups and to help out financially – so this would take the weight off your shoulders. You can find incubators in universities or in local development organizations designed for economic growth.
    3. Crowdfund your business. Kickstarter is one of many platforms that can help fund your business by allowing the public to invest a percentage of their money into your future business as a form of a buy-in.
  6. Let’s end with the fact that the only real way that you can start generating any type of stream of revenue for your business is to simply start. Set aside any personal fears, obstacles, or anything else holding you back and start where you are. Begin now and don’t look back.


Author: Jessica Beauchamp

Serves as lead Designer, Author, and Content Curator. Holds an MBA with a focus on global communications, studied Fashion Design, and has worked as an Editor, Project Manager, and Director of Education and Communications.

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