By Lauren Adley
Starting a new business without any sort of cash is impossible. Nevertheless, launching a startup while disposing of a decent (very decent) budget is extremely achievable.
In business, as an entrepreneur, you are investing four main resources: money, time, attention, and energy. Guess what – if you don’t have money, you’ll have to compensate and spend more time, attention, and energy in order to get done the things that you didn’t have money to pay for.
If you have an amazing business idea but you don’t have the capital to launch it, stop worrying. There are plenty of ways to kickstart operations and get your entrepreneurship journey going without possessing a significant budget.
In today’s post, I’ll share the best strategies, tips, and tricks that should help you start a successful business without money. Action, proactivity, resourcefulness, and consistency are key.
Focus on Branding
Some of the greatest brands became the greatest because the solution that they’re offering is out-of-the-box, useful, and affordable. Simply put – great ideas.
If your budget is very decent, focusing on branding rather than advertising during the startup stages is the way to go. By branding, I’m talking about:
- Developing a professional brand image (professional logo, website)
- Developing brand stories (storytelling)
- Developing an automated email marketing sequence, using an email marketing strategy and an email list
- Shooting and promoting photos of your products, activity, employees, and so on
Most of these activities are affordable and absolutely critical during the initial stages of any startup. Rather than starting with activities that take a lot of cash (intense marketing, advertising, PR), focus on creating a brand identity.
Start with a Prototype
The best way to start a business (even if you’re a millionaire) is to plan everything out. Before you invest most of your resources in a project, you should plan its “prototype” version, which is the “small version” of the final product.
A product prototype is basically what your product aims to be, though in a “beta” version. By focusing on a prototype rather than the full plate, you can identify lots of potential problems but also great opportunities, all without spending too much money.
Use All the Resources Available
If you don’t have a budget and want to go big in business, you must leverage all the resources you have at your disposal. Resourcefulness can often replace money, though a lot of persistence is required.
Basically, your best available resources are people and technology. The more people you “leverage,” the more time, money, energy, and attention you save. You can build a team and split the profits or simply find ways to compensate for people’s time other than money.
Concerning technology, you should tap into the sea of digital tools available for free. Depending on your needs, a simple Google search for specific tools that starts or ends with the word “free” will put you in front of enough resources to choose from (free marketing tools, free planning tools, project management tools free, etc.).
Commit Emotionally and Work Every Day
Starting a new business is a lot of work, and you won’t be able to pull it off unless you’re emotionally committed to your mission. It has to be more than a desire to earn money. Your business is basically offering a solution, so you must believe in that solution with all your heart.
If you don’t have money but your solution is great, the only way you’ll be able to materialize it is by putting up the work. Work every day, don’t complain and find small bridges to advance your startup. Promote slowly, organically, and be patient.
Network, Network, Network
Networking is surely the best method of becoming a resourceful entrepreneur. Attending various events where like-minded individuals spend time will prove to be super beneficial as long as you leverage the opportunities that arise.
For example, you might find investors that you can build an easy rapport with. Or, you might be meeting a professional that can fill your key role in the company, a role that you find absolutely necessary. This could be the online marketing guy, the tech guy, the lawyer, and so on.
No money is one thing. You live without that. However, starting a new business without having any relationship and human resources at your disposal is suicide in my opinion.
Leverage Free Digital Tools
Thanks to technology, every new small business can leverage useful and specific tools for various needs. There are many tools that can be used for free. Some are entirely free, while others are simply “trial versions” or “limited versions”.
Nevertheless, by exploring the possibilities, you’ll be able to discover amazing resources that will automate your business processes, thus saving time, money, and energy.
Consider Funding and Crowdfunding
Well, let’s not neglect the obvious ways. Funding and crowdfunding are two options for skyrocketing your startup. Simply allow an investor to take a look at your project, establish the boundaries and state your percentage drop, ask for the money you need for your project to come alive, and close the deal.
Before you sell parts of your business, ensure that you are content with your decision. Otherwise, you’ll have a lot of problems later (with yourself and your business partner).
Crowdfunding is another good way of launching a product, especially if it’s a physical product. Platforms like Kickstarter or Funded are great places to start. However, before you list your business, make sure to acknowledge all the pros and cons of crowdfunding.
Launching a new business without money is something that has been already done, multiple times. Fifty successful companies have done it before, so the proof is present. Starting a business is simple. Turning it into a successful organization is hard.
Find your way to the top by constantly testing, analyzing, and optimizing your strategies. Stay creative, consistent, resilient, and optimistic, and get on with the work already because you have a promising business to run!