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How to Start a Business With Little or No Money

12/04/2016 12:46

Do you have a great idea for a new business but don't have the amount of money you think it'll need to succeed? If so, don't do what too many would-be entrepreneurs do and assume that your idea will never get going unless you have a ton of money behind you.

The key to success is not financial resources but is a personal quality called resourcefulness. Get creative and here are 5 resourceful ways of doing that.

  1. Get the word out. Tell everyone you know what you are doing in-person, via email, over the phone and via social media - this includes family, friends and ex-colleagues. It's amazing who people know. The six degrees of separation theory states that everyone is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world.
  2. Get things for free. Seek out free marketing opportunities such as social media and PR. Also, there are many sources of free business advice and support for start-ups. In the UK, for example, the British Chambers of Commerce, Startup Britain and the British Library run free events. Again in the UK, you can acquire free technology and office equipment via websites such as Freecycle.
  3. Whatever It Takes (W.I.T.). Be prepared to work hard. Be willing to dedicate everything you have to doing whatever it takes and whatever needs doing in your business. Wear as many hats as you need to in order to get the jobs done in your business.
  4. Be clever with money. The most important thing is to avoid unnecessary expenses because being frugal in the early days can be the difference between success and failure. Instead of buying everything at once using your credit card, borrow items if you can. Don't burden yourself with credit card debt as it can be stressful. Be a bit cuter with money than you normally would. For example, see if you can get customers to pay you upfront or even half upfront, and half later. Replace fixed costs with variable ones by linking your costs to your sales. Use online services like PeoplePerHour and 99Designs to get one-off items of work done economically.
  5. Try bartering. Throughout history people and businesses have exchanged goods and services via bartering. The definition is exchanging goods or services for other goods or services without using money. So why not suggest to your accountant that, instead of paying a fee for preparing your accounts, that you provide some of your services for an equal value?

So there you have it - no longer can you make the excuse of not starting your business because you have little or no money. All you need is resourcefulness. So go for it now.

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