Let's face it, while there are many people who have the drive, ambition, and imagination to start a business, many of them simply do not have the funding to do so. With the cost of living so high, it is often hard for an entrepreneur to save enough cash to take off, and getting investors may not be easy for them. For those who have the spirit of entrepreneurship pushing them to move forward, it is simply impossible to wait for financial opportunities to come along. If you are among those with the skills, knowledge, dreams, and drive to start your own business, but simply lack the funding, here are a few ideas for how to get off the ground with little to no money.
Make a Plan
Before you take off running down the fast track to a successful business, it is important to decide a few things and think them through. Of course, you will first need to know exactly what type of business that you wish to have, and whether or not you already have the skills needed to run it. Formulate a plan from your ideas of what you would like to do. Maybe selling products online would be in your dreams? Or perhaps supplying writers, editors, and web designers for other companies could be something you'd want to do?
Make sure that you have the skills you will need for your plan. If you are not such a great researcher or typist, then perhaps writing and editing are not really for you, for example. If you are better at finding items which a target audience will want, and selling those items at great prices, then perhaps an online store is more your thing. Be realistic with your plan. It is also vital that you research any area that you may be thinking of starting a business in and learn what the demand will be for your product or idea. You will also want to find out who your target audience is, and how to relate to them.
Free Resources and Tools for Starting a Business
There are many free resources and tools that are available online for those who are wishing to start a business, especially an internet business. First of all, of course, you will need the internet. It is always best to have it at home, but if this is not possible, internet cafes, coffee shops, and many restaurants offer WiFi now for free. Here are a few other free or low cost ideas for those who are thinking of starting their own business.
- A Free Website – For those who plan to start their business with an online presence, a website is a must-have. This makes it possible for you to introduce yourself and/or your business to the world. A huge, expensive, fancy site is not necessary right away, just a simple page which describes your product or service is fine. There are a few places where one can make their own website for free or little cost, with simple instructions on how to do so. Some of those are webs.com, weebly.com, yola.com, and godaddy.com. With most of these, a paid version is also available which means that when you grow, you can expand your website as well.
- Legal Advice and Documentation – It is a great idea to get legal advice on how businesses work, and what you will need to do to start your own business. A great place for free legal advice is score.org. You may also need legal papers. Instead of paying for them, search the internet and find copies of what you may need. Then just revise them to fit your business and print out as many copies as you want.
- Money and Tax Preparation – It is always better to hire a professional to prepare your taxes at the end of each term, but in the meantime you can keep track of your finances yourself. Programs such as Excell make this possible. You may also find that your local college offers free or very cheap classes for Quickbooks.
- A Company Logo – Paying a graphic artist to design your company logo is not necessary either. That is because logoyes.com makes it possible for you to design your own, for free!
- Methods of Payment – You will also find it easy to take in payments for your product or services without having to buy a credit card reader. Paypal, as well as Google Checkout have payment options for which you need pay nothing until you are paid.
These are just a few ideas of ways to cut costs and, in most cases, find free resources and tools that you can use to start a business. A few other ideas are common sense, for instance, by working from home, you can avoid paying office rent, and even get a deduction on your taxes for part of your utilities. And by doing most or all of the work yourself, you avoid having to pay employees and worry over their taxes as well. Once your business is up and running, hiring a few people to help you keep it that way is a great idea. Just start off strong and take it slow, and soon you'll be on your way!