January 17, 2017

Checklist: How to Start a Business with No Money


Start a Business With No Money checklist

Got a great business idea and want to start a business with no money? You’re not alone. But for most aspiring entrepreneurs, getting hold of the much needed capital is usually the biggest challenge.

Lack of funds, however, should not deter you from pursuing your entrepreneurial dreams. You just need to have confidence in your idea and a clear vision about how you are going to execute it. Once you have that covered, getting the funds to support your dream may not be as difficult as it seems.

Start a Business With No Money Checklist

Keep Your Present Job

Being practical is extremely important when you are toying with the idea of starting a business. You need a steady source of income before you can set up your business, so it’s advisable to hold onto your current job. By retaining your present job, you will be more secured when you need to take risks.

You will, of course, need to spend extra hours and work harder. But the transition from being an employee to a business owner will be far smoother as you won’t have additional expenses to worry about.

Work on Your Business Idea

Coming up with a great business idea is just the beginning of your journey as an entrepreneur. There are many more steps that you need to take before you can get started. Fleshing out your business idea is one of them, and it’s very critical to the success of your venture.

Is your business idea really unique? What value will it generate? Is it something your target audience really wants? Or is it something you think they’d want? Getting answers to these questions is important to determine whether or not your idea works.

Analyze Your Market and Challenges

You have a brilliant idea that you know will definitely work, but what about your competition? Will it be difficult for a rival to copy your idea and repackage it in a better way? A potential investor will ask you this when you approach them for funding. It’s very important to understand the market you operate in and your competition.

You should first look at the trends and identify challenges that your business may face. The next step is to understand how you are going to address those challenges to stay profitable.

Assess Your Capital Needs

You require money to start your business, but how much do you really need? Without a clear idea you run the risk of coming up with an unrealistic valuation of your business, which will put off investors and get your loan application rejected. So before you start wondering how you should raise money, you should focus on evaluating your funding requirements. How much do you need to get started? How exactly are you going to use the funds?

Explore Crowdfunding Platforms

Crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter have changed the way entrepreneurs are raising money to fund their new businesses. Whether you want to sell a new software tool or set up an organic noodle bar, you can get people to invest in your business.

Network with People

When you don’t have money to start your business, it’s essential you find the right people who can help. You may attend events and trade shows where you can find potential investors. You may also join various online forums on social networking sites where you can find useful tips and resources to bring your business to life.

Most venture capitalists and investors are quite active on social media, so if you can wow them with your idea you may find a great way to get started on your business dream.

Run a Trial

Want to be sure if your business idea is indeed unique? Run a test and find out. A pilot will give you the confidence you need to take your idea to the next level and mitigate risk. You can start on a small scale by giving away some freebies to a few people in your target audience group to see how they respond.

A small trial can give you some new insights to grow your business and identify challenges that you might have overlooked.

Gather Feedback

If you are planning to get into a completely new business, it would really help if you got a second opinion from someone who knows the market and the challenges involved. A business idea that looks good on paper may not be that attractive when you actually get into it. An expert’s opinion may help you look at things from a different perspective and gain more knowledge that you may lack.

Secure a Small Business Loan if Necessary

There are several loan programs aimed at helping first time entrepreneurs set up their business. The Small Business Administration (SBA) operates the loan programs offered by the U.S. government. To qualify for the loan, your business must meet some criteria such as your business must operate in the United States, your business must qualify as a small business according to SBA guidelines, you must operate for profit and you should have a good credit score.

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Shubhomita Bose


Shubhomita Bose Shubhomita Bose is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. She covers key studies and surveys about the small business market, along with general small business news. She draws on 8 years of experience in copywriting, marketing and communications, having worked extensively on creating content for small and medium sized enterprises.

7 Reactions

  1. Aira Bongco

    Back in the day, this is not even possible. It is amazing how technology can turn things around. It is now possible to produce money without any money at all.

  2. Martin Lindeskog

    I will download the checklist. I will come back with ideas on how to start a hobby business with no money, including a crowdfunding campaign.

  3. It is quite amazing how one can start a business these days with little or no fund. Just a lot of passion and the right idea all thanks to technology

  4. If it does not exist, create it. If you have an idea-ideas or skills, think of how to use your ideas or skills to create a business and to put it out there to see what it can attract and what you can create. Many successful businesses started with an idea and that idea has become a success “from one person business to global corporations”. Failure is an attempt at success, if you don’t give up and modify each attempt, then each attempt can become a success.

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