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Finance Business Ideas For Beginners
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When starting a business, finding a good idea is half the battle. The other half financed it.
A good business idea with zero capital does not mean that the road to entrepreneurship is over. There are many ways to start a business with no money. In most cases, all you need is an entrepreneurial mindset: patience, hard work, creativity and a willingness to test new things.
This guide shares how to start your own business with minimal money. The goal? To start making money, you can later reinvest it for growth.
From validating your idea to earning your first dollar, here’s the blueprint for starting a business with no money.
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The first stage of starting a business is to develop an idea. If you’re not sure what that might be, here are six creative business ideas you can start with no money.
The easiest way to start a business with no money is to sell your services. Even if you haven’t mastered a certain area, being better than the average person at something means you can start a business that helps them. So start by looking at the things you know how to do better than most people. Wrap this skill set into a service that:
Since you don’t have capital yet, start with the things you have, such as your experience, knowledge, skills and resources you possess. These are the best investments you’ll want when you only have $0. Kei Nishida, owner of Japanese Green Tea Co.
Don’t rule out a service company if you don’t have a particularly strong skill set. Your time is valuable; busy people often pay an hourly rate for someone else to do tasks they don’t want to (or don’t have time for). This includes jobs such as:
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Many entrepreneurs write off these small business ideas because they are afraid of making minimum wage. But a service-based business can be lucrative. Some freelance writers are making six figures annually within two years of running their business. A window washer even reached $250,000 in 12 months.
Dropshipping is a popular business model for entrepreneurs who want to start a small business with no money. Just create an online store and choose a dropshipping supplier like DSers or AliExpress. When an order is placed, your e-commerce platform will forward the order information to your supplier. Their job is to pick, pack and ship the order to your customer.
As a graduate student, I didn’t really have much disposable income, so I decided to learn how to dropship. I decided to dropship on Wish since there isn’t much talk about dropshipping to your own store or Amazon. Zaid Shahatit, founder of Fighthaus
The best thing about dropshipping is that you can start with a small budget. Instead of buying inventory before it’s sold and storing those items in an expensive warehouse, suppliers will only charge you for the inventory when you sell it. Start with a free 3-day trial and then $5 per month with ‘s starter plan.
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The global market for personal products is estimated at $38 billion. Take advantage of this opportunity, even if you don’t have the upfront money to invest in inventory, with a print-on-demand business.
Print-on-demand is the process of personally labeling products (such as bags, t-shirts or hats) and selling them to order. Vendors like Printful will print your designs on inventory, ship them to the customer, and bill you for their service after you receive the money from your customer.
We started with a print-on-demand service, bringing the initial operating investment to $0. Basically, we were just a website to begin with – to validate the idea. Katheriin Liibert, co-founder of #muhoov
Like dropshipping, there are minimal costs associated with starting this type of business, as you only pay for inventory when a customer orders it. Additionally, there are no storage costs to contend with using the print-on-demand model, making it a worthy option if you want to start a business with $0.
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Prefer a more hands-on approach to starting a small business? Turn your hobby into a side hustle by selling handmade goods through your online store or marketplaces like Etsy. This may include:
We started in a garage, bought powder from websites and got mixing glasses from wherever we could. Our first sample was hand delivered with powder in Ziploc bags and a funnel. Carl Starkey, founder of AWSM Sauce
Katrina Bell is an entrepreneur who used this approach when starting a business with no money. Now the owner of The Copper Bell, Katrina chose to sell candles because they “don’t have a steep learning curve, don’t require any government oversight and regulation, and can easily be made in larger and larger batches.”
What originally started as a fun side hustle eventually became Katrina’s full-time job after being laid off at the start of the pandemic. “I decided to really push my business online right after that, and I’ve had tremendous growth after a few months of full-time work,” she says. “Sales really picked up in the fall of 2020 and I’m now running the business from a commercial production area, not just from my home.”
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Bonus: To make extra money when you’re just starting out, package your handmade items in a subscription box. The steady income you will generate from repeat orders can be reinvested in the production of new inventory, giving you start-up capital without external funding.
Most of our profits are reinvested in inventory and advertising. We are trying to grow at a healthy pace so that we don’t have to rely on external investment. François Mathieu, co-founder of Hojicha Co.
Digital products are something you can create and sell with just an internet connection, making them a great way to start an online business with no money.
Start by identifying an area where you have more knowledge than the average person. Then do some research online to see what problems people in space struggle with. Wrap the solution in a digital product that:
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The beauty of digital products is that they are scalable. Make them once and sell them many times using the digital downloads app. It’s no wonder so many entrepreneurs are using digital products as a way to generate passive income.
The word “influencer” has taken on a life of its own in the last decade. More people are making money through social media than ever before. All it takes is patience, social media knowledge and interesting content to share – three things that can be done for free.
Start by building your social media presence on a popular platform like Instagram or TikTok. But don’t start the hard sell just yet. Followers can earn money when they know, like and trust what you have to say.
Entrepreneurs have used this avenue to raise money for product-based businesses. YouTuber Emma Chamberlain, for example, started posting videos on YouTube back in 2017. She launched her first direct-to-consumer business, Chamberlain Coffee, to monetize her audience just two years later.
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A business plan is the outline of how you want to grow your business. The content of yours will depend on the low-cost business model you choose. But generally it includes:
Do you need help writing yours? Here’s a free business plan template complete with examples to help you get started.
The next stage of starting a business is choosing a name. It should be catchy, recognizable and most importantly, not already taken. Use this free business name generator for some inspiration if you’re stuck.
Remember: the name you choose will serve you for the life of your business. Make sure it’s someone you love – and can see scaling with you – to avoid headaches down the road.
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The process of starting a business from scratch has been free until now. While it is possible to continue down the $0 path, the smartest investment you can make is in an online store. Your website is the virtual home of your new business—one that you can use to educate potential customers about the products or services you sell.
If you’re on a tight budget, starter plans are just $5 per month after a free 3-day trial. It’s a small price to pay for a sleek, professional website that will help you make your first sale.
Starting a business from scratch is trial and error. Some ideas will be a hit; others will not turn out to be as popular as you originally thought. Reduce risk by testing your ideas with pre-orders.
Pre-ordering works by taking money for items you haven’t produced yet. It gives you money to invest in production, creates buzz and creates a sense of exclusivity. People embrace the opportunity to try something new in front of a crowd.
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Remy Martins is an entrepreneur who has taken this approach. After conception