Start A Small Business With No Money – Starting a business with no money is 100 percent possible. In fact, you’ll have an easier time today than when Google, Apple, Disney, Mattel, and Harley Davidson started in garages decades ago.
Why Because going from idea to startup, building something worthwhile and reaching potential customers has never been cheaper and easier.
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Just ask the cleaner who pins flyers to grocery store bulletin boards and now advertises through Google to people searching for “toxin-free oven cleaning” in their town. Internet connectivity has effectively leveled the playing field.
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Instead of startup capital, your currency is ideas, time and determination. So, here’s a zero-cost plan to start and grow your new business.
If you find this article, you probably already have a strong idea of what product or service you are going to sell. The future and profitability of your startup depends on the strength of this initial idea. And with only 50 percent of new businesses surviving five years or more, you can understand how strong this idea must be.
The best business ideas come from a combination of your passions or skills that people need to solve. That mix is important because not all tastes are useful or marketable. Sure, I have a passion for eating New Haven pizza, but (sadly) I’m having a hard time finding someone who will pay me to do it.
Instead, take your existing expertise and industry knowledge and dig deep to find the problem you need to solve. You can sell a product or service that solves a problem you have. Because if you have a problem, chances are someone else does — and will be willing to pay for a solution.
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Since you can’t afford any mergers or acquisitions, finding a niche is the best way to avoid heavy competition. A niche is a small but profitable subsection of a market where customer needs are not met by competitors. Ideally, you only want to sell what you sell.
While you can narrow your niche by targeting a specific customer demographic or geographic location, you can adjust your ideas to make a difference.
Here are some literal and metaphorical metaphors and examples you can apply to make your idea more specific:
One of the best ways to give your business a publicly accessible home is to create a website. Fortunately, many free or affordable platforms like Wix, WordPress or Squarespace make this really easy.
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But before you get too carried away with the details, it’s important to think about branding and growth. For about $10 per year, you can host a website with a domain name of your choice, giving it a more professional look. A great litmus test for finding unique names is to check if the .com domain is taken.
Don’t be disappointed that there aren’t many obvious .com domains available today. With a little creativity and the following tools, you’ll quickly find a unique .com name for your business:
For brand continuity, register the name on your website platform of choice and visit Namechk to secure your future social media channels.
Thanks to the convenience of today’s drag-and-drop website builders, there’s no need to code (and if you get stuck, there’s a large user community that can help). Install one of the free themes and create the basic pages you need:
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A summary of your product or service offerings (see the next section), highlighting the benefits and how they differ from competitors.
Pro Tip: Use language that appeals to your target customer’s emotions and a clear call to action that encourages the visitor to become a customer (fill in an email address, schedule a meeting, contact you, etc.). .
Pro tip: Be sure to frame every element of your About page in a way that benefits your customers.
Pro Tip: Answering these questions will not only help you avoid annoying inquiries, you’ll increase your online marketing and help visitors learn how you operate.
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Pro tip: Since you don’t have money to spend on online advertising to attract site visitors, you rely on organic search. A regularly updated blog that helps you climb the Google search rankings.
If you’re selling physical products online, there should be an easy-to-navigate option for customers to buy from you.
Along with the bare bones of your small business website, relevant images can change its look and feel. Your website will look more professional if you can purchase your own custom images when you use them, but for now, there’s a huge amount of free images available from Unsplash, Pexels, and Pixabay.
A low-cost, low-risk way to test your niche market demand for your product, born from your business idea. This is the version that you offer with the minimum feature set that people are willing to pay you for.
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You may think that this adds an unnecessary hurdle to starting your business. But by conducting this test early, you can avoid building a product that no one wants and get important information directly from your target market. They can also communicate areas where they feel the features are lacking.
Verify your minimum viable product by adding it to your website’s home page and asking visitors to enter their email to receive availability notifications. At the end of the test, you should be able to answer the following questions:
Once you’re confident in how your first product or service will be communicated and that it scratches the itch of your target market, you need to set up a payment method.
The easiest option is to set up a PayPal account for free. It also means that customers around the world can hand over their cash in exchange for your product.
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If you provide a service, you must invoice your customers. Invoice templates take the hassle out of creating invoices. This includes when and how you want to pay and your debt collection policy.
Gone are the days when your ability to promote your small business was determined by the size of your wallet. In fact, it is possible to build your entire customer base without any paid advertising.
Your website should also give visitors the option to opt-in with their email address. As your contact list grows, you can use free email platforms to market to them regularly.
Pro tip: When growing your email list, focus on quality, not quantity. At the end of the day, it’s better to have a small, engaged list than a large, passive contact database. 6. Try to expand your product, service or target market to measure future growth.
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As you move through the stages of building your startup, it’s important to get feedback and test new ideas. The best part is that none of the above costs anything but your time and creativity.
Once you’ve figured out the business model and product or service offering, here are some ideas to help you scale the business further:
Scaling for future growth is easier than starting a small business. By developing your products, services or target market, it makes future growth more manageable.
No matter what your small business throws at you, it’s important to keep going. At any stage, it’s easy to become paralyzed by overanalyzing. After all, nobody said creating and growing a business from scratch was easy.
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Instead, resist fear or hesitation by taking a big step. As Friedrich Engels said, “An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.”
Carly Steck is a senior content strategist at HubSpot and a former marketing blog editor. Content aside, she has a strong affinity for house plants, New Haven Pizza (#teammodern) and Kate Spade. Starting your own online business from home is an ideal way to make money as a stay-at-home mom (or dad!).
You can choose your raise based on how often you work, when you work, and how much time you can reasonably spend on your business.
Starting a small business can easily fit into your life as long as you have realistic expectations. When you have small children you may only invest 10 hours a week, but in the future (when the children are older and more independent) you can work full time on your business.
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~ This article may contain affiliate links. I only recommend products or services that I believe will benefit my readers. All opinions are 100% my own! ~
Starting a small business is as simple as starting a business Facebook page to share your business and promote your services or products.
You’ll also want to invest in training and resources to help grow your business.
As you grow your small business, you will definitely want to increase your online presence by starting a blog (website).
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