You have a dream.
You want to start your own business and live the life you want. You know you’d be great. There’s only one problem…you don’t have any money to invest in your new business venture.
Some people want to start a business because they want to be their own boss. Others want more control and opportunities. Regardless of your motivation, you can create the perfect job for yourself. A job designed to match your lifestyle, or the lifestyle you dream about.
The good news is you don’t need a huge budget to start your own business. With the right strategy, a good plan of action, and a little bootstrapping magic, you can start your new business today.
If you have a unique brand logo or cool design, consider creating your own product line. With new eCommerce options, you can create an entire online store without investing in any inventory. Both Zazzle and CafePress allow users to build free online stores and create customized physical products, including t-shirts, mugs, hats, pillows, bags, etc.
If you sell crafts or vintage products, you can open your own Etsy shop. There are no membership fees, but Etsy does charge a small fee to list items. The advantage is being part of a huge online crafting community, with millions of visitors per month. If you have a digital product to sell, Selz allow users to set up free online stores and charges a small transaction fee per sale.
Of course creating your own online store is only half the battle. You’ll also need to create a marketing strategy, but there are some cheap bootstrapping marketing options for new businesses.
No one goes to school to be a consultant or a freelancer. But anyone with some expertise can become a consultant. So figure out how to turn your experience into a well-paying gig.
Don’t choose something generic like “life coach” or “business consultant”. Instead, choose something specific, like “web designer” or “event planner”. Be sure to check if there are any regulations in your area or if you need any specific insurances.
Use a site like Wix or Weebly to make a website and include the following pages:
1. About Me – explain your experience and why you’d be a great choice
2. Testimonials – if you don’t have any real testimonials, offer a friend your service for free in return for a testimonial
3. How to Hire Me – add a contact page with the best way to reach you
Get some business cards (avoid the free choices if you can) and look around for networking groups in your area. This type of business takes time to build, but could be a great place to start.
The options for home businesses are endless. Here’s a few popular ides:
Of course each business has it’s own challenges, but none of these need a lot of start-up money. Starting a direct sales business can often cost less than $100. Other options, like cake decorating or photography, are based on hobbies so you’ll likely have the equipment you need.
Reading suggestions like these can make it seem easy. But starting any business is challenging. Starting a business without a budget just makes it a little more complex.
Choose a business that fits your lifestyle. If you want the freedom to set your own schedule, choose something in freelancing or consulting. Think about your strengths and expertise. Find a way to turn that into a job.
Now that you’ve got the entrepreneurial wheels turning, don’t stop there. Sign up for a class, write a proper business plan, and learn the exact steps you need to start a business. Find a mentor, or join a business group. If you really want to own your own business, you don’t need to wait until you have a large budget.
Take the first step today.