One of the common queries we receive from our members and visitors is how to start a business with very little capital to use.
How important is money to the success of a business? The answer is simple:. Oftentimes, money spells the success and failure of a business. Businesses fail, not because of the lack of a business plan, lack of foresight or lack of competent management, but rather the lack of capital. Starting a business can help you make money, but as they always say “You need money to make more money.”
Sure, you can start a business even though you only have $500 in your bank account. However, here are some realities you need to face when starting a business with hardly any capital on your pocket:
1. Choose a business that you can start with little cash.
You can start a business with little money, but you have to choose carefully what business you can start. For one, you cannot start a McDonald’s franchise if you have no available funding. The key here is to be realistic and adjust your goals and ambitions according to the present level of your resources. Your mantra should be: start small, yet think big. If you are planning a restaurant business, perhaps you can start a small-scale weekend catering business instead until you have saved up enough capital to establish the restaurant of your dreams. You can also opt to start on a part-time basis and keep your day job; or ask your spouse to support you while you are in a start-up phase.
2. Consider your time and effort.
Starting a business with little cash does not mean that you do not have any cost. While you may not be spending any money, you still use up resources your time and effort. Your lack of resources mean that you have to double your effort and put up so much time to keep the business up and running.
3. This is the time to keep your creative juices flowing.
If you have no cash, you need to have a lot of “can-do” bravado on your reserve. This entails looking for the most inexpensive ways to get things done. If you have no funds to create your home office, work first in the kitchen or bedroom. If you want to spread the word about your online business, skip the banner ads for the moment and instead spend time spreading the word around in discussion boards, mailing lists and article submissions. Find ways to cut your telephone costs, minimize your printing expenses and establish systems for faster collection. Remember, you do not have the luxury to splurge even a single cent!
4. Be prepared to do the things that you have to do.
Part of being a small business owner is taking on multiple responsibilities and tasks. Do you think selling is simply beneath you? Bad news, mister: you do not have the finances to hire a sales person to do the selling for you. As much as you dislike the idea of selling, for example, you do not have the choice but to prospect for customers by calling them on the phone yourself or going door-to-door to sell your wares. Having no money means that you need to be prepared to do the tasks that you would rather not or may not want to do
5. Be prepared to borrow or invite investors.
Unless you want to be a weekend, part-time entrepreneur forever, you cannot ignore the fact that you will need more capital if you want to grow your business. Many entrepreneur make the mistake of thinking that they should borrow as much money as they know they can repay based on cash flow. But with payments going to service that debt, the business doesn’t have enough money left for growth. If you plan to grow, be prepared to seek loans in the future.