5 Resourceful Ways to Start a Business With No Money

Starting a business with no money? No problem. All you need is a little know-how and a lot of drive.

Great business ideas are a dime a dozen, but money doesn’t grow on trees. And so, it takes so much more than a strong vision and creative mind to get a brand new business idea off the ground, no matter how fruitful it might be in theory.

Finding your million-dollar idea may not have been an easy process, but it was likely a free one. Still, it’s a critical step in the business-building journey, and if you know what you want your business to become, congratulations on making it this far. Now that you know the direction you wish to go, it’s time to start putting in the time and money it takes to turn those big business dreams into a startup reality.

You might think that you can’t get very far without money. In the big scheme of things, that is true. But for now, you can keep moving forward, no matter where you’re at financially. Even if you’re starting out with zero capital, your business always has room to grow. You just need to be patient and focused while figuring out what steps you need to take next. And a few won’t cost you a thing.

Here are five creative ways to start your business with next to nothing in the bank.

Let Your Skills Pay The Bills

If you consider yourself an entrepreneur, it’s time to start betting on yourself. Know your strengths and start selling your services, no matter what you may feel you lack. In other words, take the “fake it til’ you make it” approach to heart. It’ll soon pay off.

You may not be a master of your craft just yet, but if you’re capable, willing to creative problem solve as you go, and in need of money to grow your business, get started with what means and know-how you have right now.

Everyone has a gift to offer and a way to help others. Tap into yours and start marketing yourself. Whether you’d make a great virtual assistant, tutor, or social media manager, figure out how to package your most valuable skills into services and name your price.

the hands of a woman making handmade natural soaps on an old wooden table

You may not have capital yet, but your experiences, education, skills, and resources can prove worth their weight in gold. You might be surprised how an early business idea naturally involves a major entrepreneurial epiphany. But you’ll never know where your business could potentially go until you get started. So don’t wait for the money to come to you, get out there and make it.

Not to mention, there are all sorts of things that other people don’t have time to do. If you have the time, use it wisely with your budding business in mind. People will always need certain services, and even if you wouldn’t consider it your strongest skill, you might still fit the bill. Jobs like house cleaning, house sitting, pet sitting, dog walking, and personal shopping are pretty straightforward gigs, and you can easily learn while you go.

Freelancing is also another route that you shouldn’t dismiss too quickly. Even if you don’t want to focus all of your energies on freelance work, it can be a pretty lucrative side hustle. So do your research and see how you could be making more money right now with what you’re bringing to the table.

Read More: Top Freelance Jobs to Earn a Steady, Growable Income

Pin Down a Solid Business Plan


Any startup’s business plan is a blueprint detailing how the vision will be brought to fruition and how it will grow. The stronger the business plan, the more steadily you’ll be able to reach your goals consistently. And it’s something you can start building for free.

There are a few things all business plans should entail: a clear company description (including the business model), market research, an overview of products and services, your marketing strategy and target market, all logistical elements, and a solid financial plan (including how much you believe you will need, expenses, a balance sheet, and projections.)

As you bring your vision to life, there are four key types of business plans you should look into. As noted by Entrepreneur, “There are very short plans, or mini-plans, presentation plans or decks, working plans, and what-if plans. They each require very different amounts of labor and not always with proportionately different results. That is to say, a more elaborate plan isn’t guaranteed to be superior to an abbreviated one. Success depends on various factors and whether the right plan is used in the right setting.”

Create a Website

Finding your big idea and creating a business plan are both free. When it’s time for you to build and launch a website, you can stay on a free route if you wish. However, many money gurus consider putting a little money into your company’s website a wise investment.

With that said, launching a stellar website doesn’t have to include breaking the bank.

woman sitting on sofa with laptop

Presentation matters. And in this day and age, your online presence matters too. How you present your business to your surrounding community and virtual world will always have an impact on your business’s success. In turn, the website should be treated as an investment.

Think of your website as more than just a virtual space that you must throw together for your business. In many ways, it will become the heart of your company. It’s also the quickest access point for potential customers looking to learn more about what you stand for and how to shop. The good news is, it shouldn’t be too expensive to put a business-savvy, customer-friendly website together.

With that said, shop around to get the best deal. There are plenty of platforms out there to choose from. For instance, sites like Shopify allow you to start your online store for as little as $5. Or you can do a 14-day free trial without forking over your credit card information. To find out what works for most and what’s right for you, check out the top 10 best websites for small businesses of 2022.

Read More: The Basics For Starting Your Home Business

Invest in Pre-Orders

woman in yellow sweater running online resale business

If you’re starting a business from scratch and you’re starting with zero cash flow, the early days will be full of trial and error. There’s no doubt about it. Learning as you go, you’ll gradually fine-tune your process, figuring out what’s hit or miss and making the necessary tweaks. Because financial losses will be inevitable, it’s a good idea to assess and avoid risk by testing some of your ideas before you commit to them.

Pre-ordering allows customers to place orders and pay you for items before they’re actually available. And that upfront cash can flow a long way. Take the money from pre-orders and invest it into production and promotion. You’ll also create a feeling of being in the know and ahead of the crowd among early customers.

Per Order Hive, “Pre-orders have gained popularity amongst buyers because it enables them to book their own copy of the product well in advance so that when it is released, there is an assurance that they will get it.”

Take Source Funding Seriously

While there are tons of steps you can take that won’t cost a dime, you are going to need funding at some point. And the sooner you secure it, the better you can navigate your business’s future with clarity and confidence. There’s no way around it, funding will move you forward.

According to research done by Shopify, around 30% of small businesses don’t succeed because they run out of seed money before they’re ever able to grow. The goal should not be to make ends meet, it should be to move forward and expand. Many entrepreneurs work with private investors and companies who back startups, but there’s another way to get the money you seek, and you might be surprised just how much it can truly aid your business’s growth.

male and female giving each other a high five over home business success

If you’re on the verge of starting a business, do not underestimate the potential power of crowdfunding. Instead of asking investors for a large sum of cash, you’ll be asking for small amounts from a large group of everyday people. Platforms like KickstarterCrowdfunder, and SeedInvest make the process fairly simple and straightforward.

On top of crowdfunding, know your available resources and reach out when you’re ready. Do you have family members or friends who would be able, willing, and even excited to invest? Offer them an equity stake to sweeten the deal. Have you looked into small business loans? How about small business grants? If you’re an entrepreneur with a dream, you absolutely should. And, of course, capital investors are always an option.

If you’re confident about a skill or service you’re selling, don’t hesitate to seek funding. If you know you have a brilliant idea, others will know it too. Assuming you’ve created your business plan when pitching to potential investors, you’ll be able to show that you know what you’re doing, and investors of any kind will be more confident in you.

Read More: The Biggest Mistakes Small Business Owners Make

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