It’s true that you need money to start a business. And if you want to scale that business, you’re going to need more than just extra cash flow. But what new entrepreneurs don’t realize is that they can actually start small.
In fact, you don’t always need a lot of capital to get a business up and running. Many people in the business industry build their momentum by starting small, building with the resources they have, and then growing from there.
How to Fund a Startup with No Money
The first thing you need to do is take a look at your business plan and ask yourself what you can do and get for free. If something isn’t absolutely essential to your operation, you don’t need it. Not yet, at least. When you’re starting out, focus all your attention on the core needs of your startup.
It’s easier to find ways to grow when you can recognize all the opportunities and resources that you do have. Stop and reflect on what you can achieve without money right now.
If your plan is to sell goods, start by selling them to friends and family. This way, you can build up a reputation and see if your product is actually working. This is an effective way to get that initial feedback that will be crucial to your success.
Next you can sell them on a third-party website online and see if you can attract more customers. This will also give you a clear picture of what works and what doesn’t. You can adjust your business strategies accordingly. With enough customers, you’ll eventually be able to sell your products through your own website or store.
Before you go big, you want to make sure that your product or service is great and fulfills a particular need.
It Doesn't Always Take (a lot of) Money to Make Money
When you’re first starting out, you really don’t need that slick, custom-designed website, especially if you only have two or three products to sell. Use social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn instead. There are a lot of free resources on the internet.
While you’re relying on these free resources, you can work towards finding your first few loyal customers and building up a fund for future developments. Try to build up six months’ worth of savings for expenses.
Be honest with yourself about how much you’re investing and how much revenue you will likely bring in. Take into account how long it will take before you see a profit. It typically takes at least six months before founders start seeing any cash flowing in.
If you do need financial support, you can ask your friends and family for extra funds. They will appreciate it if you have a good product and a solid business plan. You can even practice your sales pitch with them. Ask for feedback.
When you’re ready to launch your business, ask if they can help you with a small loan to kickstart your business. Get everything down in writing and make sure to pay them back on time. Some entrepreneurs go for the crowd funding approach, which you can also try. You can encourage people around you and their networks to pitch in.
If your business requires a bigger capital, then consider applying for a small business loan. Banks and online lenders offer differing kinds of small business loans to customers looking for extra cash flow or investment funds. Traditional banks can give you more favorable terms.
Take your networking skills to the next level and look for potential investors. They come into play once it’s time for you to scale your business. Investors are usually among the first people outside the company to invest in a startup.
There are many ways to get funds for your startup. If you start small, invest in the right things, work on perfecting your product, and increase your investments as your business grows, you can eventually turn nothing into something.