Small business tips

Starting a Business With Little or No Money

Don’t have enough capital to start your dream venture? Many business ideas can turn a big profit with little or no upfront investment. Read on for tried-and-true ideas for starting a business with no money.

Offer a Service

Product-oriented businesses can consume significant capital for materials, manufacturing and distribution. When you operate a service-oriented business, you can avoid the costs of making goods.

Not sure what service to offer? Consider what you can do well that consumers have little time or expertise to complete themselves. If you have financial expertise, offer your services in accounting or bookkeeping.

Handy around the house? Offer services that require little or no supplies. These can include house cleaning, painting, basic carpentry, tailoring or care-taking. If you’re a whiz with words or code, consider copywriting, social media management or web development business.

Starting a business with little money: Resell goods

Reselling businesses buy or otherwise acquire new or used goods and then resell them at a profit. You can avoid the cost of purchasing products altogether by parlaying your existing belongings into a virtual store.

Look around the house for textbooks, garments, accessories or antiques you are willing to sell. If you have a small budget, venture to garage sales or consignment stores to buy used goods at bargain-basement rates. Then, sell them back on eBay or at local thrift shops or garage sales to make a profit. If you start seeing success, you can eventually operate a full-blown virtual or physical store.

Join the sharing economy

Want to turn your car or home into a money maker? Sharing platforms are one of the first places to look when starting a business with no money. Ride-sharing platforms such as Lyft or Uber let you leverage one of the most valuable sources of capital you own—your car—into a taxi service.

Similarly, the Airbnb marketplace allows you to put your current lodgings to work as a real estate venture. You get the benefits of owning a physical inn without significant startup and maintenance costs.

Sell hand-made creations in online marketplaces

If you prefer to sell your own creations than a service, there are still a number of ways to make and sell goods on the cheap. You can minimize costs by selling handmade products on a small scale. These could include jewelry, fashion, artwork, toys and other crafts.

Consider your strength and then identify a suitable product you can make at a high quality and quantity. Avoid products that you can’t easily scale up in production as demand increases.

Once you have made your product, you can sell it for a profit on popular online marketplaces such as eBay or Etsy. These platforms make it easy for consumers to find and purchase niche items. You can also sell your products in person at local craft fairs, thrift shops or garage sales. But a popular online marketplace can give your products greater exposure in front of customers than these venues.

About the author

Manasa Reddigari

Manasa Reddigari has tackled topics ranging from computer software to home remodeling in her more-than-a-decade-long career as a writer and editor. During her stint as a scribe, she's been featured by MileIQ, Trulia, and other leading digital properties. Connect with her on copyhabit.com to find out what she's been writing about lately.

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                    The Growth Center does not constitute professional tax or financial advice. You should contact your own tax or financial professional to discuss your situation.