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We would all have infinite resources in a perfect world to finance our dream companies, not having to worry about cash. That’s not reality, unfortunately. When it comes to finding the money needed to start a business, most of us have to be a little creative. The good news is that with very little financial investment it is possible to start a small business. But take a minute to make sure you qualify your business idea to confirm it’s worth your time and attention before you read any further.
If you are confident that your business needs, that your products and services are attracting the right market, and you already have a unique selling proposal that distinguishes you from the competition, then read on for ways to cut costs when you start a business.
4 ways to start a business when you don’t have money
Take the bootstrap route
Embrace the bootstrapping idea is when you start a business with limited resources to know how to cut the best corners so that you can use little or no cash to get your business off the ground. There are ways to bootstrap the start-up, marketing, and even the ongoing management of your business. The key is using word of mouth marketing and active networking to get the word out about your business in a grassroots way.
Look at your funding options
You don’t have to have all of your start-up capital in your pocket, nor do you have to fund your business with just one source of money.
Some possible funding sources may include:
- Small business loans
- Small business grants
- Credit cards
- Friends and family
- Personal savings
- Rollovers as Business Startups (ROBS)
Consider all of the options available to you, then mix and match to find the combination that provides the capital you need on terms you can live with.
Partner up with others
With a little support, you may be able to do what you can not do on your own. You can go the formal route and make a partnership for your business. Partnership has the potential not only to double the financial investment available to the company, but also to spread the work (and the risk) so it’s not all about you. If a partnership is not exactly what you have in mind, through bartering or service swap arrangements, you can bring in external support. Make sure that in either of these situations you have a contract or agreement in place to protect yourself and your business.
Don’t quit your day job, just yet
Starting a business doesn’t have to be a condition of everything or nothing. Some of the strongest companies have been established with a full-time income profit as moonlighting jobs. Starting a company on a part-time basis and maintaining a full-time job offers you some advantages that can make a big difference because you are maintaining financial stability and you can test ownership waters before you are locked up.
Make sure you don’t have any conflicts of interest with your full-time job and your new business. And be sure to keep all your business activity to when you’re off the job and be willing to recognize when it’s time to take the plunge and make a full-time effort into your sector.
Note, once you start a business, capital is just one type of investment you can make. Both are worthwhile. So even though with little financial investment you may be able to get by, you will probably need some serious sweat equity and a massive investment in time to make it happen. Is it meaningful? If it does, then go for it.