A complete guide to starting a small business when you have literally no money

A complete guide to starting a small business when you have literally no money
A complete guide to starting a small business when you have literally no money. Image source: Supplied

Capital is not a requirement to start a small business. You can get into some successful ventures with zero to minimal capital. Even though beginning a business without money may appear to be a far-fetched idea, it is not completely impossible.

The only secret is learning to think outside the box as you follow your ambition. You need a solid business plan, partners, and advisors among other non-financial resources. It is always good to start small and then grow steadily. It can mean stating a small business without any cash flow.

You could be asking yourself, how is this possible? You can make hand-crafted wares and start by selling to your family members and friends without opening a store. Once you make a few sales and build your reputation from customer reviews, you can now open a store.

There is a long list of business ideas that you can do without any capital. If you have a laptop and stable internet connection, that is already enough to start you off trading online. All you need is creativity and then offer exemplary customer service and you will be good to go.

Afterwards, you can now invest in your business and allow it to grow. Are you still worries about starting a small business with no capital? Here are some of the tips that will help you out.

  • Ask Yourself: What Can I DO and Get for Free

Several obstacles stand in the way as you try to launch a new business. It is easy to identify these obstacles than listing the opportunities that you have at hand.

If you think starting a business without money is scaring, stop and think of what you can do without capital investment right away. Instead of going for a custom-designed or sleek website before you even get one lead, you can take advantage of the Facebook page. It is one of the best ways to promote your business locally and internationally.

You can also list your products for sale on sites such as Etsy. The other tip is to use a site like Canva to design your marketing materials. Barter trading your skills, products, and resources with another person in lien of payment is also a strategy.

There is an endless list of what you can do without even spending a single cent. Prepare a list of what your business requires and then research the internet for free alternatives. Even though it may take you some time and require you to learn some new skills, you will save a lot of money in the long run.

  • Build Up Expenditure Savings for Six Months

It is not advisable to tap into your main savings account. However, most entrepreneurs do this on a daily basis. While designing a business plan, be frank on how much you will bring it will bring in and your level of expenditure.

You also need to be realistic on how long it will take you before you realize gains. In most cases, it can take you six months for cash to begin flowing in. Set a goal of saving for a minimum of six months. It will help you to pay maximum attention to your new business.

  • Seek Extra Funds from Your Friends and Family

One thing you need to understand here is that you are not requesting for charity. You are not asking your family and friends to support your wacky small business idea. You should have a dream for your business and have a solid plan in place.

By now, you should have dotted your I’s and crossed your t’s. It will encourage you to get to people who are close to you as you make your pitch. You can turn your family and friends into multi-layered resources.

Practice your sales pitch with these people who are in your inner circle and get feedback. Once you are ready to launch your new business, you can request for a small loan to start off. Put everything in writing and when you expect to pay back the amount. Also, use the crowd funding platform to encourage people who are around you to motivate their networks to pitch you.

Get a Small Loan When You Need Some Cash

If your business gets to a point where it needs some capital, you can now apply for a small business loan. However, make sure that the business has the capability to repay the loan.

Online lenders and banks offer a broad range of loan products to small scale investors. Make sure you get a product that offers the best repayment terms. Traditional banks tend to give small business owners more favorable terms.

On the other hand, online lenders are more lenient in their loan requirements. Be keen especially on the lenders who charge a high interest rate. If you don’t want a lump sum amount, go for the business credit line.

These are like credit cards but for your small business. It is an excellent option to buy stock on as-required basis. Research the available business loan options before making the ultimate borrowing decision.

Shop for Local Funding Opportunities and Small Business Grants

It is not easy to find grants for small businesses. However, once your business is up and running, you can begin to search for some free cash. Remember grants need specific requirements for application. If you meet these requirements, you can secure reasonable funding you’re your business. You can begin your search in the government databases and ask for help from the local administration chapter for small businesses.

Find Out About Potential Angel Investors and Woo Them

You could have heard about the angel visitors for all the good reasons. These people come in handy when you want to scale your business to the next level. There are so many owners of small businesses who are beneficiaries of Angel investors.

These are the first people outside your entity to invest in your brand. It will help you to scale your small business beyond what you can afford at an individual level. It is one of the brilliant ideas to start a small business when you literally have no money.

Unlike the other venture capitalists and outside firms, angel investors use their own personal funds. Most of them are either former or current entrepreneurs and hence can mentor you. Just learn the secrets of winning over angel investors and you will go far with your small business idea.


These tips will help you to start a small business with literally no money. All you need is a brilliant business idea and the other resources that can support it. These tips will make sure that you are succeeding in your endeavors.