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Can You Be an Entrepreneur Without Money?

Can You Be an Entrepreneur Without Money?

Can You Be an Entrepreneur Without Money?

From stepping out of your comfort zone to testing out your beginning product, here are 16 answers to the question, “What are your most helpful tips for becoming an entrepreneur when you have no money to start with?”

  • Do Something You Despise
  • Start a Knowledge-Based Service Business
  • Be Honest With Yourself
  • Keep Your Business Low-Risk
  • Increase Your Creativity
  • Build a Strong Network
  • Upcycle a Sustainable Business
  • Have an Idea and Get Financial Help
  • Establish an Affiliate Business
  • Begin With Lean Operations
  • Meet a Simple Customer Need
  • Look for Opportunities
  • Focus On Revenue-Generation Strategies
  • Examine Business Loans or Crowdfunding
  • Validate Your Business Idea Without Investing Money
  • Run Business Pilots


Do Something You Despise

Having a curious mindset and attempting new things outside of one’s comfort zone is a simple approach to developing into a better person, and I believe this to be one of the finest ways to improve. Take a leap of faith and do something you’ve always wanted to do, but were too scared to try. 

After you leave your comfort zone, your life will truly begin. I used to be incredibly frightened of roller coasters. But as a young adult, I relaxed my standards and had the time of my life. Without conquering my apprehension and giving roller coasters a try, I would never have tried them. Because of that one event, I’ve ventured into many other unfamiliar territories.

Gerrid Smith, Chief Marketing Officer, Joy Organics


Start a Knowledge-Based Service Business

You can start a knowledge-based service business, such as coaching, consulting, or training, for very little upfront expense. Create a website at a low cost, build a free social media presence, and network both online and in-person at a low cost to start a knowledge-based service business. 

Beyond that, the biggest expense you’ll have in the early days is actually your time. You’ll need to put in a lot of work to network and get the word out about your business, as well as create materials for your programs. These activities can be time-consuming, but they are the best non-financial investments you can make for your business.

Mark Pierce, CEO, Wyoming LLC Attorney


Be Honest With Yourself

This is one of the most important pieces of advice I’ve ever received on how to improve myself and find fulfillment in life. Sincerity is always the most effective response, so make a deal with yourself to stay completely truthful for the next 30 days. 

Put out an effort to better yourself morally and try to form some positive habits. Begin by challenging yourself to tell the truth for just one day if you have a habit of lying frequently. Increase your target by a factor of two or three whenever you’ve accomplished a smaller one. 

Kenny Kline, President and Financial Lead, BarBend


Keep Your Business Low-Risk

I would like first to acknowledge that starting any business is quite challenging, and it is even harder to turn it into a successful one. Some businesses definitely take less effort than others, especially if we are talking in terms of risk management. If you are not an experienced business owner, I would recommend your first business be as low risk as possible to avoid a financial disaster. 

A business that takes little to no investment will be the best option for your first try. For example, you could open a blog and make content on a very niche subject and then charge interest by collaborating with a bigger business that can use your content as their advertisement. Or you could use your various skills for freelancing.

Luke Smoothy, Director, Get It Made


Increase Your Creativity

Creativity is the bedrock of building innovation. Entrepreneurs must recognize that their ingenuity has limitless potential. Entrepreneurs who are experiencing a creative block should refocus and train themselves by market demands as soon as they enter the business sphere. 

Your inventiveness can entice both clients and volunteers to join you in your endeavor. The level of originality and uniqueness shows the relevance of any company initiative it brings to solving a problem.

Frederic Linfjärd, Director of Growth Marketing, Planday


Build a Strong Network

One of the best tips for becoming an entrepreneur when you have no money to start with is to focus on building a strong network and leveraging the resources available to you. 

This can include reaching out to mentors, joining entrepreneurial communities and networks, and attending relevant events and workshops. 

You can consider starting small and building your business gradually, perhaps through offering services or products on a smaller scale or finding creative ways to bootstrap your business. 

It’s also important to stay flexible and adaptable in your approach, as entrepreneurship often requires pivoting and adjusting your strategy based on feedback and market demand. 

Ultimately, with determination, hard work, and a willingness to learn and grow, it’s possible to start and build a successful business, even with limited resources.

Kartik Ahuja, CEO and Founder, GrowthScribe


Upcycle a Sustainable Business

My family’s business began over a century ago by discovering a new use for recyclable materials to generate “bread money”. Even today, you can work hard to identify trash and build a new company around it. The popularity of sustainable enterprises is rising. Be tenacious and prepared to put in a lot of effort to create a fresh, innovative strategy.

Marc Werner, CEO and Founder, GhostBed


Have an Idea and Get Financial Help

An idea is where a successful startup starts. Here are some imaginative approaches to developing a good or service: Ask your friends about their pet peeves. How can you make a good or service profitable? It offers a solution for an issue or annoyance that people will pay to have resolved. 

With this in mind, start by finding out what bothers your friends. Entrepreneurs often draw ideas from their failures. For example: After having trouble finding a cab, Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp founded Uber. An aspiring entrepreneur might go to a bank to get a loan for their initial capital to get things started.

But banks have strict loan requirements, so getting a loan can end up being more difficult than it would have been otherwise. The good news is that there are other options besides banks. Government funding programs and incentives, such as the Capacity Development Grant, often target entrepreneurs in a variety of sectors and industries.

Himanshu Sharma, CEO and Founder, Academy of Digital Marketing


Establish an Affiliate Business

Budding entrepreneurs who wish to start businesses but cannot do so because of a lack of money can take the route of affiliate marketing to kick off their careers. Affiliate business models allow one to establish a venture that will sell goods or services on behalf of another without having to commit any funds initially. 

All that is needed is establishing a marketing strategy and adopting a business owner mindset that allows one to present the product to the target market in a convincing language that drives decisions. With affiliate marketing, one can learn the essentials of running a business and growing as an entrepreneur without the hassle of sourcing funds to start a venture.

Liam Liu, Co-Founder and CMO, Parcel Panel


Begin With Lean Operations

To start a business without investing a lot of money, you can start with very lean operations and just gain the minimal product you need to sell in order to make a profit.

For example, you could buy 5 products from AliExpress and try flipping them on eBay or Facebook Marketplace.

If you don’t have enough money for that, you could do some extra shifts or get a weekend temporary job for some extra money, in order to buy your first batch.

Then you use the profits from your first customers to reinvest in the business and grow.

We started Altosight.com similarly, by using our revenue from our customers to further grow without VC funding.

Alex Chaidaroglou, CEO, Altosight


Meet a Simple Customer Need

In my experience, the best and easiest way to become an entrepreneur when you have little to no money to start with is to meet a customer’s simple needs. Many of the world’s most famous entrepreneurs started simple and built an empire on that. For example, Jeff Bezos started off selling books online to go on and build an empire like Amazon. Meeting simple needs is easy and does not require a lot of money, and it’s the best way to start the entrepreneurial journey.

Michael Maximoff, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Belkins


Look for Opportunities

You can always find a way! There are lesser-known options that many don’t consider: inserting yourself into an existing company is just one. 

This approach can have many benefits, including gaining access to an established customer base, team, and infrastructure. 

In addition, many CEOs desire a person to take over or a plan to depart, offering a great opportunity to build a relationship and bridge the space. By leveraging this strategy, you can save time, money, and resources, and propel your business toward success.

Bobby Turner, Content Manager, Matt Haycox


Focus On Revenue-Generation Strategies

There are many businesses you can open with little to no upfront money. If you get creative with your strategies, you can create a business that will generate some income quickly and invest it back into your business to support growth.

Since there are so many pieces to starting and running a business, make sure you stay focused on strategies that will generate revenue quickly. These strategies can include a pre-order option if you plan to launch a product, networking events, online and offline engagement with your ideal clients, and using any free resources you can access.

Inbar Madar, Founder and Business Consultant, MI Business Consulting


Examine Business Loans or Crowdfunding

Banks are proving to be quite supportive of local businesses. Several prospective entrepreneurs are acting as messiahs, issuing multiple micro-level bank loans so that small businesses can flourish. As a young entrepreneur, you must properly nurture your enterprise to draw financial groups to you. 

Starting a new business can give you access to up-to-date financial services and help from banks and investment companies to set up your finances. Crowdfunding is also gaining popularity because of the power of social media.

Ben Flynn, Marketing Manager, Manhattan Tech Support


Validate Your Business Idea Without Investing Money

Start small. Define your business idea and validate it in the cheapest way possible. For example, if you have an idea for an app, talk to your target clients first before you build anything. 

If you see their interest in the product, build an MVP with your own hands, using the free no-code tools available on the internet. Once you’ve validated your minimum viable product, try pitching your business idea to your family members, friends, angel or venture capital investors, or run a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to grow your business.

Leszek Knoll, CEO, Brainhub


Run Business Pilots

There is a myth that has developed over the years that you need to have a lot of money to start a business project. In my experience, apart from a large loan from the bank to buy my first business, the subsequent businesses have had little to no funding to get started.

Running pilot projects that are cheap and small to test the market is a way to start off. Can you get customers? Are people willing to pay for what you are offering? You can answer a lot of these questions when you run a smaller pilot with a view of scaling up operations with a successful pilot.

If the pilot works, you’ve got a bit of money to scale up, and if it doesn’t, then move on to your next project.

Arthur Lee, Head, Arthur Lee


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