Quora users with plenty of business experience were asked the question: “Is it possible to start a business with little to no money? How?”
As these answers prove, it’s very possible to start a business with nothing but a great idea and more drive than the competition. There are several methods to implement your drive, like starting a dropshipping business, trying affiliate marketing, and reaching your customers in creative ways. And many of these answers come from people who started their own businesses in the exact same way.
Here are 11 Quora users’ answers on starting a business with next to nothing.
If you start out with little money, outperform other businesses.
Quora user Wade Myers had several examples he had encountered over the years of entrepreneurs building lucrative businesses with next to no money. Here’s one:
“An entrepreneur that had lost everything in a previous failed venture, bounced back and with a spirit of humility and cheerful diligence moved to a new city with literally no money, and bought a few pool cleaning supplies. He went on to build a pool cleaning route and sold it for over $50,000 just ten weeks later. He told me he didn’t even have enough money for a direct mailing campaign, so he just went door-to-door to build his customer base. He then kept doing that over and over again, realizing that he was really good at building a route of customers and that there were plenty of existing pool cleaning companies that were not that good at growing that would happily buy a route from him. He could build and sell about four routes per year.”
If your business works harder than its competitors, profit will find its way into your hands. In every story Myers described, the entrepreneurs had little money to start with, worked harder than their competitors, and didn’t wait for customers to come to them.
Start a service business.
Quora user Simon Cave explains that service businesses are easy to start because they don’t require manufacturing a product. Chances are, you already have the skills that others need. He offers possible services:
If you know how to write => create content for clients If you know how to code => create programs/software/websites for clients If you know another language => offer translation services If you have an accounting degree => offer accounting services If you are knowledgeable about social media => offer community management services
If you don’t have money, at least have time.
Quora user Aljaž Fajmut learned the value of time when he founded his startup, Nightwatch. While building the app, he faced delays, bugs, and disagreements with people on his team. If he had saved a little more and taken his time, he would have had a safety net. He writes:
“Time really is key… you will face setbacks and delays just like all tech companies do. And you need to be prepared for them. If you don’t have a lot of cash, at least have enough time to save yourself when something goes wrong.”
His startup was ultimately successful, but Fajmut would have appreciated having this lesson in his arsenal before launching his business.
Carry out market research.
Quora user Lily Booker believes in the power of service businesses as well. But without the proper research, your business could have no niche in the market. Make sure to check if there’s a venture out there like yours, and if there is, make sure your business does something the competitor can’t. She writes:
“Firstly, to start a business requires your time and a lot of determination to succeed. Most people think that money is the key to start a business, but if you have a good business idea and have done your market research right, you may actually succeed with little to no money.
In order to succeed as an entrepreneur, you need to be willing to make tough decisions and make a lot of sacrifices. Most people will encourage you to start a services business if you don’t have the capital because they don’t require a lot of money. But as I said above, a good business idea and a market research that shows your potential target market can attract a lot of investors to your business.”
Follow a “sell first, build later” approach.
Quora user Gunjeet Singh writes:
“You can easily start a business with zero capital. How? Don’t spend money on anything. This is not a joke. Avoid spending money on anything and everything. You will be surprised at how much you can grow your business without spending.”
Singh goes on to explain a hypothetical business selling shoes. Instead of spending three months paying someone to make a website full of random bugs, create a Facebook page and find a free logo generator. According to Singh, your business doesn’t need to look like a million-dollar venture until you make some money selling your product or service.
This post was written by Ivan De Luce. You can read the rest here
Cover photo: Mimi Irvin