Learn how to start a small business without investment
Starting your own business is one of the most empowering steps you can take. When you launch a business, you’re expanding your options for financial freedom so you can pursue even bigger dreams down the road. But without startup funding, many would-be entrepreneurs see few options beyond hoping for financing in the future. They put their dreams on hold and refrain from even asking the burning question, “I want to start a business without investment – is that possible?” The reality is, there are options for learning how to start a small business without investment. With the right information, support and resources, you can turn your business vision into a reality.
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How to start a small business without investment: Guiding principles
“I want to start a business without investment. What are some options?”
Gone are the days of high-investment enterprises being the only option for getting ahead. In today’s digital era, there are a wide range of low-investment options for launching a company. Starting a small business without investment is an achievable goal. Here are the guiding principles to get you started.
1. Create a no-inventory product or service
One of the largest cost categories in starting a business is the inventory required to begin making sales. If your product or service is a tangible item, you’ll need startup capital to purchase materials, craft the product and make your first sale. To get around the need for seed funding, learn how to start a small business without investment by making a non-tangible product (i.e. one that does not require materials for production). You might consider products that are written, communicative or ideological in nature, like literature, consulting or public speaking.
2. Provide a product or service that’s minimally regulated
Business regulations create a safety net of consumer protections. But the more heavily a product or service is regulated, the more expensive it is to get started competing in that particular industry. The key to learning how to start a small business without investment is finding your niche in an industry without excessive regulatory requirements. Create a product or service without safety risks to keep your costs low.
3. Start small
“I want to start a business without investment, but I don’t know where to start.” The answer here is straightforward: start small. Begin by selling your product or service to friends and family, or sell through an already-established vendor. When you start small, you’re able to fine-tune your branding, marketing and advertising strategies while the stakes are still low. You’re also able to make a profit to fund your next batch of inventory.
4. Look to your network
In business and all of life, your network is an invaluable resource. The same is true when you’re learning how to start a small business without investment. Your network of friends and colleagues is a source of feedback, encouragement and even sales as you master the art of building a company from scratch.
5. Launch an online business
The only resources you need to start an online business are a computer, an Internet connection and time. Your options are virtually limitless. You might work from home as a writer, personal assistant or consultant. You might provide e-commerce services for an existing firm. You might build websites or provide graphic design. As long as you’re able to create, market and sell your product without purchasing supplies, you’ll be able to start your small business without investment.
6. Become an affiliate marketer
Affiliate marketing is perhaps one of the best-kept secrets for how to start a small business without investment. With affiliate marketing, you promote another company’s product or service, taking a commission from any sales you make. All you need is a website and a pool of customers who are within the product’s target market.
7. Test or review other companies’ products
To start a small business without investment, you don’t even necessarily need to create a product or service – you can go into business reviewing other companies’ products to help them refine their operations. There’s no initial investment required on your end, since your primary inputs are your time and expertise.
8. Secure sales before you craft your product
If your product requires manufacturing, secure sales before you manufacture the item. Use the Internet to generate sales, allowing consumers to customize their order at the time of purchase. Etsy is an excellent example of this strategy for how to start a small business without investment. Customers are able to pre-order a product, specifying details like size, color and material. With payment in hand, sellers are able to craft the customized product without going in the red. The result is a pipeline of raving fan customers without excessive up-front costs.