What a scary thought – not only starting a business, but to start off with no capital - yikes! If you read any article related to entrepreneurs, from Silicon Valley to the African continent, the very first thing you read is that they’ve got funding. But is funding the be-all and end-all? What if you don’t have access to immediate funding, but you have an amazing business idea that will change the world? Well, the alternative is to bootstrap it, to become really innovative to start this amazing business idea of yours.
So how do we do that, successfully and seamlessly? As Tony Robbins so famously says, “It’s not about your resources, it’s about your resourcefulness.” We should show gratitude for the era that we live in, as there are so many free resources, truly awesome online platforms and software that can help us get our business going, with no start up capital!
There are plenty of free resources on the internet. There’s Udemy, featuring a ton of courses on how to start a business with no money, and so much more. There are some courses that are payable on this platform, however, the free ones are visible.
For technical know-how, I would recommend scouring YouTube for how-to videos. You may not have money to build a website, and yet that is one of the first things you’ll need to build an online presence. YouTube offers a myriad of videos on how to build a beautiful and conversion based website from scratch.
For everything else, Google it! Like Marie Forleo says, “Everything is figureoutable.”
Join a business incubator
Do some research to find a business incubator near you. Apply to join and once accepted you have access to office space, admin support, business coaching and the possibility of funding. Plus, you get to interact with like-minded people on a daily basis which is pivotal to the growth and success of your business.
Create an Audience
Start creating your ideal audience by blogging. Now I know for most people the thought of writing is scary, never mind writing for the public. However, I can assure you that content is king and the more content you have out there the better. Blogging is one of the best free ways to market your insights and skills, which in turn will drive much needed traffic to your website, showing you as a thought leader in your field.
Be prepared to Outsource
Learn from others and try not to do everything yourself. You have certain strengths and weaknesses, so rather outsource your weaknesses so that you can focus on building your strengths. Let’s take an example of a lawyer who has decided to start a software business for the legal industry. This lawyer understands the law really well and is great at building solutions to particular legal problems. However, his weakness is that he isn’t great at selling or marketing, so he would need to outsource that function to someone that can.
Outsourcing doesn’t need to mean you need the finances straight away. What about looking at doing an internship or asking a family member to help out while you’re building your business?
The biggest takeaway from this blog should be that if you’re prepared to work hard, think out-of-the-box, and take on any challenge presented to you, you can start a business without money. It’s possible and it’s happening right now! Go make your idea a reality and change the world, one business at a time.
Karen Wessels is the co-founder and COO of VA Connect, a South African virtual assistant platform that provides outsourced administrative support; and is also the co-founder of SnappSales, a company that generates quality sales leads for its clients. Prior to establishing both her companies, Karen spent over 10 years in different sales, marketing & admin support roles. This experience has equipped her with the invaluable skills required to run her two successful business ventures. Follow Karen on her Personal Website | Twitter | Facebook | Google+
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