How to Start a Business with No Money


You have a great idea for a new business, but you have no cash. How can you start a business with no money?  No worries, almost every new entrepreneur faces similar situations. Have you found a low cost franchise opportunity and need business startup funding? Today there are more ways than ever to get the needed money for start-up expenses and growing credit lines for your new venture. Read how starting a start a business little moneybusiness with no money is possible.

Get Ideas for Business to Start

Keep your day job for Money

Don’t quit your full-time job, which is your primary income source for you and your family just yet.  There is a lot that you can do to build your new company while you are still gainfully employed. Additionally, having necessary expenses such as rent, food, and transportation covered by your job will allow you to focus your creative energies on building your new business.

Study Your Business Idea

Getting a great idea for a new business your firm is just the beginning. Now you will want to carefully review this idea and build it into a whole endeavor. Ask yourself these types of questions to get greater clarification of how this company would participate in the real world marketplace.

  • Is it a genuinely new and unique idea?
  • What benefit value are you selling to your customers?
  • Do they want this product or service now?
  • Similar companies are there open currently?

Business Startup Ideas for Women

Market business analysis

Now it is time to take your new marketing idea and research how to protect your intellectual property.  Is it patentable, trademarkable or copyright protectable? If so, pursue these government protections with a competent attorney who specializes in intellectual property rights.

Competitive challenges

What companies are currently open that will compete with your new venture?  An important part of the analysis is to compare your proposed new firm against ongoing companies. What are their strengths and weaknesses? How do your product and service compare to their on price, quality, and service?

Specialized knowledge

What, if any, expertise you or your team members need to implement your sales plan? Are there federal or state regulations that require licensing or certifications? If so, this is the time begin the sometimes lengthy process of applying and testing for granting of licenses.

Calculate funding needs of money

All industry startups require money to purchase materials, rent offices and hire employees. Exactly how much cash will you need to bring your business idea to fruition? You will need to have done these calculations properly before you begin the process of looking for start-up capital weather in the traditional lending institutions for alternative financing methods.


Other Peoples Money OPM

You bring the business idea, and your labor and investors will bring cash. Their goal is to increase their capital by investing your new business idea. Traditional venture capital is not the only type of angel investor. Often people within your industry, family or ones you meet at related trade events such as trade shows, conventions or educational classes may want to invest in your firm.

Crowdsourcing for money

By now you have heard all the incredible success stories from crowdfunding sites such as kick starter. These websites allow individuals to invest small amounts of money into your company in exchange for products or stock


Alternative Financing Options for Business

Kabbage puts cash in your PayPal account in less than 10 minutes

Kabbage has advanced over $1,000,000,000 in small business loans to help companies grow. Kabbage is the #1 provider of working capital. In minutes, Kabbage can provide working capital to firms to help them grow. Winner of the Forbes top 100 promising companies and Red Herring 100, Kabbage is an innovative company focused on helping companies grow and thrive in today’s economy.

  • Small business funding with working capital lines from $2,000-$100,000 in minutes
  • Direct deposit into a bank or PayPal account
  • Friendly, dedicated service support representatives
  • Straightforward solutions for obtaining working capital with no hidden costs
  • Automated approval: No Forms, No lengthy Forms
  • Online application with an answer in minutes
  • Free to sign up.
  • Free to have the security of a startup business line of credit behind you
  • No fees or charge until you take cash


Test Out Your Business Idea with No Money

Before you invest money and time into your new firm, do a trial run first.  Start on a small scale, or give away some of the product or a service and get customer feedback.  This valuable information could lead you to a better product than you had planned.

Another way to test the marketplace is to take samples of your product to an industry trade show for your intended audience.  Present your product and ask them questions such as Would you Buy this? Now much would you pay? What other products currently available would they compare?  Who knows, if your idea is right and you get lucky, you could meet an investor or future customer of your new business right there at the trade show.

Customer Financing

Some enterprises have been founded by getting the first customers to prepay for their orders and using that money to build the product.  Your job will be to convince people to pay upfront for a product that will take extra time to ship. Motivation factors could be discounts, exclusivity, and protected geographic sales territories.

Credit from Vendors

When you start your own company, you are helping other concerns, your vendors, to grow their companies.  As such, they want your firm to start up and succeed. So you may be able to negotiate the order of supplies and materials on a long lead timeframe with little to no down payment. Your firm to manufacture the product and sell it to customers and collect payments before you are due to pay your vendors.

Get an SBA Loan – Small Business Administration


Start Business with No Money – Get an SBA Loan

Our American government wants you to start small businesses to provide jobs and build our great nation. The SBA (Small Business Administration) was founded to offer loans to entrepreneurs to set up new ventures.  There are specific qualifications, such as your firm must operate in the US, have a decent credit report and work on a for-profit basis. SBA loans for startup businesses availability varies by state. Check with your local SBA office.



Here are more SBA Loan questions answered



Cut Business Spending to Save Money

Reduce costs down to the minimum wherever possible. New firms do not need the fancy office chairs and coffee makers – use any old chair and a Mr. Coffee machine. Instead,  spend your little available on expenses that will make your product and services available for sale.  Think creatively about how to make your small bundle of cash stretch a long way towards your eventual success.

  • Look at all areas of the profession at ways you can reduce expenses and perhaps even do it yourself DIY.
  • Use a website builder such as Wix to make your website and save thousands of dollars
  • Print business cards inexpensively with a good online printer
  • Outsource tasks and talent with online sites such as Elance or Fiverr


Use Your Credit Cards

Yes, you can use your personal credit cards to start your new venture. BUT be careful there are very specific laws in place that you need to be aware of before you start charging your startup material purchases – read more about using credit cards to start your business here


Partnering to Start Business

Find a partner who has the money you need and creates a legal partnership to launch the company together.  Be sure to carefully plan each of your job descriptions and commitments to the new company before you begin as a partner. Many unhappy partners skipped this vital step and found out much later to their disappointment and frustration.

Just like a good marriage, communication is super important and especially so at the origin.  It is a good idea to do a test of your working relationship – think of it as a partner “date.”  Develop a small project together that incorporates both partners skills. You will learn a lot about each other, their working style (or lack thereof) and life values.

Partnerships work best when the partners add to each others skill sets. Also, equal temperaments are ideal, such as uniting a detail person with a bigger picture strategic thinker.

To determine if a potential partner is a good fit for you ask these questions:

  • Are you valuing similar ideas and have the same type of goals?
  • Can you trust them and do they have good character in all parts of their life?
  • Do you agree on matters of everyday life?
  • Would you allow another family member like spouse or child to join partnership?
  • How would you handle if one partner wanted to move out of the area?
  • What if one partner was dishonest how would you handle this?


If you have carefully reviewed all this information and are satisfied this will be a good working relationship it is time to write up a legal contract called the Partnership Agreement with the assistance of an accountant and attorney. Do not skip this step. Many a disgruntled partner will tell you how he wished he had taken the time to draft a clearly written document describing the rules of the partnership.  Often it is especially needed for close family members to keep the relationship good since it eliminates any misunderstandings or surprises later on that can deteriorate partnerships.

It is standard practice for partners to have equal ownership portions of 50% each. However, each partnership is as individual as the partners themselves, so this could be different in your case.  Sometimes the parts are adjusted based on the partner with the capital and the other with the contacts, specialized knowledge, and intellectual property.

Another critical component of the agreement should be the exit clause. How will the partners leave the contract by one buying out the other or can the partner sell his part of the partnership to a third party? Discuss these points and have them in the written contract for the health of the business and partner relationship.

Success Stories of Businesses that Started with No Money

Whole Foods – John Mackey and Rene Lawson borrowed money from friends and family to open their first store. Then they got evicted from their apartment, so they lived in that first location.
Apple, Disney, Google, Harley Davidson, Hewlett-Packard, Lotus Cars, Mattel, Yankee Candle Company and more got their starts in the family’s garages.
Nike – Philip Knight and Bill Bowerman began selling their sneakers from their car in parking lots.
Dell – Michael Dell started out as a restaurant dishwasher making less than $3.00 per hour. He then began to sell the computers PC from his college dorm room.

Your Passion is Your Profit

Many of the most successful businesses developed out of the entrepreneur’s love of a product or cause and grew to become profitable. Take your experiences, skills and passions and use them to guide you to the right trade for you. It almost never works when you assume the task of starting a company in an unknown field to you.  You will get either overwhelmed or bored or both! Focus now on what you do know and how it can become a market and make you money.  Perhaps you are a good cook, then become a private chef for wealthy individuals, bake muffins and sell to the local market or make jam to display it at your local farmers market.


You Can Work – Work – Work

One way to start on a tight budget is to do ALL the work yourself saving fees from hiring employees and allow you to reinvest profits back into the company for maximum growth. Yes, this is hard – but without expendable cash, you will need to make it work somehow. Yes you can clean the office, Yes you can answer the phone, Yes you can type the letters.. start now!


Services for Fast Cash Flow

Businesses that sell services are frequently cash flow positive quickly because they do not have substantial material costs and can sometimes get clients to prepay for their service packages.  Real grassroots marketing tactics cost little and are often very effective, such as knocking on doors and cold calling.

Services companies you can start now that require little or no cash outlay include:

  • Dog walkers
  • Handyman services
  • Event and Wedding planners
  • Caterer and personal chefs
  • Car detailing
  • Tutoring – child or adult
  • Power washing
  • Lawn Care
  • Copywriting
  • Resume Preparation
  • Accounting and Bookkeeping
  • Fitness Coach


Get a Little Help from My Friends

Reach out to your friends, family and colleagues for help both financially and educationally. Ask your Uncle to teach you how to detail a car properly, since you have been helping him p0lish his antique automobile together since you were a kid.

Ask your Uncle to teach you how to detail a car properly, since you have been helping him p0lish his antique automobile together since you were a kid.  Aunt Betty has that killer muffin recipe that would surely be a hit at the local farmers market – ask her to share it with you.  Friends who are entrepreneurs are a wealth of good advice available for the asking – don’t be shy – often your interest will compliment them.  Family members may have some extra office or warehouse space you could use for your startup headquarters saving you substantial rent costs.


Barter for Services and Products

You have money it is just not in cash form! Your skills, equipment, tools and time all can be used as a form of monetary exchange with others for items you need to start your business. Additionally, you meet such interesting and often helpful people in the barter exchange community.  You have seen the TV show called Barter Kings that demonstrates how this is done with no cash.

Bartering is a useful tool for business owners who want to make their budget stretch far.  Our editorial team has traded copywriting skills for website designs, and I know a guy who swapped some old metal desks (now they are cool vintage retro) for a lightly used laptop computer – a win-win for both sides.

During tough economic times, barter exchanges are very active. This was a century old tradition from our farming past when we traded eggs for pigs.  One of the largest networks in America is


Buy Used – Save Big

New stores do not need everything to be brand new and purchased a full price. There are huge selections of used goods from office furniture, factory equipment to refurbished computers and cell phones. Take your time to research the markets near you and in your particular industry. My trade partner needed cosmetic manufacturing equipment, but it was a small fortune, way out of her budget. She researched and found that the food industry used similar machines which she purchased in lightly used condition, with a warranty for less than half the fancy cosmetic equipment. This purchase made it possible to expand her line and grow her market substantially.

Sources for used business equipment – Ebay

Dell computers refurbished 




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Hi - I am a serial entrepreneur, after doing "time" in corporate America, who has learned about what products and services work well for entrepreneurs who want to start a business. You can learn from my experience and my associates as we shop from the internet for tools, supplies, and information to build our businesses and improve the lives of our family and ourselves. Read more ...

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