Now more than ever, there are lots of ways to start a business with little or no money. Depending on your background, skills, or interests there could be literally hundreds of business ideas that give you the opportunity to start a new business.
Starting a business with limited money requires some thinking and a mindset shift for many people. In the past many people started businesses by looking for a gap in the market that their business could fill and then look at the resources they need to start the business that will fill that gap.
Can you start a business with no money?
The simple answer is yes, there are many ways to start a business with no money. Assuming you have marketable skills or maybe already own some equipment, you should be able to start generating an income. However, most start-ups require at least some money – but you don’t necessarily need large amounts. Almost a quarter of UK start-ups launch with less than £1,000.
What skills do you have and who do you know?
Often people fall at the first hurdle and find it difficult to raise cash or resources, causing a new business idea to never get off the ground. However, now more than ever it’s possible to start a business and if you have the right mindset. Ask yourself the question, ‘What skills do I have and who do I know’?
Think about your skills, the resources you have already and the people you know or could quickly get to know.
With the UK economy being supported by so many service-based industries, now more than ever, we’ve seen a plethora of new business starts ups that offer people and their skills and expertise, whilst working from their bedrooms. This type of start-up requires minimum costs, equipment, or overheads.
To really work, you need to also consider who you already know, the relationships you have, your network of connections and how they could help you with your new business venture. Look at how you can widen your network over time to give your new venture more opportunity of success.
Starting a business alone, without a support network to help you is tough, so it’s worth considering early on who can help you, whether it’s people who could refer work to you, contacts that may get you into the right places or friends and relatives who could spread the word for you.
Often people go into a new business with an expectation of what they want in return and what they want to earn. Yes, you need to set goals and try to achieve them, but starting a business is not a quick ‘money win’.
Think carefully about how much you could afford to lose. Whether that’s the money you put in up front or the loss of earnings from paid employment. For example, if you don’t leave a paid job until you find a business idea or opportunity that will pay more, means you may never start a business. But giving up that job, investing full time in your new business or investing some of your savings and two years to build the business will change the way you look at your business and will help you to change your mindset.
Types of new business to start with no money
By choosing a low-cost business model, it’s absolutely possible to start a business with no money. Here’s just some ideas opportunities for all you budding business owners out there.
- Trade/Sell Online –Selling products to customers at minimal cost is easy these days with the likes of Amazon and eBay as great online platforms.
- Delivery services – Whether it’s delivering packages or food delivery, there’s a huge market for people to become self-employed in this sector.Pick up work that fits around you from places like Uber, Yodel and Deliveroo.
- Drop shipping –This is a way of selling online but never stocking or handling stock. You sell products but a wholesaler provides and delivers the product to the customer.
- Stock photography – If you’ve got an eye for photography and own a great camera, then selling your images online via websites such as iStock or Pexels could be a good place to start.
- Consultancy –Consultancy businesses depend on your skill, knowledge, and time. Makingyour skills and knowledge available to others can have a relatively little upfront investment.
- Domestic help – Many people who work full time or older people who are no longer able, may need help with domestic chores such as cleaning, ironing, or laundry.
- Gardening – love gardening, then why not offer out your services in garden maintenance to others in your area?
- Social media – many people now make money from their personal social media accounts. These people are often referred to as influences and will attract payment from larger brands to help promote their products or services. Or maybe you could manage other people’s social media accounts for them?
- Virtual assistant – if you’ve got a good admin background or are a great organiser, then offering your services out as a Virtual Assistant could be right for you.
- Copywriting and content - If love writing and are good with words, offering to write social media, website or blog content writing services could be a great way to earn money.
- Coaching / Mentoring – If you’re great with people, could help individuals reach their goals then coaching and mentoring could be for you.
- Room rental – If you’ve got a spare room or annex, then renting this out could be a good money earner. Sites like Airbnb have taken the market by storm now for long and short term rental opportunities.
- Courses/training - Education is another area of opportunity. Anyone with skills and insights that others want to learn, and a passion for helping others develop could be a great way to start a business. Whether it’s online tutoring for students or developing your own courses.