Running a home-based business is certainly growing in popularity with almost one million people running a business from home in Australia. It’s no wonder this statistic is growing, the flexibility a home-based business can afford is very attractive to families. But a concern I regularly hear in my job as a loans specialist is, “I have a great business idea but how do I start a home-based business with no money?”
Options for starting a business with no cash
Sell on Gumtree
You’ve probably got loads of things lying around your house that you don’t use anymore, things that would be an absolute treasure to someone else. Make an inventory of all the things you can sell, set aside some time to photograph them, sign up for a free account on Gumtree, upload your items and wait for the phone calls to flood in! At the end of this exercise, you’ll likely find yourself with a good amount of cash to put towards things like a website or marketing material.
Turn your skills into services
Do a brainstorming session and think about the things that you’re good at that you could turn into services for other people, services people will pay for. Perhaps you’re crafty and great at making things, perhaps you love organising parties or you have in-demand virtual assistant skills – these all have potential.
When it comes to selling these services, there’s little to no capital required, unlike selling a product. If you’re keen to sell a product, perhaps you could offer your services in order to build some cash flow to purchase the products. Websites like Airtasker or Upwork are the perfect platform to advertise your skills and apply for jobs.
When you have little to no cash but want to start a business, sometimes you just have to push perfection to the side and make do. What I mean by this is, if you’re dreaming of having an amazing website with logos and marketing material to match, you have to compromise until you have the funds to do so.
Consider using websites like Fiverr.com where you can have a logo made for $5 and websites like Airtasker where you can have a website made for a fraction of the cost. It might not be what you dreamt about but it is all you need to get your business off the ground in the start-up stages.
Apply for a business loan
Perhaps your business idea is one that does require money to get started, there are products and equipment you need to purchase. Before you head to the big banks consider approaching a small business loan broker. As a business loan broker, we consider your individual circumstances, search the market for the best options and then tailor a business loan to suit your needs. Banks, on the other hand, will try to fit you into one of their packages and that doesn’t always work out, you’ll often find yourself in the ‘too hard’ basket.
Promote your business for free
Little to no cash to start a business doesn’t mean you can’t market your business. Tell your friends and family about your business and get them to spread the word. Promote your business on social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You could even use a free video maker like Lumen5 to make your social media posts really gain people’s attention. Depending on what your business is, approach local newspapers and offer your expertise for free in return for exposure. There are so many ways to promote your business without it costing you money.
So what are you waiting for! Starting a home-based business with no money IS doable, all you need to figure out now is when you’re going to start. If you’re finding the change a little intense, read this post about navigating a career change for some helpful tips.
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