You have always dreamed of opening a business, but you just don’t have the money you think you need to get it off the ground and running. You think that if you just work hard enough you can save enough money to start your business. But, even with no money, your dream is within reach. The fact is you can open a business with little or no cash, if you use your imagination and follow several simple steps.
Create a business plan. It is absolutely essential that you have a business plan that details how you are going to run your business, especially if you are going to try to secure a loan or to entice an investor to invest in your business.
Develop a budget, remembering to include recurring expenses such as utility bills. Make sure you also make a list of one-time expenses that you may incur, which will likely include the cost of forming your business entity.
Apply for small business loans through the Small Business Administration and your local financial institution. You may also qualify for a small business grant, especially if your business is minority or woman-owned.
Make use of what you already have. For example, instead of buying a new computer for your business, use the computer you already have if it’s in acceptable condition.
Buy used. If you have to purchase office furniture, for example, purchase used furniture that is in good condition rather than shelling out for new, more expensive furniture, which you can do once your business is making money.
Opt for a home office, rather than renting office space. If you have a business that allows you to work from home, create a home office until you have the capital that will allow you to rent or purchase office space.
Take advantage of free marketing opportunities both online and offline. Among the free ways you can market your business include: writing and submitting press releases to local and online media; writing articles for online article directories; and chatting on message boards and on forums that are relevant to your industry.