Business startups do not have to be expensive. Take advantage of free or low-cost professional services offered by organizations such as the Service Corps of Retired Executives and your local community colleges. There are also many online resources available through your state’s Department of Commerce Web site. Network to promote your business and keep your overhead to a minimum. You can start a good business with little investment by following the steps outlined in this article.
Choose a business with low to no overhead, such as a service business. A retail business will require significant investment in goods to be sold as well as a storefront. Start the business from your home or garage to reduce the overhead costs of a physical location.
Use your available computer and printing equipment to create business cards and promotional material. For multiple copies of a brochure or flyer, use the services of a quick copy shop, inquiring about discounts for submitting documents electronically and for printing larger quantities.
Work with a small business counselor at a community college or through the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) to get free, professional startup advice. Community colleges also offer courses and seminars for aspiring entrepreneurs at low or no cost.
Write a business plan that incorporates the strategy of reinvesting profits into the business as it grows. According to the Small Business Administration, a new business may not show a profit for the first two years. Build a financial strategy into your business plan that enables you to survive for those first years, and then reinvest to grow the business after you begin to make a profit.
Use networking and word of mouth to promote your business. Marketing by word of mouth is the most effective and least expensive method of promoting your business. Start spreading the word among friends and families. Participate in structured networking meetings with business cards in hand.