Most entrepreneurs who have great business ideas tend to put their dreams on hold for lack of capital, assuming that they cannot launch their idea without major funding.
But entrepreneurs are beginning to realize that capital can be as much of a headache as it is a blessing. That’s because when you take out a loan for a new business in which you are already dealing with a multitude of uncertainties, the one certainty you’ll have to have is paying back your loan. Perhaps in response to this realization and a changing business landscape, there’s a new breed of entrepreneur emerging. Zero capitol startups are beginning to take the place of traditionally heavily leveraged, debt ridden startups, and they’re proving that the future of business belongs to those who can do more with less.
“If you start a business and you take out a loan you’re a moron.”
If you have a great idea but very little money, don’t stop there. As with any startup, there will be incredibly long days with little or no sleep, and you will probably experience a whole new level of stress. The bottom line is that, small businesses don’t fail for lack of capital they fail for lack of effort. So, if you want it bad enough, and you work hard enough, you’re going to make it.
Here are eight tips that can help you get your idea off the ground with limited funds.
1. CHOOSE AN AREA YOU’RE KNOWLEDGEABLE IN.
Starting a business in an area you are completely unfamiliar with can be a recipe for disaster. So instead of venturing into uncharted territory, build your business around a field in which you are knowledgeable. You are your businesses greatest asset and the more you can rely on yourself the better. When your business is built around your own personal expertise, passion, and past experience you can eliminate consultants and outside assistance that can end up costing a fortune.
2. SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOP.
Don’t be shy. Tell everyone you know about your new business. Announce your presence to the world by taking advantage of email and social-media. While you shouldn’t rely totally on friends and family, they can help you spread the word, but from there, it’s in your hands. Never in human history has it been easier to gather attention and interest for a great idea. Social media, email, you-tube and, yes, word-of-mouth are the fastest way to engage fans with your business and where there’s engagement, there’s money.
3. KEEP IT LEAN.
You’re going to have a lot of expenses, both large and small, that are unavoidable. But you can make a conscious effort to avoid overspending. The small things add up and company lunches, doughnuts, and coffee runs can become substantial expenses. Even business cards can easily run over $500 for the latest, greatest style. The key is to be frugal and look for deals. Doing so can be the difference between success and failure.
4. DON’T FALL INTO THE CREDIT CARD DEBT TRAP.
Many successful entrepreneurs talk about using credit cards to get their businesses off the ground. But, as with most things, there are two ways to use credit when starting a business: the smart way and the not-so-smart way. New equipment and technology like computers and software can quickly add up. Instead of purchasing everything at once and charging it to your credit card, use your company’s revenue to finance your expenses. That way you stay responsible. The stress that comes from debt can really decrease the chances of having a successful business. Eliminate that burden by only spending what you take in.
5. BUILD UP SWEAT EQUITY.
You’re going to have to hustle to make it work. It’s not uncommon for many founders to work around the clock, handling every aspect of their business. This might mean cold calling, dealing with customers, handling billing and accounting, and basically every other part of the business. It’s easy to get frustrated or worn out, but keep in mind that you are building a brand and every bit of work you put in, increases the value of your business.