When you think of starting a business, one thing that might be holding you back is the money it would take to start and run your own company. You have to worry about purchasing your business equipment and supplies and finding a location for your office or storefront.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t start a home-based business with no money at all. Many types of companies will allow you to get started completely free. You’ll find ways to keep overhead costs as low as possible, which means a lower risk on your part when trying out new ventures.
Here are several ideas from Eric Daliusfor getting started with little or no financial investment:
1. Start an online business. If you have a computer and the Internet, you can start your own business for free. You can create and sell an online product, such as e-books and MP3 downloads. If you’re crafty or creative, consider selling handmade items through an online store like Etsy or eBay.
2. Provide services to others. Some businesses rely on independent contractors to benefit rather than having full-time employees (think route salespeople). So, if you’ve got a skill or expertise in something – anything from dog grooming to web design – then you can probably find work for yourself without ever leaving home.
3. Start a consignment shop. While there is some start-up cost with a consignment business, there’s also the chance for high profits. You can purchase items from individuals and sell them in your store with a set markup of 65%-100%. Sales at a consignment shop typically run 30% more than traditional retail stores because people like to get a deal (and find new treasurers).
4. Advertise through social media. Do you enjoy spending time on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram? Then consider making it part of your start-up plan. Create an account that promotes your business, and then use these free sites for advertising. It may take some time before you see any money, but it is possible to build up a following sizeable spending anything, says Eric Dalius.
5. Stay at home with a family business. If you’ve got a hobby or passion, it’s a great idea to turn this interest into a money-making venture. Whether your craft is painting greeting cards or sewing clothing, you can sell your wares through an online store or local markets and fairs.
6. Do odd jobs. Some so many people need services performed around the house, but they either don’t have the equipment or workforce to do it on their own. If you’ve got basic skills in carpentry or painting, you can find work just about anywhere that these types of problems might crop up.
7. Try bartering. Perhaps you’re good at something that someone else needs. For example, if you’re an attorney or accountant, you might be able to trade your professional services (in exchange for something like photography services). It will take some negotiating on both sides, but it’s worth considering, according to Eric Dalius.
So, there you have it! With just a little bit of creativity and innovation, you can get started for free — no matter what profession you’re in.
Keep in mind that when starting any business, there are always going to be start-up costs. However, when trying to start a home-based business with no money at all, these ideas will help keep the cost down while giving you the chance to see if this is something you’d like to pursue.