start a business without money
Updated August 22, 2022

Start a Business Without Money: Essential Investments That Will Cost Less Than $100

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Being your own boss is the dream of every American. While it sounds like a worthy venture, for many the idea of fronting the money to begin is too much to bear.

There is hope!

You can start a business without money with the right essentials. With that being said, it is a worthy way to get your company up and running without the need for deep pockets to fund your new startup.

These simple business steps can help you have a steady operation right out the gate without worrying about going into debt the minute you open your doors.

No matter what you have planned for your new business, you can be your own boss and lead your company to success with a humble beginning.

So, let’s find out exactly what you need to get your business up and running for little to no money at all.

Create a Strategic Plan

When it comes to the very beginning of creating your own small business, you need to consider a few things before you start.

To begin, you need to know what you are essentially going to do. Are you selling a product? Providing a service? Or offering something more?

Whatever you have planned for your new company, needs to start out with a business plan. Setting up a strategic plan takes no money to create and can help guide your business forward.

By taking the time to come up with a plan that provides the direction for where your business will go, you will save yourself plenty of headaches as you are able to envision your success before you get there.

Start with a company name and think about what your business stands for. This can be as simple as using your own name or an identifier that will help customers resonate with your product.

Once you have found the perfect company name, you will need a logo to go with it. You can use sites such as UpWork and Fiverr to find a graphic artist that can design a logo at an affordable rate, saving you on the cost of hiring a marketing firm.

Next, you need to understand your customer. Who are you selling to? Why do they want to buy your product or service? Once you know your customer, you promote your business to them without any stalling blocks.

Get this information down on paper. This will make it easier to move forward with your new-found business as you have a solid plan to get you going.

Sign Up for Affordable Wireless

As a business owner, one of the most important aspects of your business is communication. You need to keep the lines of communication open with your customers and have a reliable way for them to reach you at all times.

You can get affordable cell phone service that won’t cost you an arm and a leg to pay for. Since you want to start a business without money, it is imperative that you keep your costs low.

Going with an affordable cell phone service like Republic Wireless can offer you just that. This can give you a phone and data plan for as low as $15 a month which will have minimal impact on your bottom line.

With Republic Wireless, you will also be afforded $5 per GB used each month. This can really help you reign in your spending when starting out while giving you a dedicated phone line just for your business.

Plus, with services like Republic Wireless, you do receive 4G LTE service, so you know that you will always have coverage no matter where you go. This is important to your business as you never want to miss or drop a call from a customer.

Build a Website

Having a website is another key part of your business. This will allow your customers to find you and review what makes your products and services stand out from your competitors.

By using WordPress, you can design a website theme that looks professional without any cost. But, you will want to have a dedicated domain name.

Sites like GoDaddy will allow you to pick an original domain name that people will recognize and remember as your business. You can get a domain name on GoDaddy for under $1, helping you to start a business without money or at least very little money invested.

Your website is crucial to the success of your business. This is how people will find you and buy from you too. Take the time to make your website as professional as possible as it will pay off in dividends later.

Employ an Email Marketing Service

Email is your weapon, and without it, you will not be able to grow your customer base. Especially starting out, you need to have the ability to market to your clients with an email platform.

You may wonder why you just can’t use your personal email to blast your customers. There are several reasons you want to steer clear of using an email from Gmail or Yahoo to send to possible customers.

These email addresses will not be trusted, and over time the more you email from it, there is a possibility of getting blacklisted. This would mean that your email will be spammed and your customers will never get the important information you are sending out.

Using an email client such as Constant Contact or MailChimp can give you more power as you look to market to your customers. These email platforms are designed to look good no matter what type of device your customer views your email on.

Plus, you get to be a bit of a voyeur as you are able to see who opened your email and what links they clicked on. This can help you understand what is working in your email promotions and what needs more work.

You can also manage your email list and keep track of those people that have opted into your email or opted out. This is a very difficult process to manage with a personal email account and can actually get you into trouble if you are not careful.

Services such as MailChimp and Constant Contact charge by the number of contacts you have in your mailing list. This can be quite beneficial as you start with a small number of customers, keeping your costs as low as possible.

MailChimp even offers you free emailing access with limited features to help you get started with your business at no cost at all. This is the ideal way to start a business without money and see results.

Constant Contact offers a 60-day free trial to help you get started and plans that start as low as $20 a month, which is ideal for a business just starting out.

Get Active on Social Media

Social media is a no-cost way to market your business and gain a following. Using sites such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat, you can increase your presence online with your customers.

These social media platforms are totally free to use. They can give your business reach online as you start to make a name for yourself.

By starting a business page on these sites, you can start to attract customers and show them the features and benefits of the products or services your business offers. This can go a long way in increasing your business without taking money out of your pocket to do so.

You will, however, need to have a plan of attack for these social media sites. Even having a content calendar for what you plan to post each day can help ensure you stay fresh and interesting to your fanbase.

Remember you will want to make sure that you post frequently to keep the attention of your customers. You also want to make sure your social media posts are relevant to their interests so that they keep coming back for more.

This is also a great way to establish loyalty and gain word-of-mouth business as your followers share your posts with their friends and family. Before you know it, you will be growing your business and seeing the success you have always dreamed of.

Get a Business Account

Now, that you will have money coming in from your business, you need to have a dedicated business banking account. It is always good to keep your personal finances separate from your business account, so you always have the funds you need.

By choosing a business account from a bank like Chase, you can decide what type of banking account is right for you. With accounts that are free or as low as $12 a month, you can have the freedom to access your money as often as you like without worrying about additional charges.

Chase also offers several business account options, that can allow your business to grow over time. This can give you flexibility as you look to extend your company and expand your finances.

There are several credit card options from Chase as well, which you may want to consider down the line to give you additional spending power. These credit cards come with a range of benefits that can help you have a line of credit when your business is off the ground, and you need to secure capital.

Start With a Home Office

Many small businesses start with a home office. This is the most economical way to set up shop without having to worry about additional rent to pay each month.

When you establish that you are going to work from home, you do need to have a dedicated space. This will help you to feel motivated and on task in your home where there are plenty of distractions.

Keep your home office simple as you don’t need a lot of bells and whistles to get started. Office furniture can be procured through Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.

By perusing the listings on these sites, you can find a desk, chair, table, lamp, or even office equipment at an affordable price. Keep in mind that you are on a budget because you are looking to start a business without money.

Another good place to look for office furniture and supplies is at your local thrift store. Goodwill has locations all throughout the U.S. that offer gently used furniture that you can easily piece together for an office.

You just have to be patient and wait for a deal to come your way. Don’t be afraid to barter or negotiate on the price as the more you can save here, the more money you will have to put toward other essentials that your business needs.

Have Business Cards Made

You also need to have business cards made to give out to customers, so they know who you are and how to reach you.

At Vistaprint, you can get 500 business cards made for under $10. This is a super cheap way to get the word out about your business without breaking the bank to do so.

At Vistaprint, you can design your business card for a series of templates they have available, or custom create your own business card appearance. Its handy online site allows you to see the full design of your business cards before they are printed and mailed to you.

Plus, it is easy and affordable to have additional cards made when you run out. And, we know that your business is going to be a booming success so you will be refilling your business card order frequently.

As you look to start a company without money, keep these business essentials in mind. They can help you save a bundle when you are first starting out as a business owner.

One of the biggest mistakes that a business owner can make as a startup is overextending themselves. You need to save every penny you can, and these helpful ideas can allow you to understand how to start a small business without money.

With nothing holding you back from living your dream of being your own boss, all you have to do is get started with your business idea. Success is right around the corner!

Have any additional tips on how to start a business for free or with the least amount of money possible? Feel free to share them with us in a comment below!


Logan Allec, CPA

Logan is a practicing CPA and founder of Choice Tax Relief and Money Done Right. After spending nearly a decade in the corporate world helping big businesses save money, he launched his blog with the goal of helping everyday Americans earn, save, and invest more money. Learn more about Logan.

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