Where There’s a Will, There’s a Business. Here Are Ways to Get Your Startup Going Without Having a Fortune to Invest.
Before we start, we need to find a definition for poor, and while there are many standards used to define this, we are going to make a few assumptions. One of them is that if you are reading this article you have access to internet and some form of device that you can get online with. Also you have most of your basic needs met at least, although that doesn’t mean it’s not a stretch at the end of the month.
Basically, if you compare it to the definition of wealthy that means that your survival isn’t linked to a monthly salary or you have at least a year’s salary saved.
Then the definition of poor in this sense would be someone completely dependent on the next pay cheque to survive. In other words we’re not talking about someone in dangerous poverty.
With that said, let’s look at how to get swimming in moolah, raking in the dough, stashing the cash and rolling in the money.
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Anybody looking to start a business wants to escape the dry life. If reading is also boring like that, here’s how to break free:
With that started up, let’s invest ourselves into the first item of the article.
List What You Have
We all have skills and knowledge, that’s our number one asset. The second is time and energy. Make a list of the assets you have.
Then there is the list of opportunities that you can take advantage of. Look at what business structures are the most tax effective. What skills do you have that mean you won’t have to outsource certain services like bookkeeping?
What trends can you see? Is there a trend you can take advantage of?
Knowing what you have will help you make a move towards starting a business successfully.
Use Other People’s Money
We don’t mean borrowing from your mom, we mean loans or money available to small businesses where you live.
Most countries have some kind of small business fund or incentive to encourage people to start businesses. Check out the opportunities available where you live. Sometimes you can get a grant or loan that you won’t have to pay back if you stay in business.
Alternatively, if you have a strong business plan you can access a loan from a bank. If you want to get into property, for example, your business plan would show the need for accommodation, the average rental in the area and how that would cover your loan.
You can source funds through crowdfunding. There are many websites that allow you to share your idea with the world, and those that share your vision can invest in kindness or for some kind of incentive. This needs a lot of social leverage to work, but more on that later.
Know Your Business Models
How many businesses do you really know? We don’t mean industries; we mean the way business works. Like a retail store business model, a drop shipping business model, or a restaurant business model.
The more established business frameworks that you know and understand, the more your mind can invent new problems to solve or ways to solve existing problems. That is essentially what a business is. Following a business model gives you a good understanding of what you need to make a small business in that same field into a success.
List What You Need
On top of knowing what you have at your advantage and what you have to offer people, you need to know what you need to make your business plan a reality.
Maybe you need a business plan before you can get a loan. Or you need an e-commerce website before you can start marketing. List these in order of priority. What do you need to have to move to the next step in your business development?
Exchange What You Have for What You Need
If you want to start a business, that generally means you have something to trade. Use this to get the services you need, as well as your first happy customers. If you’re starting a pet-sitting business, then offer your services to a local printer in exchange for the business cards you need printed. If you need a website built for your car repair shop, offer a web designer an auto-tune up for a great business website.
You always have your time and skill to exchange for goods and services, so you don’t always need cash to move your business ahead.
Only Invest What You Can Afford to Lose
There is no point in gambling with your family’s future. Don’t spend your children’s college fund, or your house savings, or quit your job if it will leave you and your family destitute.
Making money moves isn’t just about jumping without looking. It is about taking calculated risks. Be sure you have done your homework.
Leverage Your Network
Networking is essential in business; you can’t have one without the other.
Here at Alux we’re true believers in the area of great networking skills and the power of leveraging your network.
If you’re new to the channel or need to hone your skills check out our video: Why is NETWORKING so important?
Start With Nothing, but Start Selling Anyway
You don’t need a car to have the largest taxi network in the world, just ask Uber. You don’t need a hotel to be the largest accommodation giant in the world, look at AirBnB. And you don’t need a single product to open an E-commerce platform.
Forget warehouses, forget transport trucks, you don’t need packaging or even your own support staff. All you need is a supplier. Find a product you believe there is a market for, and that you can sell.
Then build a website, and spend some money on advertising or leverage your network to get some free advertising and if you work hard enough the sales will come in.
Then once the sales come in, you make your order and the supplier ships directly to your customer.
Shopify is a powerful e-commerce platform that supports over a million independent businesses. Find out more about them by simply visiting alux.com/sell and start selling today.
You don’t have to sell products if that seems daunting. You could sell your skills.
Selling a service is trading your time and skills for money, and it usually doesn’t require a lot of start-up capital if you start small.
Of course you can’t use the sell now, make later model we mentioned above because you need to know you can deliver that service before you promise it. Example, don’t offer to do some ones bookkeeping unless you have the skills already
At the end of the day in business you’re only as good as your last review.
For a novice marketer, the wisest move is to analyze the king of the market and learn a few moves for their business. Check out the Most Innovative Coca-Cola Marketing Campaigns.
Don’t Buy, Rent
In the spirit of Uber and Air BnB’s business model, there is no need to own every piece of equipment you need to start your dream business. If you want to start a video production company you can rent the cameras and gear that you need as you need it.
This way you are free from monthly insurance costs, you don’t need to take a loan and pay interest, and you don’t need to pay for maintenance and upkeep.
This goes for every industry from building construction to tour operating. You can even rent a restaurant quality kitchen hourly to provide food using an app like Uber Eats.
This method reduces your start-up costs, and minimises your risk. If it doesn’t work or if your initial plan needs tweaking you won’t be left with a whole lot of irrelevant equipment.
Don’t Fall for a Con
If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. You’ve probably seen the ads: “make money from your living room”, or if you’re hired to “be your own boss” then it’s probably not a legit business.
The bottom line is business is hard work, and it takes some form of novelty and the right timing. You either have to sell a product or a service. That’s the bottom line.
There are millions of people out there hustling hard just like you, so you have to pull out all the stops to make it happen for you.
If it was easy, everyone would do it.
Another type of service industry we haven’t mentioned before now is selling information.
If you have some great knowledge or a ton of experience then essentially everyone slightly lower down on the knowledge and experience scale could benefit from your help.
So, why not package that knowledge and sell it?
All this takes is writing it down and using any number of online E-book publishers that will help you turn your words into a great instructional package.
This could later branch into merchandise and products, who knows, maybe even a book deal. But for starters it’s a great way to get off the ground with barely any cost.
Find a Gap in the Supply Chain
Every single supply chain has a waste product, and this is a business opportunity. Think beyond the craft economy, there is plenty of that on Pinterest.
This is Alux, we mean business, big business. Perhaps you live in a mining town or near a train station. There is plenty of waste material coming from these industries that can be repurposed for the building industry. Maybe you live near a chicken farm and can turn manure into compost, or near a forestry operation and can turn stripped bark into fire lighters.
Wherever you live you will find that there is a gap in the supply chain that is creating waste. And waste costs companies. Sometime just by connecting one businesses’ waste to another business’s needs can create a lucrative business for you. Because you could find that they will pay you to take it away, and so you will have extra cash flow to sow into your new business.
Experiment and Adapt
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are robust businesses. Allow yourself the time to experiment and adapt to the market, based on feedback, and your experiences.
To have a competitive advantage you need to have the right mindset and be willing to adapt and not become fixated on a single goal or outcome. Rather be responsible to changes in the business and your market.
Part of your competitive advantage as a small start-up business is that you have the flexibility to respond to your customers’ needs and change tactic. Larger businesses take a lot longer to change direction to take advantage of developments.
Keep It Simple
Don’t build system upon system and layer upon layer of business administration. Keep it simple and work on the business offering and getting it to your customer.
The more complex you go, the more problematic it becomes.
You only need a website and either money for ads, or a creative way to go viral on social.
That’s it! That is the starting point for most businesses in the 21st century.
What inspired you to start something new? Your experience could inspire another Aluxer, so spread the love.