Sunday, November 21, 2010

How To Start A Business With No Money

Do you think you need a lot of money to start a business? You don’t! I’ve started eight businesses with less than $1000 each. These are the tricks I use.

You Don’t Need Everything from Day One

Don’t feel like your business has to look like a “real business” from day one.

- You don’t need an office.
- You don’t need to incorporate from day one.
- You don’t need fancy business cards, a fax machine or that desk you really like.

People can often become distracted by the things mentioned above and lose focus on what matters. Concentrate on selling and then selling some more. That’s all you should be working on at the very beginning.

Use Relationship Marketing to Your Advantage

This is the most important lesson that I’ve learned in my career as an entrepreneur, so please pay attention. The best kind of marketing is called “relationship marketing” and it’s free. How does it work?

1. Find the people that have access to your audience.
2. Offer them a commission for referring business to you.
3. Let them market your company at no risk to you.

Let’s say you offer city tours in London. Go to all the hotels in the city, talk to the front desk staff at each place and tell them what you do. They have access to millions of travelers and that’s your target audience. Pay the front desk clerks a commission for each guest they send your way. This is risk-free and extremely effective.

Do As Much as You Can Yourself

Design your own business cards, build your own website, and write your own marketing copy. These won’t look as great as work done by professionals, but it’s free and fast. Once you’ve sold a few thousand dollars worth of products or services, you can always re-do your website, business cards and marketing copy using experts.

Good Enough is Good Enough

There’s a group of people that struggle more than anybody else when it comes to starting a business with no money: the perfectionists. They can’t stand good business cards; they need great business cards. They can’t stand using a template for a website; they want a custom-made site. They can’t work with a web-based application that’s $5 a month because it doesn’t have all the features they want. They don’t leverage existing products, they need stuff that is customized for them, and that can be very expensive.

Have Contractors, not Employees

Having contractors has many advantages:

- You can stop working with them when you don’t need them anymore or if they’re not good at what they do.
- They don’t need a desk or office space.
- When work is slow, they get paid less. When there’s a lot of work, they make more money. Try that with an employee.

Pay for Results

It’s OK to have some people on retainers, but make sure that most of their income is tied to results. If they bring you a lot of business, they should make a lot of money. After all, you’ll be making a lot of money too, so it’s only fair that you share it with those that help you achieve your goals.

Be Smart About Your Inventory

These are two great pieces of advice I learned from my mentor:

- Produce on demand. When you receive an order, collect payment and then manufacture the product. By doing this your working capital will come from your customers instead of your own funds.
- Be the middle man. Instead of producing your own products, buy them at a discount from someone else and sell them at retail price. The profit margin will be smaller but this is a lot less risky. Once you’re in a better financial situation, you can start producing your own products.

Barter as Much as You Can

Very few people barter these days, but bartering is extremely powerful. If you have something other people want, try to barter for their services. You might not get the best expert in the industry to work with you, but whomever you get will be good enough.

Leverage Other People’s Businesses

You should take advantage of the retail locations, distribution channels and manpower that other companies pay for. For example, if you sell t-shirts, opening your own retail store will be way more expensive than selling your t-shirts through other people’s stores. Let them carry your products. Use their salespeople, their retail space and their distribution channels.

Bonus Tip: Don’t Quit Your Job Yet!

Having to make money by tomorrow in order to be able to buy groceries is no fun. I know it because I’ve been there; several times. Don’t quit your job yet. Work on your business in your free time. Grow it without taking stupid shortcuts because you’re desperate for money. Once you’re getting a decent income from your business, you can quit your job and work on your business full-time.

Source : Young Entrepreneur


mubashar on November 23, 2010 at 7:25 AM said...

Business cards really helped us for advertising our business.
I will recommend this service to all new businesses.
Business card

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