How To Start a Business With No Money (5 Steps)
Many entrepreneurs have spent plenty of time dreaming of running successful online businesses. However, not all of us are blessed with the know-how, a vast customer base on social media, or a big pile of cash ready to invest (anyone?). Luckily for you, in this current landscape, starting a business is still well within your reach.
Last year, Sandy Lin came on the Female Startup Club podcast to chat about her new creator platform Creobase. When we got into the money piece, she explained that she had her first taste of entrepreneurship through a dropshipping business she started off with just an idea and her laptop. With such a low barrier to entry, this is a great way to dip your toe into the world of entrepreneurship - without forking out huge investments.
Yes, you heard that right. You can start a business with no money or credit with dropshipping. To begin, identify a niche in the market and choose a platform where you can handle operations yourself. You can also use social media to build your brand and help maintain business momentum. It’s as simple as that.
This article will discuss five beginner-friendly steps to get you going with your online business. Get your game face on and add yourself to the growing list of female entrepreneurs.
5 Steps to start a business with no money
1. Explore Dropshipping
There are many different ways to explore dropshipping. Many people advise getting a stable job first before venturing into business. But that takes time and effort and may take focus away from your e-commerce aspirations.
Luckily, dropshipping also exists as an alternative. This business model allows the retailer (you) to sell products without owning them. When a customer places a buy order, you’ll forward the purchase to the supplier, and the supplier delivers it to the customer on your behalf.
You won’t need to hold on to inventory, and you’ll get to keep the profit with minimal loss. Additionally, this is a way of knowing what products are in demand now. From here, you can scan the market and decide what niche you want your business to focus on.
2. Choose the Best Platform
There are many platforms out there for you to kickstart your e-commerce startup. Let’s say you want to stick to the dropshipping business. In that case, you can try Doba, which streamlines the business process for aspiring entrepreneurs.
With Doba, you can find many products to satisfy your niche simply by typing in a product name or keyword. Products are also super easy to add to your website or your eBay, Amazon, or Shopify page via Doba’s integration.
But if you plan to leave drop shipping, you can still use your profits to stock up on capital before starting another business.
3. Stick to Your Strengths
There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big and exploring other potential areas of profit, but if you start with little to no money, it would be good to stick with what you’re good at. If you have a personal affinity for clothes, stick to fashion. If you like food, then sell food products.
It won’t be easy to properly feature and market your products if you don’t know what you’re selling. When you have the same interests as your target market, you can relate to them better and understand what they expect from your products.
4. Do It Yourself
In line with sticking to your strengths, try learning new skills and handling some aspects of business operations yourself. If you have a background in marketing, you can let go of hiring a consultant and market your products yourself. Similarly, you can design your own e-commerce webpage if you’re good with graphic design.
Women tend to dominate public relations and human resources, so if you have HR and PR skills appropriate to your business operations, go for it. It’s entirely possible for you to do everything on your own when starting out with no money.
Running a business is a complicated process. Logistics, taking inventory, and market analysis can wear the average person out. But if you have a clear vision and are committed to seeing your ventures grow, then this shouldn’t be a problem.
5. Learn Social Media Skills
Everyone is on social media nowadays, with about 4 billion people connected on social platforms. Analysts estimate that 6 billion people will access the most prominent social media sites by 2027. Community building is probably one of the most underestimated skills of today.
Make the most of social media by developing a solid brand marketing strategy to showcase your business to online users. You can also use social networks to find out what’s trending and be the first to capitalize on what everyone’s buzzing about. I would say that the best way to learn how to do great on the platform would be to learn from the best.
We recently had the privilege of welcoming Nadya Okamoto as a guest on the show to talk about how she created her community of 4.1M(!!!) followers on TikTok and 133K on Instagram. She’s the real deal. Her number one advice to those getting the hang of their social media skills is that “if something is not performing, it means it’s not engaging.”
Many people put content out based on what they think will do well, and when it doesn’t, they keep doing more of it. Always change your strategy rather than waiting on the algorithm for people to engage.
> You can listen to Nadya Okamoto’s full episode on how she started her business on the Female Startup Club podcast
Remember, the most successful women in business are the ones who have the foresight to see growth in even the most unassuming of things and have the tenacity to go out and get it.
Women have been crowding into the e-commerce industry due to its growth potential and ease of access. Through dropshipping and savvy social media use, even those with little to no money can grow through e-commerce. Follow these tips and kickstart your business journey!
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