If you’re a serial entrepreneur, you know that starting a business can be an exciting and rewarding venture. However, it can also be a financial challenge. Whether you’re light on funds to invest upfront or prefer to go for a lean startup, starting a business doesn’t have to break the bank. Fortunately, there are several creative strategies for starting a business with no money or little money. Today I want to share with you 6 strategies that will show you how to start a business with no money.

Start Small

Focus on offering a single product or service that you can deliver with minimal investment. In technology, this is called your MVP – Minimum Viable Product. Your MVP will help you to keep your costs low and to generate revenue quickly. Starting small is a great way to launch a business when you have limited resources. If you don’t believe me, here are some examples of businesses that started small:

  • Facebook started as a social media site just for Harvard students.
  • AirBnB started with a couple of guys who just wanted to make their San Francisco rent by renting out an air mattress in their apartment.
  • Etsy started as a way for two friends to support another friend to sell his artistic furniture.

I can go on, but you get it. These companies all had small beginnings, and now they’re known worldwide. The bottom line is, you don’t have to start with a million dollars to create something great.

Use Free Resources

We live in a world of freemium. Take advantage of free online tools and resources such as social media, email marketing, and website builders to promote your business and connect with customers. When you’re just starting off, the free version might be plenty. As you scale up and generate revenue, then you might consider plans that cost.


Consider bartering services with other entrepreneurs or businesses instead of paying for goods or services. I’ve done this before with coaching and planning. This can help you to save money while building relationships with other entrepreneurs. Plus it can help create word-of-mouth momentum.


Use crowdfunding platforms to raise funds for your business idea. Crowdfunding allows you to pitch your idea to potential investors who may be interested in supporting your venture. One tip I have for this method is to start your crowdfunding efforts with support. People like to support projects that others support also. This may require you to do a bit of pre-marketing before launching your crowdfunding efforts. That way you’ll have a host of people ready to invest on day one, which can create a snowball effect.

Partner with a Mentor

Partner with a mentor who can guide you through the process of starting and growing your business. I’m a huge believer in mentors. They can help you to avoid costly mistakes and to learn from someone who has experience in your industry. One place to find a mentor is through SCORE. Score is a government organization that has veteran business owners who volunteer to help entrepreneurs be successful.


The last strategy I want to mention one last strategy… not necessary one to show you how to start a business with no money thought. This one focuses on starting a business with little to no external funding. It’s called bootstrapping. This requires you to be resourceful and creative in finding ways to fund your business through personal savings, credit cards, or other sources. If your expenses are low, this may be a way to go. However, I want to share with you an idea that goes beyond bootstrapping. If you have your own funds, rather than bootstrapping, you can leverage what you do have. I’ve told my clients many times that if they can come up with 10%, I can look for the rest. Many investors just want you to have some “skin in the game.” I really hate that phrase, but people know it. A business plan, financial projections, and 10% can go a long way.

Final Thoughts on How to Start a Business with No Money

How to start a business with no Money - Video SeriesStarting a business with no money requires a lot of hard work and dedication. However, these 6 creative strategies can help you turn your business idea into a reality. By focusing on delivering a valuable product or service, using free resources, and building relationships with other entrepreneurs, you can launch a successful business without breaking the bank.


For more tips on how to start a business with no money, try this 3-party video series.