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How to Launch a Home Business on a Little or Non-Existent Budget

2013 August 1
by Annie Wallace

calculatorThe Internet has fundamentally changed the business world.  Entrepreneurs no longer need investors, staff, inventory, or even office space.  They can work from home, invest time instead of money, and grow their startups from humble beginnings into major moneymakers.

As a seemingly endless well of free resources, the web provides everything an amateur businessperson needs to get started: from coding tutorials to website templates and payment platforms.  Of course, starting a profitable business is never easy.  It requires industry insight, financial savvy, networking skills, and quite a bit of patient persistence.  But it is nonetheless possible for just about anyone with enough determination to launch a company without capital.  Here’s how:

Time is Money

There is no getting around it: startups need investments.  But those investments don’t always need to be in monetary form.  If you are willing to work hard to learn the necessary skills, seek out essential resources, and build a company through trial-and-error, you can quite literally transform your time into money.  Of course, this is easier said than done.  It takes a lot of time to make the sort of money required to operate a successful business.  So much so that you may need to shift your ‘day-job’ work schedule to part-time, transform your social calendar, slash personal expenses, and put in 10-hour workdays for many months.

A Learning Experience

Starting a business is always a learning experience; and as we all know, experience is a valuable thing, particularly in today’s competitive job market.  So university students, recent graduates, and novices eager to hone their skills can be great resources for small business owners.  By offering them opportunities to learn, gain experience for their CVs, and perhaps even complete school assignments while contributing to your company’s development, everyone wins.  Of course, you will need to get creative with your projects to make it worth their efforts, while also ensuring they get proper recognition and exposure for their work.  And later, when the time comes to expand and take on new staff, don’t forget the young talents who helped you get started.

Attracting Unconventional Investors

Find creative ways to get others to contribute to your project.  For example, you might offer stock shares in your future company in exchange for professional services.  You might also barter with some of your products, trade time and skills with fellow entrepreneurs, or swap for free advertising space on your site.

Buy Pre-Owned

For those with a bit of money to invest, buying an already functioning online business is another great way to cut down on setup and marketing expenses.  It is a risky endeavor, however, so shop carefully; and be sure to thoroughly research before closing any deals.

Crowd-Sourced Funding

Crowdsourced funding is perhaps the most exciting new resource for entrepreneurs today.  Post your project on sites like ProFounder, KickStarter, and IndieGoGo – offering investment payouts contingent on your company’s success – to obtain micro-investments from speculators around the world.

If your bank account is empty and your goal is to become a business owner, make no mistake that you are facing tough odds.  Building a company from the ground up entails long hours of hard work, countless setbacks, a steep learning curve, and long-term dedication.  So be realistic about your capabilities and expectations, seize every opportunity you can to get a foothold in the industry, and commit yourself to advancing your project every day.  Many have the ambition to become self-employed, but few are actually willing to make the sacrifices necessary to do so.   So if you are serious about launching a business from home, commit yourself to the task today, and don’t rest until your dream becomes a reality.

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