You don’t have to give an arm and a leg to start your business—this piece shared a fast-action blueprint that could help you start a business with no money in 2022.
You’re probably wondering if it’s possible to start a business with no money.
Of course, we don’t blame you. With the economic devastations still lingering post-pandemic, some entrepreneurs believe they’ll need huge sums to start a successful business.
But it’s not always the case.
About one-third of small businesses began with less than $5,000.
That’s far less than what most people consider suitable to start a business. So, you see, you don’t need millions of dollars to succeed as an entrepreneur. With a proper plan you can get it done without breaking the bank and that’s what this article is all about.
Identify Your Business Model
Let’s start with the first hurdle you face while on the path of business establishment.
Almost all the market-leading companies you see today started from here—the idea stage.
Here, you’ll need to answer several questions, such as:
- How can you be of service to the masses?
- Does your current idea solve a problem?
- If so, how can you solve these problems?
Having an idea is not enough; ensure it’s realistic in a business sense.
“Don’t forget to explain your idea to your circle of friends. Always validate your idea inside your circle of trusted friends before investing money in your business model,” advises Fahim Sheikh, founder of Trellis, a Canadian SaaS company.
“We often believe we have a brilliant idea, but while presenting it to others, we realize that the concept might be difficult to market.” Sheikh continued.
So, vet your idea before starting a business to ensure it’s doable before investing your time and finances.
Conduct a Market Analysis
Conduct a market analysis after identifying your business idea?
It must touch on the following areas:
- Who are your potential customers?
- The size of your target market
- Your customers’ buying habits
- Who you’re competing within that particular market
- Your competitors’ weaknesses and strengths
- How much will customers pay for your products or services?
We’ve seen many products fail because the manufacturer failed to decipher the market’s needs.
An example is when Microsoft launched a portable media player, Zune, in 2006 to compete with Apple’s iPod. It failed. Millions of dollars went to nothing as the product was discontinued in 2011. They realized it was no different from its direct competitor, the iPod.
Robbie Bach, a former Microsoft executive, labeled Zune “a failed product”, stating that the company’s marketing strategy wasn’t compelling enough to make Apple’s iPod users abandon ship.
Microsoft’s poor market analysis led to the introduction of a product that couldn’t compete with or dethrone the leading mobile media player at that time.
This situation is what you want to avoid.
However, conducting a thorough market analysis will help you:
- Identify emerging trends
- Reduce risks
- Introduce products and services you should target
- Facilitates revenue projection
Ignoring this—is tempting fate.
It only edges you closer to failure. It’s like diving head straight into a market without considering what problems you’ll likely face.
Create and Test a Minimum Viable Product
Next is to develop and test Your minimum viable product (MVP).
It involves testing the idea of your product or service to see how it fares in the market. It’s advisable to test an MVP with little or no cost, to avoid wasting resources.
When you test an MVP, your aim should be to gather customer feedback, analyze it, and provide solutions to whatever problems you uncover during testing.
Sounds easy, but how can you test your MVP?
You can go door to door in your neighborhood and beyond, offering your services to people for free. Remember, your goal isn’t to make money but to introduce people to your business while observing how your products and services thrive.
Alternatively, you can create a simple website for your service or product. Also, use cheap web analytics tools to help you monitor website metrics while spending little or no money.
Don’t forget to include a section for email signups and pre-orders. It helps you gauge customers’ engagement.
When monitoring metrics, keep an eye out for the number of visitors, average time on page, session duration, traffic sources, etcetera. It helps you with the statistics you need to improve.
Create a Plan
If you’ve made it this far, congrats! You’re almost ready to become a business owner.
Use the information you gathered from testing your MVP to examine your business’s current position and then highlight present and future goals to work towards.
Studies prove that 22 percent of startups fail because they lack a solid marketing strategy. So you see how important a plan is.
Your plan must be actionable. It’s the roadmap for how you’ll grow your enterprise.
Furthermore, your business model will largely influence the content of your plan. But typically, it comprises:
- Business description
- Services and products
- Market analysis
- Marketing approach
- Operation plans and logistics
- Financial plans
Don’t know how to write yours? Here are some free business templates you can use.
Establish Payment Methods
Armed with your complete business plan, you can move to the next stage—establishing payment methods.
You must establish before launching your business because you always have to be ready to receive money anytime. Otherwise, you’ll delay early transactions while thinking of ways your customers will pay you.
Ensure you consider customers’ preferences, the size of your transactions, popularity, and the payment platform’s age while choosing a payment gateway.
If you need to narrow your options even further, compare several factors like security, price, functionality, flexibility, etcetera.
Also, Support cash payment to cater to customers that prefer that option.
Develop Organic Marketing Plan
Here’s another vital area that you must visit when starting a business. To make your business well-known, you must spread the word about it, right?
That’s where your organic marketing plan comes in. Since you’re aiming to establish with minimal cost, here are two options you must integrate into your strategy:
Create a Website
Analysts reveal that 64 percent of small businesses own a website. This stage is where you join the competition to beat them.
Start a company website and look out for profitable niche keywords. Proceed with your results to create an optimized site containing about us, FAQs, and contact pages.
Also, include a blog section on your website where you can post SEO-optimized content. The goal is to attract traffic to your blog, from which you’ll guide readers to your site’s main page to patronize you.
Sounds like a lot of work, right? You don’t have to do everything yourself; otherwise, you’ll overwork yourself.
The good news is you can always outsource your marketing by hiring reliable individuals or an agency offering SEO content writing services.
Utilize Social Media
Social media has grown to be an integral part of our everyday lives.
A study found that there are currently 4.26 billion active social media users, and by 2027, analysts predict that there will be 6 billion users, so you would be leaving a lot of money on the table if you fail to leverage this channel
Being active on popular social media platforms lets you reach new prospects and drive traffic to your website. Also, monitor your comments section, so you don’t miss customer feedback.
Obtain Startup Funds
Getting enough funds is the hardest part of starting a business.
About 29 percent of small businesses face a lack of capital.
You can begin by applying for a bank loan is the most common and apparent choice for small firm owners. But looking into grants from national, state, or local organizations is also worthwhile.
Even private grants from larger organizations are solid options.
Other alternatives include:
- Venture capital
- Help from friends or family
- Angel investors, etcetera.
Related Article: 6 Unknown Alternative Funding Options For Small Business
Now You Can Start Your Business with No Money
Starting a business with no money is not rocket science.
It’s doable. A lot of entrepreneurs have done it and come out unscathed. Keep in mind; however, you’ll face numerous challenges like workforce unproductivity, securing funds to scale the business, and attracting and retaining high-ticket customers.
Sadly, these problems have caused many businesses to fold up.
However, this resource can help you identify all the small business challenges in 2022 you’re bound to face and how to navigate them to put your business on the growth path.
Do well to check it out, and thank me later.