You have a brilliant idea that you think is unparalleled but lack experience in starting your own company and working capital which leaves you in a fix! How do you go forward and start a business without money?
It is rare that a business flourishes without the necessary ingredient which is money, but it is possible. Not having a substantial amount of money in hand need not be a deterrent in making a dream into a business idea
Bootstrapping – Bootstrapping a startup is a valid model, but it means your operational costs and growth need to be funded entirely through revenue generated from sales.Ideally a company’s growth plan has to be slow and steady. If you have too ambitious growth plan, then you have to be prepared for more complexities in operations which will have a direct impact on your funds.
Here’s a list of highly successful companies that preferred to take this route instead of selling out to a venture capital fund or banker. These are companies that didn’t take any VC money, but are still profitable and have scaled up to over a million dollars in revenues. If you think you have the appetite and funds to go down this route, here’s a guide on how to bootstrap a startup.
Crowdfunding – In this case, you are dependent on your ability to book advance sales even before you actually have a product to sell. Not every small business has a model and product/service that can raise money through crowdfunding campaigns on Zingohub, Kickstarter or Indiegogo. But the least you can do is read their FAQs and decide if it’s obtainable with your business model and product.
Government Help – The Government of India has extensive ministries dedicated to help entrepreneurs and new business aspirants to start their own businesses and grow. There are plenty of state and central government funding schemes under which you can apply for grants and low or zero-interest loans. But let’s leave that alone for now since you want to start a business with no money.
You can still apply for other forms of help from the government. For example, the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, working through the National Small Industries Corporation Ltd (NSIC), offers Marketing Support schemes for MSMEs. Note that the Govt. of India offers a wide array of assistance in other areas of startup ventures too. See the Startup India website at http://startupindia.gov.in/.
NSIC also offers technical support through its Extension Centres and Technical Services Centres. You can get help for anything from advice on application of new techniques to classroom and practical training for skill upgradation, and use of material testing facilities through accredited laboratories.
Learn from Peter Sage & Jimmy Naraine – If you’re still not sure whether you have what it takes to start a business without money, get help from Peter Sage and Jimmy Naraine. These two have started and successfully run several businesses without money, and now offer an online learning course on how to do it.
How To Start a Business With No Money, Borrowing or Credit – Udemy.com, instructed by Peter Sage and Jimmy Naraine, has 605 students enrolled.
The course includes real life case studies and examples of how others have done it, and you will also learn how to implement tried and tested strategies for building a successful business with little or no money.