When we talk about business, what often comes to mind is money—money that you’ll earn from your revenue and, of course, money to start your business with.
But before you start getting the former, you need to first come up with the latter. And usually, when we think of business capital, tens and hundreds of thousands come to mind. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, microbusinesses cost around $3,000 to start while home-based franchises can range between $2,000 and $5,000.
While these are fairly low startup costs, it can still be difficult to scrounge up that much money, especially in the middle of a pandemic.
Luckily, you can start plenty of highly profitable ventures even with the last $50 in your bank account. Here’s how:
Start with what you already have
Despite what we mentioned earlier, business isn’t all about the money. If it’s only a matter of finances, then there would be way more successful business owners now. But your money will not grow and go anywhere if you don’t have the skills and experience to back it up.
Think about what you’ve done in the past, what you can do right now, and what you know. Also, take into consideration the resources you currently have access to. All of these things within your reach or already in you reduce the costs associated with starting a business and can, themselves, be the source of your business ideas.
Do a lot of research
Want to set up a restaurant? Look into what type of food services are most in-demand. Curious about franchising? Talk to a franchise consulting company. These steps may be simple, but they can give you a lot of insight into the industry you want to enter.
Take stock of who you know
Your connections are essential, no matter what industry or type of business you do. Does your sister do accounting? Maybe you can leverage their skill for your business.
Do you have a relative looking to invest? Why not show them your business plan? Does your next-door neighbor work in the same industry as the business you want to do? Maybe they can introduce you to resources you haven’t thought of.
These connections help you build a support network that will cost you next to nothing but will expand your reach and take you one step closer to becoming a business owner.
Take advantage of free tools
We’re living in the age of the internet and technological advances that happen every day. So it’s not a surprise how many other companies, especially startups, offer free resources.
From listing your business on Google My Business to make it more searchable to creating a free website where you can direct your customers, there is an abundance of free resources for small businesses online. Take advantage of them instead of splurging on software and applications you might not know how to utilize properly.
What Types of Businesses Can You Start with Little to No Capital?
1. Used Books Store
Grew up a huge reader? Kept your mom’s collection of mass market paperback romance books? Why not start a used bookstore? Lots of people want some good reads while stuck at home, so your business has the potential to grow.
2. Paint Contracting
More of a handyman growing up? You could offer your painting services, starting with your friends and neighbors. With just the most basic tools, you could make a living painting people’s homes.
Particularly good in certain subjects? Lend your knowledge to other students! Plenty of them needs help while studying from home.
4. Homemade Products
Scented candles? Beautiful soaps? Pieces of jewelry? Looks like handmade resin items are particularly popular on sites like Etsy today. Watch a few YouTube how-tos, gather your supplies, and you can start creating these homemade products to sell online.
With these low-capital business ideas, together with your business acumen, you could turn your $50 into an empire.