Estimated reading time: 7 mins
With the market being tough and unemployment being higher than usual many people are looking to start their own business. Starting a business takes some forethought and work but doesn’t have to cost you a fortune to get started. In this article, we look at businesses and ways to get started without having to have massive amounts of capital available.
Why start your own business?
For many people, starting their own business is about freedom and pride. Being your own boss and being able to make the decisions. It’s about being independent and being able to drive your business in the direction you want and not where someone else tells you to. You also gain a sense of achievement from a successful endeavour. Starting a business is hard but you get out what you put in. For many the aim is to make a living or even to become wealthy. While wealth cannot be the only motivator, it is important that you are making a profit and are able to benefit from the effort you are putting in. Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it can bring you things that create happiness.
Starting your own business can also help you learn valuable skills. You often have to learn on the job so to speak. You will need to learn at least a little about all aspects of your business and preferably be the expert in some areas as well. This might mean you have to take a course or two, but personal growth is part and parcel of running a healthy business. Running your own business may also mean that you can create employment for others. This means that you can make a difference in the lives of others as well.
You can live your passion. Starting a business based on something you love and enjoy will make going to work a pleasure. Being passionate about the idea may also help towards the success of the venture. Do work that inspires and thrills you!
Some aspects to consider before you start
Do the research! Who is your competition? Can you do it better? What can you offer that they don’t? Knowing your market and the competition can help you learn from their errors and create a better service or product. Make sure you know how to appeal to your target audience. Trying to reach out with too wide of a net could result in failure. Pick your niche and focus on it. This will also reduce marketing costs. Consult potential customers and use what you learn to better your strategy.
How do you get paid? While it is great to be able to put all the profits back into the business when you are starting out so that you can grow and expand, this isn’t always viable. If this is your only income, you need to pay yourself so that you can pay your bills. Cut back as far as possible on expenses and pay yourself the bare minimum to start with. You can always look at taking some of the profit once your business is successful and making enough to grow and still get you a new car.
Decide on your brand. Start with a name that reflects what you do and that will be memorable to your potential clients. Take the time to reflect on this as it can be difficult and expensive to try and rebrand later. Once you have your brand, the next step is to market it. Start small, use social media and relationships to start building a reputation. Be active and visible. It doesn’t take a fortune to start with but you may need to put some capital into marketing eventually. Ensure you have a functional website that accurately represents your brand.
Where can you get funding? Some businesses require very little capital to start with, but for most you will need some money to start. Friends and family are a good place to start. You can also look for investors or approach your bank for a loan. Make sure you have your ducks in a row and can present a good business plan before you start looking for funding. There are many more aspects to consider but this is a good place to start.
Businesses you can start with minimal capital
There are multiple businesses you can start with minimal capital. Service based businesses that rely on your skills are a good place to start when looking at starting your own business. You could also look at e-commerce, manufacturing and construction businesses if you are prepared to start small and grow your business with hard work. Here are a few ideas for businesses that need little capital to start.
- Content creation: This is a good option for graphic designers and creative writers. Finding clients may be difficult at the start but if you work at it you can grow this type of business into a fulltime job.
- Virtual Assistant/PA: If you are great at administration and organizing, you may be able to offer your services to businesses online. This usually involves clerical work, email handling, calendar management and more.
- Event planning: If you have exceptional orientation to detail and organisation you can look at being an event planner. Most of what you need can be hired and you can set up events from parties to reunions and more.
- Start an Etsy shop: Are you creative and can create your own merchandise? Are you able to sell your products online? This may be a good platform to get you started.
- Offer courses or tutoring: If you are skilled in an area (subject matter expert), you could look at offering courses or lessons online or at your home. This can even include music lessons if you are skilled at an instrument or voice coaching.
- Translation services: If you are fluent in more than one language, you may be able to sell your skills in translation. This is more than just an online service, you can offer your skills to courts, schools, conference centres and more.
- Affiliate marketing: This take having a good website that is active in order to bring in potential customers. You then approach businesses to sell their products through your site and you make a small commission for every sale. This takes work to ensure your site stays active and people are actively engaging, but it can bring in a decent income with some effort.
- Online sales platforms: Use sites such as eBay to sell your own products or dropship (this is where you sell other people’s products and make a small profit).
- E-commerce: Sell your products via your own website. This may require some marketing to get you going so you can compete with existing businesses. Do your research before you start to ensure you can make sales.
- Construction: This will require some funding as well as knowledge of the field but can be started with minimal capital. You will need to ensure you have the skills needed and are fully insured before starting this type of business. Start small and grow your business as you complete projects.
- Manufacturing: This can be a tough business to start with minimal capital. It will also largely depend on what you are manufacturing. Research is critical for this type of business. It’s pointless manufacturing a product that isn’t going to sell. Know the market and then look at going after funding to get you started. Make sure that you have done an in-depth valuation of your business needs before you get started. Start small and increase your manufacturing as your sales increase.
As with anything, you do need to ensure you put in the hard work. When starting a business, the more research you do at the start, the more likely you are to succeed. It may seem very rough going at the start but it is important to stick with it and put in as much effort as possible. You can start your own business and earn enough from it to maintain your lifestyle. Remember to stay up to date with changes in the market so you can revise your strategy as needed. Stay in front of the trends and you will be successful.