How to Start a Business with No Money

2 min read

Alas, we’ve all heard the adage, “it takes money to make money”, and while that is certainly true for many businesses, it IS possible to start a business with no money and a lot of creativity.


While you may not have any excess cash, your garage and house may be filled with things you no longer love or need. Whether it’s a box of empty beer cans, your child’s Lego collection, the purses at the back of your closet, or the jars of shells you collected as a teen, there is almost always a market for what you’re selling. It just takes research to understand where your customer shops (eBay? Etsy? Depop? Craigslist? Offerup? Instagram? StockX?) and what your items are worth at retail. Then there is the hard work of photographing, pricing, measuring dimensions, uploading product listings and actually selling. But you’ll be surprised that you CAN actually get started with very little cash. And once you’ve sold those old clothes you were going to drop off at Goodwill, you’ll have cash to start purchasing more things to sell.


Perhaps you’ve already cleared out your garage and are living a pristinely organized life, and have nothing to sell. Well, actually you DO have something to sell – your technique for getting homes organized! All joking aside, consider what you are good at – and what you enjoy. Are you the first person your family calls for tech support? Or home handyperson tasks? There might be a kernel of a business there. Do you love entertaining? Perhaps a catering business is a good fit. Service businesses require some word of mouth marketing to get started, but start generating cash very quickly, which allows you to reinvest in your business and start growing it.

While the glass may be half empty – you have no cash to get started – it is also half full of creativity. And once you learn to start a business on a lean shoestring, you’ll be an excellent manager of cashflow for the rest of your entrepreneurial life.


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