How to Start a Business From Home with NO MONEY
How to start a small business from home with no money? This really is my specialty. All of my businesses I’ve started either out of my house or out of my laptop. And I always bootstrap my businesses, meaning I don’t put a ton of money in them to get started. This is my favorite way to build businesses because it can be done with much less risk and capital compared to other types of businesses. So today I’ll be giving you the steps on how to start a small business from home with little to no money, I’ll be sharing one of my biggest secrets on getting paid early in your business even before you provide a single product or service, And I’ll also be teaching you where you can find your first customers to get some initial cash flowing into your business. By the end of this blog. I want you much more confident in moving forward with your current business idea. Hello and welcome to the Income Series where we discuss business, finance, and investing. I’m Brian Clark. I used to be a nurse anesthetist, a career I left after starting several businesses. Now I come on Youtube to share with you all the lessons I’ve learned along the way. Both my success and my mistakes. If you’re not against hitting that like button, go ahead and give it a tap. Also, I have a ton of great blogs about how to build businesses so click subscribe. I really try to give it to you in a fun format that’s easy to understand. Okay, so when you first start a company it’s important to register it with your state. This can usually be done at your state website in about 20 to 30 minutes. Even faster if you have experience doing it. Now most small businesses will usually benefit from registering as an LLC. One of the great things about being registered as an LLC is you have different options of how to be taxed, which can eventually save you money as your business grows. I usually register my own businesses as an LLC when they are first getting started. Now every state usually requires a small fee for registering a business and the price of this can be pretty different depending on the state. This can vary from $40 to $650 depending on the state, so there is a pretty big discrepancy. I’ll tell you this too, you don’t necessarily need to register your business in the same state where you live. If you live in a state with really high business registration and filing fees like New York, it might be worth registering in a more business friendly state like Wyoming and then paying for a resident agent, which is essentially someone to represent your business that lives within that state. I have done this before. I’ve registered one of my businesses in Wyoming using a resident agent and paying for a virtual office. This can be a good way to go because, even though you’re paying for the registered agent and virtual office, since the registering fees are low there, and there are so many other benefits associated with a Wyoming business it can actually save you money, give you a professional business address separate from your home address, and even give you great protections with anonymity. Now if this seems like a lot to get started I can understand where you’re coming from. That’s why I’m here is to really give you that crash course into making some of these pro moves when getting started. I should mention too, not all states and cities require you to have a business license if you’re working as a sole proprietor. So if you just want to start right away with offering your service or product you can do a simple search to see if you need a business license in your state to work as a sole proprietor. Eventually though, even if you’re not required to have a business license to perform your business in your specific location you’ll probably want to get one because there can be tax deductions and legal protections that come with it. Now once you have your business registered with your state you’ll want to get an Employer Identification Number or EIN for your business. The EIN gives your business its own identity with regards to building credit and paying taxes. A little later in this blog I’ll be showing you how you can build business credit essentially without even trying while still having no up-front money to get your business off the ground. This is a cool trick for people to use that literally have next to nothing when starting a small business from home with no money. Okay, so you have your business registered and you have your EIN. Well now you can open a bank account for your business using that EIN number you just got. Now, depending on whether you offer your services in person or online you may need a merchant processor to handle your payments. And in all reality, even if you do business face to face with your clients I do recommend that you have a payment processing account so they have alternate ways to pay you besides by check or by cash. I’m sure you’ve heard of some of these payment processors before. They are Paypal, Stripe, and Square. Paypal and Stripe are great if you work with customers from a distance. Square has a lot of great payment options for businesses that work face to face. So if you have a food truck or a coffee stand Square can be a good option. Alright so you have your business registered and a way to pay and get paid now let’s talk about The initial steps of getting the materials you need to provide your services. If you work online there are ways to get paid even if you’re not the one offering the services. This is where you find customers for specific products or services and then you get a portion of the profits. If you’re not familiar with this, it’s called affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is great because you don’t have to carry any inventory or deal with returned items, you don’t have to deal with customer service or almost any of the business logistics. All you have to do is bring new customers to your partnered vendors website and earn your commission. Affiliate marketing is awesome, it’s one of my favorite ways of making money online and it’s something that can be started from home with no money. One of the great things about affiliate marketing is it’s something that can essentially be built into any business. You can have your own line of products or services that you offer, but you can also offer related affiliate products to your customers. Let’s say you provide one on one yoga instruction. You can offer yoga mats, instructional blogs, and more to your clients where you receive an affiliate commission. Another popular type of business that doesn’t require a lot of initial overhead that you can start from home is drop shipping. This is where you find a customer online, they pay for the product, and then your supplier prepares and ships the order, essentially taking care of the manufacturing and delivery logistics. With dropshipping you don’t need to pay for inventory before you find a customer and receive payment for an order. Now just because finding buyers is essentially your only job in this kind of business, it can be difficult to do. You may face a lot of competition from other dropshippers trying to sell similar products. Successful dropshipping products will often spend tens to hundreds of thousands in social media ads to find customers. But as I mentioned earlier, I’ll later be sharing free places for you to find customers when first starting your business. Now let’s say that you have your business registered and you have your payment processor setup but you don’t have the money necessary to buy the equipment you need to start offering your services. Well, even new businesses that are just setup can often qualify for what’s called net-30, net-60, and net-90 accounts. This is where you can order business related supplies that you generally use to provide your services and then you have 30 to 90 days to pay for those supplies. If you have a new pressure washing business but don’t have a pressure washer you can likely open a net-30 account with a vendor and complete a few contracts with customers before you need to finally pay for the machine. Using a net-30 account and paying off the supplies in time can even help you build business credit, which can then be used to later apply for business credit cards and loans. Now there are other types of lending options that are often available to different businesses. One example of this is private hard money lending. This is commonly used for those who invest in real estate. If you want to fix and flip a real estate property who can often qualify for hard money loans based upon the quality of the property deal you find, not based upon your business credit history. An example of this is if you are able to put a house under contract for $300,000 that needs $40,000 in renovations, and it’s potential sale price once renovated is $420,000 you can likely find an investor to provide you with a hard money loan. And this is true even if you’re just getting started. Finding hard money lenders is not difficult either. They are all over the place. Now, finding hard money lenders will be partially dependent on the temperature of the real estate market. If the real estate market is hot, it’s obviously much easier to secure hard money lending. There is a sales trick I’ve learned over the years, and it is massively important if you’re trying to start a small business from home with no money. And that is, you can ask customers to pay before a service is provided. This is already the norm if you’re selling products or services online, and it doesn’t need to be different if you provide products to people face to face. Even consider having the customer pay for a portion of the product or service up front, such as for the materials and partial labor, and then give you the rest of the payment after the job is complete. This makes getting started without any money much easier, because you can use the up-front payments to cover many of your business expenses before you actually provide them services. And I’ll tell you, most of my businesses work this way. I almost always expect a payment upfront before I provide a product or service. I don’t like chasing someone down for payment after I finish doing a job. Having someone pay you after the fact really puts you in a position of weakness which, in my opinion, is usually unnecessary in most businesses. I also want to mention because people are used to paying for services up-front online, this makes having an online payment processor very powerful. If you provide mobile car detailing services, you can have a customer pay for it through your website before you even show up to their door. I can promise you that many of your customers won’t consider this unusual. Okay, so you want to start a small business from home. Well, the best way to do this is by building your business online. And just so you understand, you can sell almost anything out of your home, including physical products. You’ll just be using the Internet to find your customers. So let’s talk about places where you can find customers. If you’re offering B2B services one of the best places to sell your services is through freelancer websites. Two of the most popular freelancer websites are called Upwork and fiverr. Let’s start by talking about Upwork. Here independent contractors and even large companies will sell their services by bidding on projects posted by potential customers. Since contractors are generally bidding from all over the world, this marketplace can be a bit competitive. So it’s usually sellers who have a profile with several good reviews that will win out on these. Now, even if you don’t bid the lowest price the buyer will often still hire your services, if you have an impressive work history and ratings profile on the platform. However, when you’re first starting out you’ll likely need to give discounted prices for your services to get some 5 star ratings. Upwork is a very powerful platform. I know people personally who have built seven figure marketing businesses just by using Upwork to find clients. It’s just a matter of investing the time into building out a profile with good reviews and making sure you give excellent service to your customers. Now let’s talk about Fiverr. Fiverr is a bit different from Upwork, in that with Fiverr the sellers post gigs on the platform. Buyers who are searching for that type of service will come across seller’s posted gigs and then make a selection from the library of advertised services. As an example, let’s say you want to sell copywriting services online. You can build out a profile in Fiverr and build a gig post saying you will write a 500 word blog post for $200. Now you can also niche this down and say you’ll write a 500 word blog post for their food blog. And then create another gig saying you will write a 500 word blog post for their medical supplement website. The more you niche down with multiple gig posts, the more likely you’ll attract customers needing those specific services. What is similar about Fiverr from Upwork is past customers will leave reviews. So in that same way, you may have to discount your services for a while until you build a strong profile with good reviews. As a heads up, both of these websites can take a hefty commission from your services. They do this because they know they are two of the largest freelance marketplaces online, so they can get away with it. So be sure that you price in their cut to your prices so you’re making a decent amount of money for your work. I’ll also say there are dozens of freelancer websites on the Internet. So you can build profiles at several of these. If you’re not against hitting that like button, go ahead and give it a tap. Also, I have a ton of blogs about starting small businesses from home with no money, so click subscribe. It’s one of the topics I really focus on. Make sure to read this blog here that talks more about different free sources of customer traffic for your new business. And you guys have a great day.
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