The press would have us believe that it is very easy to start a business with nothing.  App developers and tech companies seem to have no problem attracting investors, but what about the ordinary man on the street who has a great idea and has spotted a gap in the market?  The good news is that it is possible to be an entrepreneur and start a viable business from scratch with very little – and here’s how.


Retain Your Current Job

It is sensible to hang on to your current job for as long as possible.  You might feel frustrated about the thought of having to continue working 9-5 in a job you loathe for a boss you hate, but continuing in your job will allow you to funnel some of your earnings into the business and pay the bills.  Work at the new business in the evenings and at weekends, and then once the business begins to take off, try cutting back your job to part-time hours.


Minimize Expenses

You don’t necessarily need a lot of investment to start a business and to begin with it is sensible to keep your expenses to an absolute minimum until you are sure the business is viable.  That way you won’t run up any massive debts.  You can work from home initially, which should save a lot of money.  Online businesses are also relatively cheap to run, and if you work in the service industry, you won’t even need any stock.  Alternatively, if you want to work in the retail sector, take on a mall booth through a company such as Westfield Specialty Leasing.

How to be an Entrepreneur on a Shoestring Budget

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Global Entrepreneurship Week Singapore by e27singapore, on Flickr.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.


Avoid Unnecessary Expense

Where possible, use revenue to finance expenditure.  Borrowing on credit cards might seem an easy way to finance new equipment and supplies, but generating a burden of debt is never a good idea when growing a new business.


Borrow from Friends and Family

When you need money to grow the business, invest in stock and supplies, or hire staff, try asking friends and family for a loan before you approach the banks.  If they think your business is worthy of investment, draw up a formal loan agreement that includes a repayment schedule and any interest chargeable.



Another area worth investigating if you need some cash is crowdsourcing.  This has become popular in recent times, with new entrepreneurs putting their ideas out there and waiting for potential investors to step forward with the money.  If you do go down this route, make sure you have a sound business plan that is able to justify any investment you require.


The internet has made it possible for small entrepreneurs to start a business with nothing.  All you need is an original idea and then the drive and commitment to make your business successful.  If you are willing to work hard and put your heart and soul into the business, you will achieve success.  It might not happen overnight, but it will happen eventually.  So what are you waiting for?

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