We’ve all heard the saying “it takes money to make money” time an time again. For most, including myself, hearing that did nothing but discourage. I had no money, sometimes not even enough to cover my basic living expenses. All I had were ideas, aspirations and some skills I’d either learned or taught myself over time.

So now, how do you start to make money if you don’t have any of your own? Use someone else’s.

To be fair I am going to backtrack a little because there are steps you must take before you can go around asking people for their money to fund your new business.

Here’s are five things you need to do or can do (none of which require you to fork up any cash).

  1. Solidify your business idea, and make sure you understand what you’re trying to sell before you ask for funding. Create a business plan or proposal geared towards the individual or organization you will target. Keep in mind that funding is not always in the form of loans, you can ask for sponsorships and partnerships which will lower your risk to almost zero!
  2. Identify your target market, these are the people who you are going to offer your service or product to. These are your end users or end buyers.
  3. Research every possible way you can get what you are looking for at no cost to you. Something as simple as Googling “how to get a free [insert what you want here] in [insert the city here]” might turn up  some cool and clever search results that will start you on your journey.
  4. Barter what you can! Do you have a skill or service that may be valuable to someone else who has access to something crucial to starting your business? Every person has a skill or talent that is almost impossible for someone else. It’s just a matter of finding was you can add value and then finding the people who you can help!
  5. Borrow borrow borrow. (Not Money) Let’s say you simply don’t have a computer but the business you want to start is online based. Is there someone you know that  has a computer they can lend you for a few hours a day? Work out a deal with them to split your profits, this way you aren’t paying any money up front for a brand new computer.

I am positive there is a way to start whatever business you are interested in for free in some way shape or form. It just takes a bit of unconventional thinking, some serious passion and focus! Depending on what your idea is it might take a bit more effort on your part to figure some of this out. However, it’s not impossible.
I recently heard of a person who started a Restaurant for FREE while listening to an episode of the ChooseFI Podcast! If that person can do it…so.can.you!.

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