When I first started my business, I had very little money in the bank. I took the small amount of money I had to invest in a simple web page, setup an email address and start selling marketing services.
Three years later, my business has grown and many others have asked me how they can start a business too on a low budget. Here are my tips on getting started with only a small amount of money to invest in your business.
1. Invest your initial funds in a website.
Think about something that you're good at. Then think about how you can use that skill to provide value to others. If you're good at writing, consider opening an agency that assists clients with copy. If you're good at teaching, consider teaching others a language or an instrument.
Once you have an idea for a service, take your initial funds and invest in a website. When I was closing my first sales, all I had was a very basic website. As more funds came in, I was able to develop the site and improve business. Today many out-of-the box solutions like Wix, Shopify and Squarespace exist that can have you up in running in under an hour.
2. Start a print-on-demand business.
I launched my second busienss on a shoestring with print on demand technology. With around $100, I found a designer who could help me design 3 mugs. After I had the designs, I put them up in an Etsy store and used print-on-demand technology like Printful, Gooten, and Teelaunch to fufill orders when they came in. If you have a design idea, print on demand sites allow you to place your image on thousands of products from mugs to yoga mats to dog bowls. The benefit of setting up an Etsy store is that there is no initial fee and you can move to your own website later on once you've proved market validation.
3. Invest in a business card.
After I had my website setup, I then ordered a stack of business cards. If you're in the service business, sometimes all it takes is a handshake and a business card to land a deal. If you're selling a service like programming or consulting, a business card can give you credibility you need when networking. Use a site like VisaPrint or Moo to pick up a nice stack of cards for less than $30.
If you have an extra $100 this year, you too can start your own business. Grab a website, get a business card--and get going.