There are thousands, if not millions of young people who aspire to start their own business and make it to Forbes’ 30 under 30 award list or any of such awards in their countries. Entrepreneurship seems to be the new cool thing every young person wants to try their hands on hence the upsurge of numerous startups, social enterprises and businesses.
However, one of the most frequent excuses aspiring entrepreneurs encourage aside imposter syndrome and the lack of time, is the absence of money/capital or the assuming inadequacy thereof. They seem to believe that they can start a successful business once they have capital or enough money and in this case, enough money is usually beyond 10,000 dollars. You know, they have this ambiguous or perhaps well thought out plan in their head which cannot just translate into a feasible business without the desired capital. This explains why there are thousands of people competing for funding or crowdsourcing funds for their future businesses.
On the flipside, other young people have exercised courage and ventured into their own businesses with little or no capital. Here are 5 tips on how to start your business without enough money as advised by Richmond Anim Damoah (CEO – RAD Communications Limited).
- Start with your immediate resources and skills: As a budding entrepreneur, it is expedient for you to note that you are the most significant resource you can ever have if you want to start your business. You need to understand that your mind is your first resource hence you need to harness it by identifying the problem you want your business to solve or the need you want the business to meet. Once your mind figures this out clearly, you can then move on to explore how your skills can help you launch the business. Instead of starting with the mindset of outsourcing every single item, why not begin with the skills you have. Exhaust your skills first and don’t be cowered by imposter syndrome.
Invest your time: There is no way other people will invest their time into your novel business when you don’t put in the work. Make time to work out the baby stages of your business. For instance, if you are starting a food business, you need to make time to practice your cooking skills, contact other people who might need your services etc. Offer to make food for your friends at a small fee and let them give you feedback. Ask them to recommend you to other people. Fundamentally, ensure that you use your free time to launch the business.
Employ the Bootstrapping technique: ‘Bootstrapping is building a company from the ground up with nothing but personal savings, and with luck, the cash coming in from the first sales.’ Launching the business with your own money (savings) makes it easier for you to prioritise what you need to use the money for. Having a meagre amount of money ensures that you apply the funds wisely and it gives you a sense of urgency to act and act fast. You begin to scout for some of the best deals which your money can cater for and it helps you to get rid of frivolous spending habits.
Don’t be scared to partner with other people: If you note that you cannot afford to start the business from scratch, don’t be scared to partner with someone who’s already in the same area. For instance, ‘you want to start a kenkey business but you don't have money for kenkey. What you need to do is to go to someone who makes kenkey and negotiate with the person to let you sell and bring the money after.’ You can adjust the price to ensure that you can make some profits for yourself after selling.
Start with a big mindset of succeeding in spite of impending setbacks: You need to be focused on making the business work in spite of whatever setbacks you may encounter. That way, you can be assured of always having something you can gradually rebuild when all goes south.
Background: Richmond Anim Damoah is the CEO of RAD Communications Limited (a total communications, events and marketing company). He also is an SDG Goal 4 & 5 advocate, a STEM enabler through the STEM Woman Project and the STEMWorld Media and a passionate women empowerment advocate. Richmond is passionate about leadership, entrepreneurship, technology Innovation, education and People Development.
Written by Ivy E. M. Agbozo, Openspace contributor.