Building a Business From Nothing

Mar 26, 2021

Seeing yourself on the cusp of a big shift in work life? After years of working the daily grind and barely saving, or seeing your funds depleted by expenses accompanying unexpected life circumstances, the thought of learning how to start a business with close to zero capital may have hit you.

Is it even possible to start a business with no cash at hand? It all begins with goal-setting. With only minimal funds, most go-getting individuals have considered any of a thousand small business ideas they can focus on and grow. 

If you are low on cash but high on skills, you may want to choose from tried-and-tested ideas for opening small businesses that have low overhead costs. You may have what it takes to be a blogger, for example, or virtual assistant, or  a “microentrepreneur” which is any of a number of positions available through the gig economy.

Passion and drive

With the pandemic and accompanying health risks out there, now may be the best time to buckle down to building  a home-based business from scratch – one you are passionate about and entails a work process you can see yourself sustaining day after day. While starting a business with no money may get off the ground even if you are cash-strapped, the startup business owners who last and thrive have a common denominator: they have the knack to search for resources to achieve their goal.

Somewhere along the way, those enterprising individuals with a project in mind would need a financial boost. This may be in the form of a business partner, or potential financiers who would believe in them (especially if they have a concrete plan to create value for both the business venture and for customers) and see a good return on investment, prompting them to shell out the needed money to start a business.

Indeed, it does not require rocket science to figure out how to start a business with no money. Before anything else, and alongside setting a major goal, take the time to assess your dominant traits and the skill sets that the business requires. For instance, are you the creative type, or one who can produce orders within a set timeframe? Setting aside time to create something you enjoy to earn extra bucks  is different from making a living out of it.

Know your way around

As a US-based site that dishes out advice for business startups says, the skills you have honed are, more often than not, “the foundation of great business ideas.” Zero in on what you know best.  To illustrate, one of the popular ways of kickstarting business with no money is by knowing one’s way around a technology or platform, and investing time and other resources developing it in a way that would appeal to a target market. 

For example, lots of Pinoys love sharing their experiences and encounters through vlogging. Some are worth listening to, while others are ho-hum. If you happen to enjoy all the videoing and taping, and can rely on yourself or an associate to upload your videos onto a social media platform like YouTube to gain followers, then vlogging may become a lucrative venture for you. As the views increase, so may the revenues – over time.

Content creation is but one of the surefire ways to generate business money. Have a knack for selling? Many successful online sellers started out offering their own creations online, and when these click, they just keep doing it. Online food sellers, online floral and gifting companies, furniture sellers, consultants are but some of good ideas for starting a business from home with no money.

Even without cash at hand, self employment ideas with low start that can evolve into something big rest on some essential things, and all of these require the individual’s time:

First, build your professional portfolio and be ready to share it. Second, earn people’s  trust, which should cover both your potential business partners and clients. Third, transform these into an ongoing profitable business. In order to carry out the third part, you need to gather all your courage while also leaning into your support systems, doing your homework, and utilizing free tools or resources that abound online.

Learning from the best businesses to start with no money also has payoffs. Check out how very successful business ventures started out with merely a unique selling proposition, and then tested the idea in the marketplace. In the New York Times bestselling book, “The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Business,” entrepreneur-author Eric Ries stated that the similarity of a startup operating under extreme uncertainty and a big corporate entity is that they both seek to  penetrate that fog of uncertainty and “discover a successful path to a sustainable business.” One of the keys is by leveraging human creativity more effectively.

Also crucial is to get your product and service out there, but learn when to stop – when the revenues just do not come. There are lots of insights to glean from seasoned professionals when learning how to start a business from nothing.

Take the case of the clothing and lifestyle brand Big Blue, which ran small experiments and tested the waters before setting out to invest more fully in a strategy. The idea is not to risk too much, yet stay open to innovation. Entrepreneurs James Robertson and Philip Cronje lived frugally to avoid cash flow strain on their business, and only opened a single store each year using internal profits.

Another strategy that successful entrepreneurs have adopted back when they were still learning how to start a business was to train people and delegate tasks. They spot top talents and allow them to run things the way they should be. For most businesses, systems and processes were the only way the business would be able to scale. Business owners need to  free up their  time to focus on growing the business and staying attuned to the market pulse.

To invest on people and upskill them, small startup entrepreneurs, of course, may require trusted specialists. On the financing side, turn to trusted peer-to-peer lending platforms like You can customize your business loan to fit your financial purpose and translate your dream business to reality. Whether you are already a legitimate business owner or still mapping out starting a business with no money, you can touch base with a loan specialist.