How to Start a Business Without Money

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Developing a profitable business concept is the first step in starting a business without money. Getting startup capital is the other half of the battle.

Don’t abandon your business concept just because you’ve never started one or can’t find capital. There are several opportunities to get funding and launch a company with no initial investment. More importantly, your entrepreneurial mentality is the key to business success. This means you’ll need to stay innovative and patient while you test different aspects of the company.

The Commerce Institute reports that over 5 million businesses were initiated by entrepreneurs in 2022. Use this guide to join others who have started a business with little or no required investment.

How to Start Business With No Money

There are six tried-and-true steps that you can take to start a company without capital.

1. Research and Choose a Business Concept

If you can’t think of free business concepts right off the top of your head, consider any of the following:

  • Sell a skill
  • Sell digital products
  • Sell handcrafted products
  • Dropshipping
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Print on demand

Sell a Skill

Do you have a skill set that you enjoy and can make money from? Perhaps you’re a good writer. If so, you can make money by creating content for other people’s websites. The average copywriter’s annual salary in the United States is $58,666. And best of all, this type of skillset allows you to work remotely. Three other profitable skill sets that people can make money from by turning them into businesses include:

  • Virtual assisting
  • Freelance writing
  • Online marketing

You don’t have to be a guru or master a skillset to make money from it. As you begin providing a skill as a service, you’ll learn how to refine it, meaning you can charge even higher rates once you become an expert.

Never underestimate the value of providing even the simplest of services. People pay others well all the time to perform tasks you may be skilled at, like:

  • Cleaning homes and offices
  • Pet sitting
  • Personal shopping
  • Vehicle detailing

Don’t dismiss any of the above-recommended enterprises for fear of breaking even or losing money. Every skill is worth money. The average home cleaner makes roughly $29,960 a year. That’s over $500 a week. Animal care and pet sitters make about the same while vehicle detailing can earn you up to $43,520 or more a year if you establish yourself as a top earner. 

Sell Digital Products

All you need to create and sell digital products is an internet connection. Think of an area in which you have a lot of knowledge. Next, use Google to do some research about what topics people search for the most relating to your chosen area.

For example, you may have a lot of knowledge about raising puppies. You can put your knowledge into the format of an e-book and then sell the book online. This may be a good option because digital products produce repeat income. You can sell the same book repeatedly to multiple customers. Data from Ziprecruiter says e-book authors earn around $35/hour. That’s over $72,000 a year. 

Sell Handcrafted Products

If you prefer a more hands-on approach to starting a business with no money, consider turning a hobby into a business. You can craft everything from skin care products to artwork and sell the items online. Some of the most profitable handmade items to sell online include:

  • Woodworking products
  • Paintings
  • Jewelry
  • Home Decor
  • Pillows
  • Beauty products


With dropshipping, you create a website and turn it into an online store by partnering with a dropshipping supplier. Two of the more popular dropshipping suppliers that people have found success with are AliExpress and DSers.

With this business method, you don’t have to mess with any product development, packing, or shipping. Instead, the dropshipper handles everything for you. All you have to do is market the products and get people to purchase them through your website. Once they make a purchase, the purchasing information gets forwarded to the dropshipper, who ships the product.

The best way to make money from dropshipping is to avoid bulky and fragile items. Easy-to-use, creative novelty items tend to sell better than ordinary items that you can get at a local store.

Some other great dropshipping items to make money from include:

  • Footwear
  • Pet supplies
  • Office products
  • Home decor
  • Phone accessories
  • Personal care

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a fast and easy way to start a business if you have a knack for writing but no initial capital. All you need is a website. You can use Weebly or WordPress to create a website. It’s much easier than most people think. Developing content for a website is the only somewhat tricky part. However, with affiliate marketing, you’ll automatically know what topics to cover.

With the Amazon Affiliate Program, you search for whatever products you’d like and then use a tool at the top of the webpage to create affiliate links. You then incorporate these links into the content on your website and earn money each time a person uses one of the links to make a purchase.


The print-on-demand industry is worth almost $5 billion. You can capitalize on this data by creating an online print-on-demand business.

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly contributed to the expansion of the print-on-demand industry. As more individuals started working from home, purchases of personalized home decor and comfort items, in particular, increased. The market for home decor items is projected to grow faster than any other print-on-demand segment from now through 2030. Using this information, you can choose products for dropshipping that are most likely to generate profit, including items like:

  • Pillows
  • Rugs
  • Posters
  • Picture frames
  • Cushions
  • Bedsheets
  • Alarm clocks

Print-on-demand is a lot like dropshipping. You create a website offering products with personalization options and market the website. When people make orders through the site, the payments go directly to you, and their orders automatically go to a print-on-demand service provider like Printful. You use the money collected through customer payments to pay Printful. The service provider then creates the item and ships it directly to the customer.

2. Develop a Written Business Strategy

Your business needs a blueprint. Many startup investors require you to show them a business plan to secure funding. A blueprint is also helpful for many other reasons, especially for marketing. To create a blueprint, you’ll need to include the following information:

  • Description of the business: Explain the business, including the company’s mission.
  • Customer demographics: Discuss who you will market the products to, including their ages, locations, income levels, and interests.
  • List of products and services: List all products and services you intend to profit from and why you think people will purchase them.
  • Strategic marketing plan: Indicate whether people are already buying products and services like yours and how you aim to secure paying customers. List all the platforms you intend to use for advertising.
  • Logistics data: Include whether you will use any wholesaler or dropshipping services. Discuss how your products and services will make their way from your inventory to paying customers.
  • Funding and budgeting information: Explain how you intend to spend all business money, including startup capital and profits. Describe how you will use profits to reinvest and grow the company.

3. Pick a Business Name

You need a company name before you can start advertising. If you change the name at a later time, it will require extensive work, including revising all product labels, website text, and other data. To avoid this, choose a name that signals scalability and growth, is easy to remember, and is catchy enough to make an impression on buyers. There are all kinds of free online business name generators that you can use to help you come up with a snappy and profitable name.

4. Publish a Website

Once you choose a business name, you can create a website and your social media handles. Your website and social media profiles are crucial to your online marketing efforts. Keep your social handles the same across all social platforms for brand consistency, to build customer awareness, and to increase revenue by up to 23%.

While free web hosting is available, it’s recommended to launch a site with paid hosting that generates in-depth analytical reports. You want a dot-com domain name for your website because it enhances consumer trust, which helps you rank better on search engines and secure more traffic for your site.

When analyzing website and social media marketing effectiveness, the following metrics are the most important:

  • Views
  • Impressions
  • Engagement rate
  • Click-through rate
  • Audience growth rate
  • Virality rate
  • Amplification rate
  • Conversion rate

5. Validate Your Concepts

Getting any business up and running smoothly always requires quite a bit of trial and error. The goal is to test several ideas to see which ones work better, which ones don’t, and which ones to focus on growing. Establishing periods of pre-orders is one of the best ways to test your business ideas.

With pre-ordering, you market a product that isn’t yet available and use the funds secured through pre-ordering to create and distribute it once it’s ready. Marketing pre-orders is an excellent way to conduct market research. You can see how many people are interested in specific items before launching a business around them.

6. Find Finding for Expansion

Scaling a business dramatically affects how long it will last and how much money you earn. Even if you start a business without money or little capital, you’ll eventually want funding to help it grow.

Several ways to fund a new business are:

  • Small business loans: With good credit, you can secure thousands of dollars for a startup through a business loan. Small business loans are aimed at those with established companies and proof of revenue.
  • Crowdfunding: Raise money through crowdfunding and secure small donations from thousands of people around the globe. Two of the best places to crowdsource funding are SeedInvest and Kickstarter.
  • Small business grants: Research small business grants for your company and secure funding that you don’t have to pay back. Most of these funds come from the government as one-time lump sums.
  • Capital investors: Use the internet and business associates to find angel investors. These people provide cash to businesses in return for shares in the company’s equity.

Money Isn’t Necessary to Start a Company

Millions of people create successful businesses yearly, and there’s no reason you can’t be one of them. When you start from scratch, you can take your business anywhere you want.

Contact American Business Credit now to explore our long-term business loans, working capital loans, unsecured business loans, business lines of credit, and startup business loans. Today is the day to plant your business idea and help it grow.

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I am so glad I found ABC, every company or lender I talked to told me we needed to have revenue on our business to get a loan, well we are a start up, and need the loan to get started generating revenue. ABC was able to get us funded at great rates in a short amount of time. I definitely plan on using them again as our business grows!
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Amazing! Kina Jackson was sooooo helpful and made the process a breeze! We weren't sure what we could get as a start-up and needed a ton of equipment to get our business going. Kina dug deep and found us what we needed to fund our equipment needs and we can't thank her enough! Thanks again Kina and American Business Credit! Stop by the store next time you're in Vegas! - Erik Rogers, Veg-In-Out Market
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Kina was amazing to work with. As a new business owner and limited credit history, she really went to bat to ensure my business plan was heard by the lenders, so they felt confident in investing with me. Highly recommend!!

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