Despite common belief, you don’t necessarily need money to make money, especially to start a home business. It is possible to start a home business to make extra cash or replace an income without a large financial investment. Here are tips for starting a home business if you’re broke.
1) Choose a home business that doesn’t require a huge investment.
Offering services (tutoring, consulting, baby sitting, etc), selling your used items, and creating information products are great low-cost home business ideas. Your only investment is time and use of tools and resources you probably already have, such as a computer. The result is that you can start today for nearly nothing.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
2) Choose a home business that you know.
The fastest way to make money is to tap into your current knowledge base. There is a learning curve to starting and running a business. Don’t slow yourself down by choosing a business idea that may be fun, but will take too much time for you to learn.
Choosing a business that you know means taking a skill or experience and turning it into a business. This can be something you’ve learned in your job, or it can be an interest or passion. For example, if you’re an administrative assistant, you can start a home-based virtual assistant business. If you have an interest in cooking, you can start a blog, create information products, or do YouTube videos related to cooking.
Read: Turn Your Hobby Into a Home Business for more ideas.
3) Use what you’ve got to build and run your home business.
There’s a temptation to buy a ton of new things to run your home business. While you might need to spend money on a few items or services, chances are, you can make do with what with you’ve already got. Don’t buy a new computer and expensive software. Even if your current computer and software don’t quite meet your needs, use them until you’re making money and can use some of your business profits to invest in the equipment you need.
The same goes for any other tools or resources you may need to get your business going such as office furniture and supplies; use what you have on hand, if possible, before investing in something new.
4) Borrow or barter for products and services.
There are ways to get the resources you need to build and run your business for nothing or a simple exchange. Barter in particular is growing in the small business sector as people trade their skills or products to get the services they need. For example, I once built a WordPress site for a friend of mine who was starting a home-based editing business in exchange for editing services.
5) Use free resources unless it compromises your professional appearance.
There are a host of free tools and services you can get online such as voicemail, fax services, blogs, conference calls, PDF file makers, audio editors and more. However don’t use free resources if it will sacrifice the quality of your products or services or undermine your credibility. For example don’t use a free web host for your business website as it tends to look unprofessional.
Here are some resources to help you:
6) Choose free and low-cost marketing tactics, such as business cards, blogs, email, social networking online and off, press releases and articles.
Today, there is a ton of free and low-cost resources that can help you market your home business. Just remember, you don’t want to sacrifice a professional image in an attempt to save money.
Here are some resources to check out:
7) Don’t spend everything you make.
If money is tight, you might feel compelled to spend everything you make. However, to support and grow a business, you need to reinvest some of the earnings into tools or services that can help you make more. The more you can leverage resources, automate tools, and get help, the more income you can earn. But often it costs money. So look at reinvesting your profits in resources and tools that can give you more time to do the money-making activities so you can earn more.
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Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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