|Starting a business with no money
Money is so ubiquitous and important in our lives that there is hardly anybody on the planet that has not either spent money or had money spent on them. The popular saying goes: “money makes the world go round”. Well, not literally but in the sense that the global economy is based on it as a measure of value and a means of transaction. It is the reason for which most of us work; we need the money to meet our basic needs which according to Abraham Maslow are: food, clothing, shelter and sex.
The world faces a huge unemployment problem which makes it impossible for every individual who is willing and able to work to find a job. Shall these people starve as a result? Unfortunately, some do but most try and create something for themselves like a small business. This leads us nicely to the theme of this article; starting a business without money. You might wonder if this is possible. It is and millions if not billions of people around the world have done it throughout history and so can you.
You should start by understanding the concept of value. Value is the totality of the intrinsic and extrinsic appreciation that people either have for or place on an item, person or business. It is reflected in many forms; respect, admiration, love, goodwill and yes – money.
Now that we have a definition of the concept of value, we can move swiftly to how you can earn it without having money. Society places value on people, things and businesses that make life easier. Hence, children value their parents for the care and protection they provide, employers value their employees for the work they do to promote their business, employees value their employers for the remuneration they provide in exchange for work done and so on.
The challenge for you as an aspiring entrepreneur with zero capital is to give value to people so that they can appreciate it in many ways including money. This is not very difficult because we are all born with talent and tend to acquire skills over time. You need to do a little soul-searching and identify your talents and skills. They do not have to be unique but you must be willing to deploy them to the benefit of others.
Having identified your talent and skills, the next step is to present them where they are needed. This you can do easily by volunteering, whilst many people and organisations cannot afford to employ workers, they are often willing to engage volunteers who work for nothing or next-to-nothing. However, it can and should be a mutually beneficial relationship because both parties are working together to add value to the society at large and the more successful they are in achieving their objectives, the more valuable they become.
Now, you have created some value for yourself based on your talent and skills, the next step is to develop them to the level that people will be willing to pay for them consistently which is what virtually every business does. Learn from your experience as a volunteer and leverage on your newly acquired networks. For example, let us say you volunteer to clean your local community hall every week, this gives you access to people that manage and use the hall for different functions. You can get a cardboard and some writing material to create your own handwritten posters with a copy like: “Hardworking and efficient cleaner for your home and office is available”, please call ************.”
Even if you do not have a phone, you can get the permission of the hall manager or security guard to use theirs and they can refer you to prospective clients that call in regard to your advert. Believe it or not, you just started a business and with the income you make, you can get your own phone and type your next set of posters on A4 paper from a business centre. By the time the demand grows, you can get assistants and before you think too much about it, you could be an employer.
There are so many other ideas that you can develop, it all relates to your desire and willingness to add value. If you think of value first, money will follow in due course provided that you are diligent and trustworthy. Not having capital to start should not be an excuse for failing to start an enterprise and the sooner more people around the world realise this, the better for all of us.
So, what do you think about the tips I have shared in this post? Let me know by dropping a comment below.