First, find a good business idea that require little or no money to launch and that will also provide a positive cash flow from the very beginning.
Second, try to get the company stakeholders – customers, suppliers and employees – to fund your venture. Customers might agree to prepay, suppliers might agree longer credit times, and employees might agree to work for free in exchange for stock options?
Third, develop strategic partnerships where you get access to important resources for free. These can include marketing support from media in exchange for content, large numbers of clients at companies in exchange for substantive price cuts, blog visibility in return for sample products etc.
Maybe this is not so groundbreaking but it is a sure way to get a company off the ground without cash or with little cash. Most businesses are actually built this way and in time some of them become really successful and it is most often achieved by addressing a local market and improving something there, adding a product or service not yet present and – most important – working all those long hours that are required to enter and succeed on that market.
Here is a short list of some business ideas for a person with limited capital:
- Do what others do, just do it better
- Copy business concepts from other markets
- Import and sell new products
- Improve sourcing to get better prices
- Use exiting tools to reach a much larger market
- Reorganise local markets
- Use new technology to improve existing businesses
- Improve service levels in existing businesses
- Extend business hours
- Build a superior and customer focused sales process
- Apply existing technology in new ways
My all-time favourite example is Michael Dell’s manufacture on order system that made Dell Computers a world success.
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