Last Updated: Sept 22, 2018
There are more ways to build a business out there than we know of. In fact, I’ll now show you how to start a startup with no money.
We live in the best possible time to create a business out of nothing, start earning money in no time and build our personal brands.
Not only that, but you can do it at no cost or for less than $100. Initial capital is not a factor anymore when we talk about building startups and being your own boss.
One thing hasn’t changed, though. And that’s the hard work that needs to be invested.
You’ll have to do some thinking and then hustle for some time, and that will be before you see any money coming in. But if you do it right, you can change your life and become a successful entrepreneur.
Here are 10 ways to start a startup and create such a lifestyle for yourself:
How to Start a Startup with No Money
1. Find a gap in the marketplace and fill it.
There are many people who travel all the time, for example, and yet don’t know how to get discounts, collect points and become special members of the airline they use the most.
Most location independent entrepreneurs, or just travel enthusiasts and frequent flyers, do it for almost no money because they know where to look, when the right time is, how to ask for it, and so on.
Other people would love to do that but simply don’t know how, don’t have the time to do a research and talk with airline service assistant for hours, aren’t good with the technical or financial side of this, or else.
If you know more than them, and are traveling often anyways, you can fix that problem. You can help them save time and money, and make it a win-win situation.
Create a site and offer a product or service to share the necessary information so that people can avoid the hassle and travel cheaply from now on.
Make a webinar, offer them a long phone call, create a course, videos, or whatever makes it easier and most comfortable for them to learn the stuff.
Almost every niche has such a gap. Your job is to find what’s missing and offer value. People would gladly pay for your help, eventually, you can start a startup from this.
2. Build a niche site.
You don’t need to be a marketing expert to know how to start a startup with no money and succeed with it.
All you need to do is find a topic – that’s the tricky part, though. It needs to be specific, not a broad niche. Do keyword research but take your time, because that will be what you’ll structure your site around.
It must be a key phrase that has enough monthly searches but for which there’s not much competition. Once you find it, make sure there are products on Amazon related to it that are making money. Check if it’s profitable to monetize through advertising too.
You don’t need to know anything about the topic, but needless to say it will be much easier if you’re passionate about it.
Otherwise, you’ll have to read a lot, gather information and see how others are doing it, and create at least a few pages for the site to exist. And preferably add a blog to it which you’ll update frequently. (I made $4,775 blogging last month, so this could turn out to be pretty profitable too).
Once you start ranking for the chosen keyword and other terms close to it, and start getting traffic, you can think about monetizing. Maybe create an information product and offer it there, or put adds on the site.
Check out these resources to help you build your website:
How to Start a Profitable Blog – This step-by-step guide to starting a blog is a must for everyone who wants to start earning online and become self-employed. Having your own blog is the first step to selling products, making money from affiliate marketing, building a name for yourself, getting traffic and monetizing that attention.
Blogging Resources – To build a powerful site that turns visitors into buyers and monetize it well, you will need the right tools. In my Blogging Resources page, I’ve gathered the best of the best and the exact tools I’ve used to grow Let’s Reach Success and be able to make a full-time living as a location independent freelance writer.
Mag – the premium theme I’m using for Let’s Reach Success.
How to Optimize Your Site to Increase Ad Revenue [Making Money with Mediavine] – One of my recurring revenue streams here on the blog comes from ads. In this post, I discuss signing up with Mediavine and how to start creating new and updating old content so that you can double your income from ads on your blog.
3. Affiliate marketing.
Create a niche site and monetize it by offering products visitors may be interested in. Every time a purchase is made, you’ll receive a commission.
Many people are making six figures a month just by promoting other people’s services or Amazon products. You can do the same.
Again, your expenses will be for web hosting. Then, it’s your job to create content and get people to your site, where you’ll offer them the affiliate products.
That can happen by writing long, informative articles so that they can rank higher in search engines and people can easily find your website. You can also use blog directories, write for bigger sites for free in other to promote yours, use social media, etc.
All this is free, the price you pay is the time and energy spent on all these activities.
One of the best ways to learn stuff is through online courses. I’m always growing my freelance writing and blogging business, for example, and recently purchased a course on affiliate marketing – Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. It’s helping me add yet another income stream to my monthly income.
4. Offer your services online.
Whatever your profession in real life is, you can turn it into your own business by doing what you do online.
If you’re a lawyer, accountant, travel guide, chef, gardener, or else, you’ve got plenty of knowledge and experience to share with others.
Set up a site and start creating quality content, be it in written form, video or audio format, people interested in the field are always looking for advice, hacks, news, etc.
How to start a startup with no money, in this case? Once you build a reputation, you’ll start charging for that. Many people have quit their regular jobs this way and still kept doing what they had specialized in.
For a start, use sites like Freelancer.com or UpWork.com. It’s completely free to register and use them with a basic membership plan.
Can you code, write, design or translate? There are plenty of other sites online where all you need to do is create a profile and find clients.
Work hard, build a portfolio, and in time you can turn it into your own business, start a startup, and get 100% of what you earn.
If these aren’t your fields, maybe you can help someone with their site, can build a social media strategy for a small company, or proofread books people have already written.
I created a free course sharing my journey to making more than $4,000/month blogging. It all began with freelancing and you can use this course to follow the steps I took to become a freelancer with no experience and earn my first income online.
5. Make something more available for people.
Want another answer to the question ‘How to start a startup with no money?’ Offer convenience, and you’ll be paid.
People haven’t even thought of choosing a car to buy online, but now they can be given all the details and even the whole experience while in front of the screen.
What else can you think of someone would gladly pay for that will offer convenience?
6. Give exclusive information.
If you’re a traveler and want to find out how to start a startup with no money, go to a place that’s not popular yet, gather all the information about it, talk to locals, make videos and share your experience.
Then offer all that to people who have been thinking of going there but weren’t sure. Add to that the best flight offers, leisure time activities, places to stay and food to eat, and you have a golden opportunity.
7. Teach people how to do something.
Any skill can be broken down into small, easy tasks that will help anyone learn anything.
Difficult ones like coding, which are also most profitable and desired these days, can be turned into a set of tiny steps to take for a month before a person can move to another level, for example.
Or be it writing, design, accounting, learning a foreign language, making jewelry, etc.
Anything can be taught through videos, lectures, presentations, and even be a reason for you to start a startup when the business scales.
When you know what you’re doing and find the right medium for yourself to share your knowledge, people would use your services to learn a new skill.
If you’re ready to take action in this direction, you can create a course and sell it on Udemy, for example.
The platform offers simple ways to upload PDF files, PowerPoint presentations or YouTube videos and turn them into a course, which you’ll then publish into the Udemy marketplace. You don’t need to pay anything to become an instructor and create a course, and you get 50% of what you make.
8. Sell your crafts.
If you’re a creative individual, like making things and are doing it anyways, why not earn money from that?
Many stay-at-home mums are selling their homemade goods on sites like Etsy (mine too, actually). You can also do it if you’re a photographer, cook, painter, jewelry maker, etc.
If not, you can start a startup with no money today.
See what people are looking for and target a specific niche. Be it gift cards, Christmas decoration, photo frames, wedding accessories, or anything else. Buy some supplies (for less than $100 for a start) and start selling.
If people like your items, you’ll invest more and earn more, and eventually move to your own online store.
9. Podcasting/making YouTube videos.
These are other ways to create and share content online on a topic you’re passionate or know a lot about. If you’re confident in front of camera, or prefer talking instead of writing, choose this.
Start giving away content for some time, make it quality and informative, let people come back for more and build a community.
When you’ve got enough listeners/viewers, you can reach out to sponsors. Sell ad spaces, mention names, products and sites throughout the show/video, give direct links, etc.
Making and uploading videos is free, but you need to be more tech-savvy in order to make them high-quality.
As for podcasting, it’s a good idea to buy a good microphone first (like this one), to download Audacity for free (an open source, cross-platform audio editor and recorder), and then upload each episode on iTunes.
10. Virtual assistance.
If you can’t think of anything else but are eager to start making money and eventually build a business, then assist people with their work.
Complete tasks connected to email filtering, content creation, web design, optimization, social media promotion, doing research, connecting with clients, booking appointments, updating stuff, analyzing competition, creating reports, making presentations, answering calls, etc.
You don’t need any experience or knowledge to do all this, but after doing it for some time you’ll get to see what businesses are all about. And when you feel ready, you’ll start a startup on your own.
Again, you can use any site out there that’s created to connect clients with freelancers, make a profile and apply for the jobs offered there daily.
The digital world is full of opportunities, and new ones are being created daily. Working from home and making money online are two completely normal things these days.
The Internet is big enough and people are spending more and more money there. There’s enough room for anyone’s new lifestyle business and if you work hard enough, you deserve a piece of the pie.
Do you have any other idea on how to start a startup with no money? What can you do today to start turning it into reality for less than $100?