Usually, people think that you need to boost a lot of money to build a successful online business. However, in this day of age, that’s not true. You don’t need investment capital money to get your startup off the ground.
You can do it with little to no money. I’ve created several successful online businesses without any funding. Somewhat because I was young and had no money! Let’s take a look at how you can start a business with limited to no funding.
Begin with a Smallest Viable Product
A Minimum Viable Product is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.
To create your MVP, answer these questions:
- What is the core function of this startup idea?
- How are you adding value?
- Who are you adding value to? In other words, who will pay for it?
Take Advantage of Free
The freemium business model has taken off over the last decade. Which means there are plenty of professional tools that you can use for free (at least when you are starting out).
Here are some brands that offer a free plan:
Email marketing: MailChimp
Logos: Hipster Logo Generator
A/B testing: Optimizely
If the service you’re interested in doesn’t have a free plan, sign up for a free trial. Then hustle to make your first sale before the trial expires.
Alternatively, you can always ask for a review copy in exchange for a testimonial or another service. If you are dealing with a startup, then this works well. You’ll be surprised by how much you can get for free by just asking!
Get the Word Out
While i launch a new product, I email friends, family and former colleagues. I actually reach out to people on social media. Speak to everyone you know. Really not really a hard sell. If you’re just keeping them in the loop.
Offer to let your friends use your product for free. Then request referrals. Discover Where Your clients Are Move to where your potential customers hang out. Offer free advice. Be helpful and become resource.
Visit web forums and answer questions. Become an active contributor on Reddit.
Post answers to Q&A style sites like:
Search social media for users who could use your product. Search for Tweets hashtags related to your business. Join relevant Facebook . com and LinkedIn groups. In other words, HUSTLE!
It will help you establish yourself as an authority and be seen by your target audience. Once you build trust and credibility, buying your product might be a no-brainer.
Fact of Social Sharing
You need momentum to reach a huge audience, and the least simple way to do it is by offering an incentive to users who promote your products.
- Foursquare achieved a million downloads available in 13 months.
- Facebook.com took 10 months to reach a million people.
- Spotify reached its millionth user in 5 weeks.
- Instagram was downloaded a thousand times in less than 3 months.
This fast adoption is merely possible with social sharing.
At the time you email subscribers, ask them to forward your email to an friend.
Offer a discount. Create a free special offer (using a tool like Rafflecopter).
Use anything that you can for your advantage to get users sharing your product on social media.
Search out which websites has your target customers. Narrow the list from smaller sites to popular sites with large audiences.
Start achieving out to smaller websites because those are much easier to get started with. Recommend 2-3 guest blog ideas highly relevant to their readers.
In that case write down thier best blog post that you can to help their readers. Remember, don’t sell!
In your bio, they will will include a link to your website. Should you added great value in your article, then the visitors will surely check out the stuff. Once you have built a relationship with this blogger, then ask them if you will offer their readers an unique offer.
When you become a source of their community rather than yet another schmuck trying to sell their product, you will earn the blogger’s trust. After that they is going out of their way to say your products and services with their customers. When you having several awesome guest blog discussions through your belt, then you can start your outreach to larger blogs.
Offer to Work for Free
If you have a service provided company, you should develop some social proof. One of the easiest way to do it is by giving away free work in exchange for testimonials. Social proof is great and powerful.
Don’t do free work for just anyone. Look for people who have a large network of contacts, so they can refer business to you. You don’t need to be a celebrity to harness their power. You can build relationships with influential YouTube personalities and bloggers. Drop a sample of your product in the mail and ask for a review.
One mention by the right person can get you noticed by a large group of potential customers.
Every time I start a business, I operate under the assumption that I have $0 mainly because that’s how I got my start. This forces me to hustle and not take any opportunity for granted.
If you’re looking to start a business online, then you don’t need a lot of money. I’m a living proof of that. If you work hard and smart, then you can successfully execute your startup idea with little to no funding.