We always hear our friends mention,” Starting a business requires a lot money and where to get the funds?” In my previous posts, I have mentioned that we need to have multiple sources of income, we need to increase our income in order to have surplus to invest for our retirement. We always complain our salary is stagnant year after year but we are not finding means to increase our income. By doing nothing means nothing will happen. Starting a business without money sounds like a good method to obtain additional income.
Tip 1 – Utilize Existing Resources
You can work from home, cafe or a library to run your business. Cafe and library will offer free air-con, electricity for charging laptop battery and WIFI. This can further save some utility bills. However, note that for Coffee Bean, you need to order drinks or food in order to work there. I was asked by one of the waitress to leave if I do not order. The cafe was not fully utilized at the time. If you have a spare room, you can rent it out permanently or post it online at Booking.com, www.airbnb.com, or hotels.com. If you have a car, you can use it to drive Uber, Grab or Gojek.
Tip 2 – Become a Broker
You serve as the middleman between the buyer and seller, adding value to the deal. For instance, my stock broker who is considered one of the best in Lim & Tan draws an annual net brokerage income of S$300k. Property agent can net annual commission of S$100k during a property bull market. Insurance agent or financial consultant can earn annual commission of S$100k if they work hard enough to meet people. As a broker, it is a business which you can start without any money but you need money to advertise, entertain, organize events and marketing materials. Recently, I am learning how to become a Joint Venture Broker. There is a new break through, I manage to match my friend and his sister to loan S$150k to a close friend for him to acquire a business. I assisted with the contract agreement and close the deal. Then I matched my close friend to an accountant friend because there is a need to audit the business’ books before acquisition. I used my negotiation and contract management skills to close both deals.
Tip 3 – Sell a Need
Sell a product or services which customer need. For instance, if you can teach tuition, you can motivate students to gain understanding and improve on their studies.
Tip 4 – Upfront payment
If you are able to get your customer to pay you upfront payment to cover the cost of product or services, it will be basically risk-free while waiting for the remaining payment.
Tip 5 – Joint Venture with Others
If you don’t want to put money upfront to start a business, you can propose to other party who has money to go into business together. However, you need to provide something the other party does not have. For instance, you have the right contacts, your partner put in the capital and each owns 50-50 % shares. It means you need to do more work to get more business than your other partner.
Tip 6 – Source for Free Business Equipment
Try to use Carousell, Gumtree, Craiglist and Facebook Marketplace. Barter trade your services for equipment, services or furniture.
Tip 7 – Don’t Quit Your Day Job
Do not quit your day job while you are building this side hustle. Your day job can help to buffer some of the cost of operating your business. When your side hustle’s income is more than your day job income, then make the jump. I was discussing this with my wife’s colleague, she shared the same sentiment, she has started Fulfillment By Amazon business but will not quit her day job. The day job gives her more resources to get more products to list on Amazon.
Tip 8 – Use Freelancers and Part Timers
Hire freelancers and part timers and services based on demand. Rent a venue for a specific meeting but do not commit to a monthly rental. This will not rack up your fix cost.
Tip 9 – Utilize Free Technology
This can be an article by itself. There is Twitter, Facebook, Instagram for social media. There is Linkedin for professional networking and business acquisition. There is Slack for communication. There is Evernote for note-taking and project planning. There is Wix.com and WordPress.com to provide free website services.
Tip 10 – Use Other People’s Money (OPM)
Remember Tip 2 where I helped my close friend to secure a loan of S$150k? My close friend is using this method to acquire another business without using his own capital. Using Other People’s Money is a way to start a business without using own money. My mentor is likely to start his Hedge Fund using OPM, an old friend is willing to invest S$500k for his OPEX to trade for 20% shares.
I used to have the wrong perception that I need a lot money to start a business. Instead it should be having the growth mindset, utilizing creative thinking to solve every new problems to achieve your objectives. You do not need a lot money to start a business, you need the mindset of bootstrapping your way to success. Start thinking and take massive actions.