Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Start a Business Without Cash

After working your butt off for many years, you try to picture yourself of having your own business.  The retirement package that you will be receiving has already been allocated to pay off the remaining balance on the mortgage of the house and lot that you call home.  A modest amount will go to the bank as fallback in the months that you are not yet earning.  You suddenly realize that after all the allocations, there’s nothing left to start a business.

People going into business including myself have the mistaken notion that only those with enough capital will succeed in business.  On the contrary, a lot of big businessmen in the Philippines today like John Gokongwei, Jr. and Henry Sy started very small.  Theirs is a story of having the vision, hard work and grit.

When circumstances leave you with no choice but to start a business even if you have no cash investment to speak of, it is better to start small with something that you know.  It could be a hobby and try to develop it from there.  If you have a flair for cooking Bicol food, you can start by selling to your natural market like friends, relatives and neighbors.  These people would love to see you succeed and they will help you spread the word about your business.  When you are done selling to your natural market, you can go online.  You can create a Facebook fan page for free for your Bicol food business to reach more people and widen your market. Creating the fan page doesn’t only help you reach other people but you can also showcase your products and accept orders.  Register your business also with Multiply and/or Cashsense and for a minimal fee, you’re on your way to an online business.  

It will also help if you work from home.  If you can spare a room or small space for the business in your house, you free yourself from paying rental which you cannot afford at the moment. 
If you don’t have a hobby that you can turn into a lucrative undertaking, you can surf the internet for “work from home” jobs.  Though a “work from home” job is considered a zero capital business, it could be risky at times.  Just be careful with the company you deal with.  Some are legitimate but sadly there are also some which are not.

Another way to go into a zero capital business is to partner with a financier.  Look for somebody who would like to earn more than what he’s earning from the bank but doesn’t have the time and expertise to attend to the business.  Since this is your business idea, it would be best that your business idea deals with what you’re good at and at the same time where your network is.  Your knowledge about a particular business or industry is the best asset you can start with.  Remember that money is not the only form of capital.  Tapping into your network using your most powerful capital, relationships with the people in your network, will pave the way for a smooth switch from employee to entrepreneur.

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