“I have a brilliant business idea but I have no money to start” You pretty much have repeated this phrase countless times to your friends, family, colleagues, etc. Although it is true that having a large sum of money given to you by your parents, generous uncle or even “boo” can make starting out your business easy, you can however still start out without having a single naira.
As expected, you ‘re bursting with so much excitement for your Business idea. If you’re confident that your idea is a product or service that people want and need, then don’t allow a lack of capital deter you from your business goals. Here’s a few tips on how not to lose your enthusiasm.
1. Start with what you have. You’re low on income therefore you have to utilise every resource at your disposal. Consider your:
Skills – what you can do
Experience – what you’ve done in the past
Knowledge – what you know
Tangible resources – what you own and what/who you have access to
All of these are your human capital and they will be valuable when establishing your business.
2. If your business idea is service oriented, then that makes it easy. Offer your services for free to people who have a large network of contacts, so they can refer business to you. Don’t do free work for just anyone. One mention by the right person can get you noticed by a large group of potential customers.
3. You don’t have to know a celebrity before people know about your business. Harness your ties with influential YouTube personalities and bloggers to your advantage. Drop a sample of your product in their mail and ask for a review.
4. Take into account those you know.Combine what you have with whom you know. Whether family, friends, social media followers, Take stock of the relationships you have made, your network of connections and consider how they could enable you use what you have more effectively.
5. Take advantage of freebies. There are a thousand and one free resources to use while you’re starting out from websites, to social media tools, logos, e-mail marketing etc to get you readily started. Here are a few brands that offer free plans:
Website builders: WordPress // Wix // Weebly
Social media tools: Buffer // Hootsuite // Social Mention // Click to Tweet
Photo editors: PicMonkey // Canva
Email marketing: MailChimp
Invoicing: Free Invoice Generator // Invoice To Me // Slimvoice
Logos: Hipster Logo Generator
Writing: Hemingway // Grammarly
Cloud storage: Dropbox // Google Drive
6. Get the word out. The best-run businesses in the world will fail if nobody knows it exists. Right now you might not be able to afford TV, billboards, Radio, Newspaper adverts but you have the full potential to reach your customers through a successful social media campaign. Social media is the best way to build your brand, share your unique story and connect with people who care. No matter what you’re selling or who you’re selling to, your business needs social media presence because all your customers are online and so are your competitors and did we mention that it is absolutely free?
7. Find your customers. Go to where your potential customers hang out. Give free advice. Be helpful and resourceful. Browse social media for users who could use your product. Search for hashtags on Twitter and Instagram that are related to your business. Also, join relevant online forums like Quora, Facebook and LinkedIn groups.