So you’re thinking of starting your own small business but you don’t have any money? This is a much more common scenario than you might expect and because of that there are ingenuous way to get you started.
1. The grid
Set up an Instagram account for your small business, it really has become a go to place for shoppers searching for those unique products from independents and you can administer payments via DMs – simple! You may want to read my blog post ‘How to start an online business in 2021’ after this one.
2. Stock up right
You obviously need to buy stock to sell but keep quantities low – you don’t need to buy 100s of pounds worth of stock. In fact, when selling via Instagram, seeing ‘SOLD’ on a product image it can give the impression of exclusivity and must have items.
3. Test the water
Start with a limited range so you can properly find out what your customers like, you can gather feedback on products without a huge initial outlay.
4. Customer conversations
Mailchimp is free to start – this a great way to start building your customer email list. Any retail business owner will tell you that your customer emails are the holy grail. With them, you have a direct line to talk to them and you control how often to pick the conversation up and what you want to say.
Canva is a fantastic free tool to create your brand designs. You can create logos, social media content and so much more. Get started on your logo now – it can always be tweaked further down the line.
6. More than a phone
Don’t underestimate the power of your smartphone when it comes to photography – you can create professional looking imagery for use on your social media, website and in your emails. If you need some extra guidance look at sites like Udemy for photography courses.
7. Money in the pot
Once you have a small amount of money in the pot – Etsy and Ebay are good very low cost options to access a wider audience when you’re starting out. When you start getting sales, get a Shopify website which is more expensive than Etsy or Ebay but still has a low monthly cost. Another resource you could use would be my blog post- ‘How much does it cost to start a business?’