How to Launch a Business with Little Initial Investment

The end goal of every working person should be launching a business of their own. As you accumulate enough knowledge and improve your skills over a course of time, the most natural thing to do is start your own business story.

Still, the same moment you decide to found your own venture is the point at which you’ll start wondering how to fund that enterprise. Having a strong desire to go your own way but not having enough assets for that move can be frustrating. However, it doesn’t have to be the case if you follow the next seven actionable tips.

Feel the pulse of the market

One of the most important features for entrepreneurs-to-be with scarce assets is to scan the market and see where they could find a potential fit. If you have only a little money and try your luck in a niche brimming with people of similar ambitions, it will be extremely difficult to succeed.

Therefore, focus on a smaller share of the market and adjust your business idea to that limited audience. For instance, if you realize from your own experience that there’s a lack of first-class product or service for a group of people, there’s your chance. In that case, the demand for your product will result in a swift increase in your assets.

If you think that’s impossible, just think about the story of John Paul DeJoria.

Work in your field of expertise

Starting a business on a shoestring budget is much easier if you stick to what you know best. So, we could tweak the tip from the previous paragraph by adding that you should try to find that special share of the market in your field of expertise.

To illustrate this suggestion, take a translator who wants to become a freelancer. Although it seems that accepting all sorts of translations is great for the beginning of work, it’s an illusion. What will happen is a burnout, due to high stress and a lack of rest.

As opposed to that, you can pick only the areas which you’re more familiar with. The same pattern can be applied to accountants, programmers, designers and other popular freelancing jobs – the more details you know about one part of your field, the higher income you’ll be able to generate.

This regular inflow of new assets in your business will enable you to eventually hire additional staff and assign them with other tasks from your niche.

Limit the overhead expenses

You need to limit the overhead expenses during the first few months as much as possible.

First and foremost, think about turning one part of your home into a home office. By doing so, you’ll avoid imposing additional expenses – such as the office rent and bills – on your business. Since you’re already paying your regular home bills, your new business won’t generate any new expenses of that mind.

Apart from that, establishing a set of practical routines will help you seize the day without your assets and your precious time on commuting. You’ll be able to split your work day into several different chunks, in accordance with your own preferences. That way, you’ll be able to reach the level of productivity needed for your business to grow while finding balance between your personal preferences and your business tasks.

Turn to crowdfunding

Raising funds for your business is done more easily nowadays than before, mostly due to the existence of various online crowdfunding platforms. What you can do is register on one of them and present the business you’d want to launch. After that, you need to wait for other registered users of that platform if they like your idea. Those who fancy it will make a contribution, in order to help you start that venture. This is not only good for raising money, but also for validating your idea – whether it resonates with the audience or not.

As for the legal aspects of such funding, a rule of thumb is that the entrepreneur who needs such contributions offer rewards for smaller donators and equity for distinguished investors.

Also, it’s recommended to go for well-known crowdfunding websites, in order to avoid any inconveniences. In line with that, Investopedia suggests using Kickstarter, CircleUp and Indiegogo, as trustworthy and acclaimed websites that will spare you the hassle of searching for other alternatives.

Get in touch with angel investors and venture capitalists

Aspiring business rookies can cover their lack of assets by getting in touch with angel investors and venture capitalists.

While both kinds of these businesspeople invest in smaller business ventures, there’s a slight difference between them.

Angel investors are the entrepreneurs whose main investing action is investing in brand new startups. As such, they’re usually willing to invest a smaller amount of money, about $25,000 on average. They’re an ideal choice for absolute beginners in business.

Still, applying for their investment requires a series of well-planned preparatory actions, to come up with an outstanding presentation that will convince them to invest in your new business.

Venture capitalists, on the other hand, most often invest in startups that have made it. Those investments range from several hundred thousand dollars to a few million.

For instance, if your small business has become a mid-sized one and you need higher investments, this is when venture capitalists come on stage. In a nutshell – they’re aiming at business owners who have successfully passed their startup stage, and want to jump to a higher level of the business game.

Also, bear in mind that each of these investors will become a shareholder in your business, so get ready for some lively negotiations before you reach an agreement.

Finally, make sure that you work only with accredited investors, in order to avoid any sort of fraud.

Set time deadlines for business goals

Since starting a business with scarce or no asset is a hazardous move, it requires strict supervision. In other words, you should set some clear goals at the beginning of this process. In line with that, determine in advance what you want to achieve at the end of every month in your first year in business.

For example, if you don’t meet your goals in the first two or three months with the assets you have, change the strategy. You can either try crowdfunding, as explained above, or rely on some temporary loans, as described in the last paragraph.

On the other hand, if your initial budgeting ideas provide fertile ground for further work, think about expanding the number of services you offer. Also, that might be the right moment to start hiring more temporary or even full-time workers. That way, you’ll use the initial winning streak to create new opportunities for further business development.

Rely on loans

If your original concept of using no assets turns out to be unsuccessful, you might want to consider the option of taking a loan. On the one hand, there are private lenders who are always happy to offer help to new entrepreneurs. Still, these collaborations might lead to high-interest rates, so double-check all the conditions prior to signing any official documents.

Apart from that, you can also try to get a loan or a subsidy from your government. The exact name and purpose of such borrowings vary from country to country. For instance, in the USA you can apply to the Small Business Administration and ask them to provide a guarantee for your loan in the bank. However, bear in mind that in the US you won’t get a direct loan from the government.

In the European Union, on the other hand, you can rely on well-developed funding programs for various types of businesses. So, check what you can count on in your surroundings and use those options to boost your budget.

Still, don’t go for a loan that will cover the expenses that aren’t necessary for the first stage of your small business – e.g. a company car, full-time employees, expensive office furniture and similar stuff. This should be the last resort that you’ll turn to if you can’t keep your business in life.


Running a successful business with little money for the initial investment is a demanding but feasible task. It’s essential to keep expenses as low as possible and put a lot of effort into that business idea. What’s more, don’t hesitate to ask for help if things go wrong. Financial models such as crowdfunding and temporary loans can help you stay in business in some hard moments, as well as trigger the gradual growth that will make you a successful business owner.

Mark Thomasson
Mark is a biz-dev hero at Invoicebus - a simple invoicing service that gets your invoices paid faster. He passionately blogs on topics that help small biz owners succeed in their business. He is also a lifelong learner who practices mindfulness and enjoys long walks in nature more than anything else.
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