After years of freelancing, I must say that the question I have heard the most has been “How do I start a business when I don’t have a lot of money to put into it?” I can completely understand this question as I was once the person asking it. Most women that want to start a business are inundated with business opportunities ranging from selling something for another company to opening a brick-and-mortar business without understanding that you don’t have to do either.
Start With Free
Free. A word I totally love in the business world. It is my belief that you can start just about any business these days for $Free. If you offer your knowledge or skills as a marketer, accountant, administrative assistant, business guru, IT consultant, etc. you can all sign up for a free account on Elance.com and start finding clients. I always tell those who are consulting with me that they need to write amazing proposals with their free bids so they win a job and can then use that money to pay to upgrade their account.
If you are an artist or crafty person or skilled at design, Etsy, Zazzle, Spreadshirt and Cafepress are for you. While there are some fees associated with uploading your listings on Etsy, it is less than a buck. On Zazzle you can design everything from business cards to iPhone cases and have a residual income that doesn’t cost you anything. When I first started playing with working online I uploaded some designs to Cafepress and still make a residual income from it every month. Ebay and Etsy both require that you pay for listings and sell something that you have on had (an expense), but you can quickly build a business on the cheap.
If you are a techie, you can build websites, smart phone apps and more that will bring in residual income without leaving the couch.
If you are writer, you can write ebooks for Kindle and publish books via Createspace for free. You just have to read a little and educate yourself on how to get started. Again, that income is residual.
Lose the Fear
So many women are afraid that they will invest into their business and fail. It is my belief that you can think yourself into failure, so I ask that you completely toss any ideas of the possibility out the window. If you are going to make your business a success, no matter what it is, you have to believe that you can be successful and that you will make it happen. That doesn’t mean you can sit at home and expect to open your email and find work just sitting there for you. You have to get involved. Read on …
Get Involved in The Community
No matter where you choose to start, finding a community is important. If you are a freelancer on Elance, take some time to read through and comment on the Elance forums. If you are on Ebay, same applies. If you are on Etsy, take part in circling people that you admire and be a part of the community. If you are going to create an app or write a book, find a community for you. Not only will this provide you with some great info from people that are already successful, it will also motivate you to keep pushing until you reach your goal.
Have a Goal
I know it sounds completely Cliche’, but having a goal is item #1 on the business to-do list. I have had many friends complain to me about struggling to get their businesses off of the ground. When I asked them if they had set a goal, they immediately responded with “No.” I personally watched a blogger friend of mine take her website from a couple hundred dollar a month venture to a full-time high four-figure income. I encouraged her to push herself every month. She started with wanting to make $400. That sum was 4 times what she had made in previous months. When I found out she met that goal, I bumped her to $600 a month and then $1000 and then $1500. You get the idea. She had to push herself, but having a goal is the first step in knowing where you are and where you want to go. You’ll push yourself and work harder if you want to reach certain goals.
Now, get your game plan in place.
Krista Conway is a work-at-home freelance social media guru who blogs about freelancing, photography and kiddos on KristaConway.com