The other day I received a question from one of my readers asking if he was struggling to find full time work, and had a really cool idea, how would he be able to get up and running with limited savings?


This prompted me to think about all the businesses out there and how they started financially. Many of them started with limited funds.  


I don’t come from the traditional line of thinking that a business needs millions to start. If I had a great idea, id do it in a way that involved little start up capital.


But even if you disagreed with me, if you wanted to go the traditional route to save up capital for a business, problems could occur, especially when it comes to marketplace timing and getting estimates correct. It can be very difficult (especially as a young person with limited business experience) to budget accordingly for a business that they wish to setup in 12-18 months time.  


If I was to tell myself to save $10,000 to start a cleaning business , that’s all well and good, but where is the ceiling for this savings plan? When I got there, id be saying to myself ‘What about if I saved another $10,000 just for insurance if anything went wrong, since after all, it is my first business’.  In this situation, id never get to the end goal, id just keep saving because I would be worried that it isn’t enough start up capital.


Another 12 months passes and more competitors start popping up with your exact idea. How would you overcome this? You can’t just put time in reverse!


But the above example is only if you had a job to start with to actually save some start up cash.


What if you had no job, or retrenched from your previous position? Can you still get your business idea started?


Of course you can. You can do it with fifty bucks.


Today im going to show you ten start up businesses that cost $50 or less.


1. Buy old pieces of furniture from garage sales and do them up. Then sell them on ebay. Then do this again.

2. Be a freelance travel writer

3. Be a consultant helping old people use technology

4. Print 2 tshirts and sell them at a market (see Justin Herald example above)

5. Start a jogging/fitness group and charge $5 a head

6. Start a wedding planning business

7. Make cushions and sell them at markets

8. Be a negotiating broker, getting the best deals for clients who purchase cars, home appliances or home broadband

9. Write a book and sell it on the Internet

10. Create an I Phone application


The above methods will enable you to start businesses with very little start capital. For promotion, there are many places online you can get free web  hosting and cheap domain names if you need a website and you can make your own business cards.


You may not even need a website, many people use word of mouth using facebook or myspace networks.


Next week’s article will go into these free promotional activities more in depth. The key is to do it, and not to use money as an excuse to start your business.

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