Scrooge McDuck jumping into a pile of gold coins.Ever dreamed of being your own boss, but thought it would cost too much $$$ to start your own company?

Well, think again!

There are lots of different businesses that you can start with little to no money:

  • Freelancer

  • Handmade craft seller

  • E-commerce

  • Virtual assistant

Start With What You Have

Think of a "can do" list including:

  • Skills: What can you do?

  • Experience: What have you done in the past?

  • Knowledge: What do you know?

  • Tangible resources: What do you own/have access to? Can you access loans or grants?

  • Network: What relationships can you tap into?

Woman pointing with both hands saying

Research The Market

It's important to identify your target market so that you can focus on what exactly your customers need and want, and how best to communicate with them.

  • Flaticon IconInternet Search: See if people in your area are interested in what you want to sell

  • Social Media: Use these platforms to host interest surveys

  • Competitors: Research companies that sell or provide a similar service that you'd like to offer

Planning & Branding

Person unrolling map that says

It's time to come up with a game plan! Here's what you'll need to work on next:

  • Business Plan: Create a plan that names the goals of your business and how you plan on achieving those goals.

  • Legal Requirements: Look up the requirements for owning a company in your state, province, region, or country. Do you need a license or insurance?

  • Business Name: Brainstorm a few names that fit your type of business. Names that are short and easy to remember are best.

  • Branding: Think about how you want to market your company. Consider colors, fonts, and a logo. Websites with free subscriptions such as Canva and DesignBold can help.

Set Up Your Company

There are a few essential (free) things you need to set up your company:

  • Website: Set up a website using your company's branding design.

  • Email Address: Set up a business email account.

  • Email Marketing Tool: Set up an account to attract customers and keep an email list. You can send newsletters and promotions this way.

  • Social Media Marketing: Set up business accounts on different social media sites promoting your company and giving a "behind the scenes" look on how you do what you do.

Take Action

An animate graphic of an online company on a tablet, over the text When starting your business, here are some things to consider:

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This Byte has been authored by

SE

Stephanie Euland

Instructional Designer/Educator