How To Start A Business With No Money: A Step-By-Step Guide

Are you an aspiring entrepreneur with big dreams and a small bankroll? Do you lie awake at night, thinking about steps, 8,9, and 10 on your path to success, but still aren’t sure how to get past step one without the funds to get started?

Well, you’re in luck. Today we’re giving away tips, tricks, and ideas on how to start a business with no money. Let’s dive in.

start a business with no money

Strategies & Tactics To Get You Started

You’ve got the passion and the drive, and now you just need the right idea. It’s important to walk before you run, so first, let’s take a look at some tried-and-tested strategies and tactics that will help kick-start your entrepreneurial journey.

Get Creative With Your Planning

“Wait, how can you start a business with no money?!” Trust us; it may be a lot easier than you think – it just takes a little creativity.

Creativity is critical in business, especially for those starting out with little or no financial resources. A creative edge can be a game changer for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to stand out from the competition.

Think about your passions, your skills, and the resources you have available to narrow down your options. Create lists of your core competencies and any areas where you have valuable experience or knowledge. This may include industry-specific expertise, technical skills, or soft skills such as communication and problem-solving.

Take an inventory of all the resources you can leverage to support your business. This may include physical resources such as a home office or equipment, digital resources such as software or online subscriptions, or personal connections such as friends or family members who can offer advice and support.

Utilize Free Resources

Leveraging free resources is a critical component of successfully starting a business without money. As an entrepreneur, it’s important to find cost-effective solutions and tools to help you build and grow your business without breaking the bank. Here are some valuable free resources to consider when starting your business:

  1. Use free business plan templates: A solid business plan is the foundation of any successful enterprise, and luckily there are numerous free business plan templates available online to guide you in crafting your own.
  2. Entrepreneur support and advice: Websites such as offer free mentorship and guidance from experienced professionals who can provide valuable insights into launching a business with little to no capital.
  3. Market research tools: Utilize existing sources of information, such as census data or industry reports, for secondary research that can help you better understand your target demographic and competition.
  4. Free software tools: Many software providers offer basic versions of their products for free, including accounting programs like Wave or CRM systems like HubSpot, which can save you the cost of expensive software packages in the beginning stages of your business.
  5. Social media platforms: Leverage social media sites such as LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to build brand awareness and engage with potential customers at no cost to your business.
  6. Networking events: Attend local networking events, meetups, or industry conferences where you can connect with like-minded entrepreneurs or potential clients who may be interested in partnering with or supporting your new venture.

Bootstrap Your Business

Bootstrapping refers to the process of starting and growing a business with minimal outside funding or capital. Instead, entrepreneurs typically rely on personal savings, reinvested earnings, and other internal funding sources.

By relying on your personal savings, labor, and the initial sales of your business, you can grow your business organically without taking on excessive debt or relinquishing control to investors.

Partner With Other Businesses

Entrepreneurs who start a business without money can benefit from forming partnerships with other businesses. When you partner, you can refer each other, be featured in newsletters and social media, and promote each other’s products or services.

Another example of partnering with another business would be sharing resources such as office space or rental equipment. This way, both parties save money while working together in the same location.

Joining communities of like-minded people online or in person can also offer entrepreneurs helpful advice and support during this difficult time.

Leverage Social Media Platforms

Social media platforms are a great way to promote your business and reach your target audience without spending money on advertising. Find the right social networks for your brand, create engaging content that engages your followers, and ensure you interact with them regularly.

Active participation in social media platforms is a great way to keep your brand in your audience’s mind and further increase your brand’s visibility.

get a free digital copy of our book, the atm fastlane
Get A Free Digital Copy Of Our Book, The ATM Fastlane Learn how to quit your job by building your own ATM empire with a free copy of our book.

Creative Business Ideas That Require Little To No Start-Up Capital

If you’ve made it this far, here’s the information you’ve been waiting for – our list of real profitable business ideas that require no startup funding. While this list is in no way comprehensive, the ideas here are ones that just about any entrepreneur could take on.

Enter The Gig Economy

The gig economy is a growing trend that offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to start a business without much capital. Here are some ways to get started in the gig economy:

  • Freelancing is a great way to earn real money without any costs. Offer your skills and expertise on sites like Upwork, Fiverr or Freelancer.
  • Become a driver for companies like Uber or Lyft and offer transportation services.
  • Partner with delivery services like Postmates or Instacart to offer delivery services in your area.
  • If you’re an academic, online tutoring is a great way to create value with your knowledge and expertise on sites like Chegg Tutors or Wyzant.
  • If you like animals, you can offer pet care services through platforms like Rover or Wag.

Affiliate Marketing

If you’re looking for ways how you can start a business with no money online, affiliate marketing may be what you’re looking for. Affiliate marketing is a business model where you promote a company’s products or services and receive a commission for each sale made through your unique referral link.

Starting an affiliate marketing business requires little to no startup capital, making it an ideal option for entrepreneurs looking to start a business with limited funds.

A key benefit of affiliate marketing is the ability to earn passive income by promoting products you believe in without worrying about managing inventory or customer service.

With over 81% of brands using affiliate marketing as part of their online advertising strategy, there are many opportunities for individuals looking to get involved in this area.

Start An ATM Business

Starting an ATM business is another option you should consider, especially if you’re good with sales. When you partner with an ATM company like ACME, it’s actually pretty easy to start a business with no money. In an ATM partnership, your only responsibility is finding new locations to place the ATMs. Once you’ve set a deal, our team will take care of everything from ATM placement, ongoing maintenance, cash vaulting, and anything else required to keep the ATM profitable.  Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Before starting an ATM business, it’s important to research the industry and understand how it works. This includes learning about the different types of ATMs, the costs associated with starting an ATM business, and any legal requirements.
  2. It’s important to work with a reputable provider when starting an ATM business. Companies like ACME ATM offer the opportunity to start a business with no money that generates passive income.
  3. While starting an ATM business requires little capital, there are still costs involved. Mistakes to avoid include overly conservative income estimates and underestimating expenses such as maintenance and repairs.
  4. As with any other type of business, you must register your ATM business before starting. This includes obtaining all necessary licenses and permits.
  5. Depending on the size of your ATM network, you may need to hire staff to maintain and service the equipment. This could involve hiring contractors or full-time employees. An alternative to staff would be to work with an ATM company to provide maintenance and ongoing service.

Starting an ATM business can be a lucrative venture for entrepreneurs looking for creative ways to make money without investing a lot of capital upfront. By following these steps, entrepreneurs can launch their own successful ATM businesses with no money down.

Online Freelancing

Online freelancing is a great option for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start a business with no money. All you need is an internet connection and some skills, whether it’s writing, graphic design, or virtual assistance.

Websites like Upwork and Freelancer allow you to showcase your talents and submit bids for projects that interest you.

One example of a profitable freelance job is copywriting. Many companies are looking for talented writers to create content for their websites, social media accounts, or email campaigns.

With minimal startup costs but a lot of hard work and dedication, you can build a solid client base over time.

Startup Tips For Success

Now that you have a better understanding of what you’ll need to do to get started and you have a few ideas for businesses to explore, here are a few more tips for success.

Focus On Your Strengths

When you start a business with no money, you need to focus on your strengths. Here are some tips for entrepreneurs to help them identify their skills and use them effectively:

  1. Know your skills: Start by listing all the skills you possess that come naturally to you. This will help you leverage your strengths.
  2. Use what you know: Look for ways to use your existing knowledge and experience to provide services/products that people need.
  3. Build your skills: Take classes, read books, or attend workshops to continually improve your skills. Keep up with the latest trends in your industry.
  4. Outsource tasks that aren’t your strengths: Business owners can free up time to focus on their core competencies by outsourcing tasks like accounting or web design.
  5. Stay focused: As you grow, focus on what you’re good at and leave tasks that aren’t your strengths to others.

Remember, you’ll only be successful if you do what you love and do it well. By focusing on your strengths, you can build a successful business that stands out in a crowded market.

Build Relationships With Potential Clients

Building strong relationships with potential customers is critical to the long-term success of a business, especially when starting out with little money. Trust is one of the most important factors in building and maintaining good business relationships with customers.

Continuously Improve Your Skills

If you’re starting a business with no money, then it’s essential to constantly improve your skills.

  1. Attend Workshops and Seminars – Be on the lookout for free or low-cost workshops and seminars in your area that are relevant to your industry. You will gain valuable information, knowledge, and insight into running a successful business at these events.
  2. Read books and articles – Keep up with the latest trends in your industry by reading books and articles on entrepreneurship. You can find free e-books or check out books from the library.
  3. Networking – Networking is a great way to gain insight into your industry and meet potential clients or employees. Attend networking events where you can learn about other companies’ challenges, share your own experiences, and network.
  4. Take online courses – There are numerous free online courses on platforms like Coursera, edX, and LinkedIn Learning that teach various skills related to entrepreneurship. You can learn at your own pace while expanding your knowledge.
  5. Find a mentor – It is invaluable to find an experienced mentor who is already successful in business. Ask him or her for advice on marketing strategies, sales tactics, financial management, etc.
  6. Join online communities – Join Facebook or LinkedIn groups where entrepreneurs share advice and discuss common problems in starting their businesses.

Remember that each new skill you acquire adds unique value to your organization and enables better decision-making as you acquire more knowledge over time.

Network And Seek Mentorship

Networking and finding mentors are critical to success when starting a business without money. Here are some tips on how to find mentors and build your network:

  1. Attend networking events in your industry or niche to meet like-minded people and potential mentors.
  2. Join online communities like LinkedIn or Facebook groups to connect with peers and industry leaders.
  3. Contact professionals in your field and ask for advice or an informational interview.
  4. Take advantage of mentoring programs offered by organizations or universities in your area.
  5. Attend workshops, conferences, and other educational events to expand your knowledge and meet new people.

Look for someone who has experience in your industry or niche and shares similar values and goals. Industry leaders with extensive contact lists and years of experience can provide valuable mentoring services.

get a free digital copy of our book, the atm fastlane
Get A Free Digital Copy Of Our Book, The ATM Fastlane Learn how to quit your job by building your own ATM empire with a free copy of our book.

Alternative Funding Options

Eventually, you may need some capital to continue to grow. Explore various funding options like crowdfunding, small business grants, angel investors, peer-to-peer lending, and creative financing to finance your business with no money.


Crowdfunding has become a popular way to raise funds for various projects and businesses, including those that don’t have money to start. It involves collecting small donations from many people through online platforms such as Kickstarter or GoFundMe.

One advantage of crowdfunding is that entrepreneurs retain full control of the business while still getting the funding they need. Another advantage is that it’s a low-risk option, as entrepreneurs don’t have to pay back money if their project doesn’t reach its funding goal.

Small Business Grants

Small business grants are a great way to get free funding for your business without needing capital. These grants can come from government agencies, foundations, or private companies and don’t have to be repaid like traditional loans.

For example, SBIR offers grants specifically for small businesses to participate in federal research and development that may be commercialized. In addition, business-to-business grants and state/regional small business grants are two other options to consider when seeking no-cost funding opportunities.

Angel Investors

Angel investors are a good option for small businesses seeking startup funding. These individuals are usually high-net-worth individuals who invest their own money directly into emerging companies, usually in early funding rounds.

To win over these influential investors, you need to know exactly what they expect from a startup and how to effectively present your business idea to them.

To stand out from the competition, entrepreneurs should have a solid business plan that shows market potential, competitive analysis, and revenue projections. It is also important to build relationships with potential angel investors by networking and seeking mentoring opportunities in relevant industries or organizations.

Starting An ATM Business With No Overhead

If you’re ready to take the leap into entrepreneurship but want to keep the overhead as low as possible, starting an ATM franchise might be the perfect opportunity. The ATM business is rapidly growing, has a low barrier to entry, and, best of all, doesn’t require any overhead.

If you have a little bit of hustle, determination, and creativity and are interested in building long-term passive income, we’d love to talk to you. Call ACME today to learn more about our different ATM partnerships and programs.