Okay, you probably need a few quid in the bank to get a business off the ground because the truth is everybody needs a leg up at some point in their lives. The mere process of applying for a job costs some money, so too getting a business started.
Not having start-up capital is subjective and relative though, so assuming you at least have some change left over to keep connected to the internet, you can literally start a business when you’re completely broke. Here are a couple of suggestions:
Identify a Market
If it means going door to door and surveying people on what products and services they would love to have brought right to their doorsteps, then so be it, but it’s important to first gauge whether or not there is a market for a product or service you want to sell. Naturally you’d want to get into a field you’re either passionate about or one you’re knowledgeable about or qualified for, but if you’re strapped for start-up cash then the most important thing is to just identify a market that needs servicing, even if you’re nowhere near qualified or experienced enough to service that market.
Identify a Service Provider or Product Manufacturer/Producer
Next, you simply try to source a manufacturer or service provider that has the capabilities to service the market you identified. This is where the opportunity starts to present itself because you can then thrash out the numbers and see if there’s a way to get your identified product or service to the identified market, and in so doing make a profit as the “middleman.” You can also approach professional firms (such as Porte Brown) to get financial advice on the current economic market. Physical products, for example, often bear the retail price that they do as a result of the overheads to get them on the shelves having being factored in, so there is always potential to profit by sourcing products directly from manufacturers. Skills-dependent services like accounting services on the other hand present a little bit of a trickier challenge for you to try and play middle-man with, however, but some creative thinking will do the trick.
Let’s stick with our accounting example and localise it to a city like Birmingham. How would you create opportunity around providing accounting services without being an accountant yourself? You’d proceed to approach some local Birmingham accountants and try to negotiate some sort of affiliate commission for bringing them more clients. If you manage to get a direct referral deal, that would be great, but if not, all is not lost and you can still operate a profitable business around identifying a market along with a product manufacturer or service provider. In our local Birmingham accounting firm case, you could perhaps organise a local event at which individuals and business owners can learn more about saving on their taxes or something along those lines. Charge an entry or booking fee and then get a local tax practitioner from your locally-based accounting firm to come and give a headline presentation. In this particular scenario it’s a win-win situation for both you and the accounting firm. You make some money and get your business off the ground without any direct involvement in providing services or supplying a product to the market, while the local accounting firm enjoys the perfect opportunity to market their services to hot prospects.
The logic can be applied in so many different ways however and it’s simply a matter of focusing your fledgling business on being an expert middleman.