You have an idea and you want to start and grow your own business. You are prepared to take certain risks, such as quitting your current job or being without personal income for a period of time. But there’s a logistical hurdle that’s stopping you: money. What if you have little funds to start?
Why does a business need money?
At first glance, this seems like a major problem, but the lack of personal capital shouldn’t stop you from chasing your dreams. In fact, it is quite possible to start and grow a business without large personal financial investments. Let’s first look at why a business needs money. It’s important to start by estimating how much you need before you start to find ways to finance your business.
List your foreseeable expenses:
- Fixed assets: Will you have to buy a vehicle, a computer, furniture,…? Do you need a website? Are you going to start as a self-employed or create a company? If you opt for a societal structure, you should also pay the notary fees and release the minimum capital.
- Stocks: Do you need to build up stocks? If you are thinking of developing a business activity, you will. The same is true if you produce goods yourself.
- Charges: What will your operating costs be? Think about insurance, telephone and Internet costs, fuel, rent for your premises, heating,….
- Advertising: Marketing expenses are often wrongly overlooked since in general they allow you to make yourself known and increase your customer base.
- Legal Fees: Do you consult a lawyer throughout the development process of your business?
- Accounting costs: Do you consult a figure professional to assist you in the creation of your activity?
- Personnel costs: If you cannot start your business on your own, you will need employees.
Logically, you have two main ways to start a business with little equity:
- reduce your costs
- increase your capital available from outside sources.
The 3 possibilities to reduce your start-up expenses
1. Reduce your needs
Your first option is to change your business model to require fewer needs as listed above. For example, if you plan to start a business as a consultant or freelancer, you could reduce your “salary” expenses by being the only employee to start. Unless you need office space, you can work from home. You can also do some research to find cheaper sources of supply, or narrow down your product lines that are too expensive to produce as a whole to begin with.
For your communication, know that you can:
- use social networks
- make yourself a small website without too much difficulty with a website builder at a very low price
- send free emails to a database of less than 2,000 addresses with Mailchimp
There are a few expenses that you cannot avoid. Incorporation fees and legal fees are difficult to reduce. Note that not all notaries charge the same price. Many micro-businesses start with less than $ 3,000, and home can be started with very little money.
2. Start a complementary activity
Your second option invokes the idea of a trial period for your business. Instead of going completely with the loss of income that comes with that decision, you can start a niche blog and service, starting small to test your idea and your market. If you can start as a self-employed person as a complementary activity , you will avoid some of the higher up-front costs (and benefit from a simpler tax situation).
Once you start making revenue, you can take the leap and build the business you envisioned. The two-step approach has many advantages.
Rather than hiring, you can outsource services. This saves you all the administrative procedures and risks associated with hiring. Platforms such as Malt allow you to find skills in many areas of the web without having to incur fixed costs linked to an employment contract of potential employees. Also think about the interim solution if you have a one-time need for staff.
External sources of funding
Your other option is to obtain financing from outside sources. On this subject, see our article on financing possibilities when starting up .
Under-capitalization is one of the causes of corporate bankruptcy. However, by paying attention to each euro or by starting gradually, you can start with a low starting capital.