What does it take to start a business from nothing?

The first thing we need to clarify is that there is no such a thing as starting a business from “nothing”. You are not starting from nothing. Most people who say they have no experience is laughable. We all have certain skills we can build on. In addition we all have a network of friends, family, and coworkers that can be very useful.

The most important step you will take is the very first one. Many people never go from zero to business because they fail to take action. So, step number one is to take action.

Even if you think you are starting from nothing, you are starting from a foundation. Most likely you have some valuable skills.

How to use your skills to start a business from nothing?

Take inventory of the skills you have developed over the years:

  • What you have learned in school can be valuable in your new business venture.
  • The skills you have picked up at work can also serve as a foundation.
  • If you have a hobby, you might have developed skills you can build a business on.

How to use your network to start a business from nothing?

Reach out to all of your friends and tell them about your business. If you are starting a service business, find out if they are interested in using the services you offer. If they are not, ask them for referrals. You can do the exact same thing with your family and everyone in your network. Don’t be shy. Announce that you have started a business and ask for help. Explain what you do and tell them how they can help you.

What are the easiest businesses to start from nothing?

In general, service businesses require the least amount of money to start. Normally, you don’t have to buy expensive equipment or pay huge amounts in real estate rent.

There are a hundred different service business that you could start tomorrow without a lot of money, here are just a few:

  • Cleaning services for business and residential. Pretty much everything you might need for this type of business you either already own or could easily rent.
  • Auto detailing.
  • Dog walking or pet sitting.
  • Computer repair.
  • Photography or videography. It is true that professional cameras are expensive, but it is still a fairly small investment. Your first customer could easily pay for a nice professional camera.
  • Consultant. There are many different kinds of consulting businesses for companies and individuals.
  • Virtual assistant. You could stay at home working with multiple businesses at the same time.
  • Freelance writing or editorial services. You could provide proofreading, copy editing, ghost writing, and website content writing services.
  • Event planning. Plan weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, or corporate events.
  • Household organizer.

Evaluate your business idea.

Know who is your customer. You have to be specific here. You have to be able to accurately define your customers. You should also know the size of the market. You might have a great business idea, but if the market is too small your business will not survive.

It is important that there is a market for your business idea. Talk to potential customers and ask them if they would pay for a service you plan to offer. Don’t assume or hope that people will be willing to pay for your services.

An important part of evaluating your business idea is to know how much it will cost to acquire a new customer. If the cost of acquiring a new customer is too high, your business will fail.

As you start on the exciting journey to become an entrepreneur, keep in mind that it will take longer than expected. Every entrepreneur starts from nothing. Even if you have no experience you have a lot you can build on. Expect to work hard and learn a lot.