Do you have a business idea? Starting a business isn’t as complicated as you may think. There are so many “How To’s” out there which tell you concepts and stories. F*** that. We are going to show you step by step how to start your business for free or with as little money as possible. And then we are going to give you resources to help you grow. All you need to do is follow our blog. We understand every business is different, but for the most part the process is the same. Get your idea out there. Start to generate cash flow. Develop & Grow. Too many people get frozen by not knowing where to start.
“I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO START A BUSINESS.”
WRONG. YOU DO.
What Do I Do First If I Don’t Have Any Money?
STEP 1 (Optional): Incorporate (LLC or Corporation) or File a DBA (Doing Business As)
You are probably asking yourself how to register your new business. You have a few options file a DBA or Incorporate depending on what kind of business you are starting. Sounds expensive. WRONG. Filing a DBA can cost as little as $10 and filling out some forms.
The biggest difference between a DBA and an LLC is liability protection. Under a DBA, there is no distinction between the business owner and the business. On the other hand, an LLC provides limited liability protection. The business owners’ personal property remains completely separate from the business.
Each state is different, but the office is the same. A trip or phone call to your local town hall or county clerk’s office should always be your first stop to inquire about licensing, local permits, licenses, zoning requirements and inspections that may be necessary. This route is much cheaper than paying a company online to fill it out for you. The County Clerk they will have all the necessary paperwork and answers to any questions you may have.
County Or Town Clerk:
If you are operating your business as a sole proprietorship under your own name, you may register the name and apply for a business permit at your town or county clerk’s office.
If you are operating under a fictitious name, called a “trade name” or DBA (Doing Business As) you may need to register the trade name with the state as well. In some jurisdictions you may be required to apply for your business permit after obtaining your tax identification number and state tax certificates (depending on the type of business). Once you receive your tax identification number (EIN) you can open a bank account in your business’s name.
DBA Requirements by State:
Click Here to see your state’s requirements. Even if you’re not required to register a DBA in your state, you might want to anyway. A DBA lets you conduct business under a different identity from your own personal name or your formal business entity name.
Get documents you need to open a business bank account:
Opening a business bank account is easy. Once you’ve picked your bank. Simply go online or to a local branch to begin the process. Here are some of the most common documents banks ask for when you open a business bank account. Some banks may ask for more.
- Employer Identification Number (EIN) (or a Social Security number, if you’re a sole proprietorship).
- Your business’s formation documents. Click Here to download your state’s template.
- Ownership agreements (don’t typically need for Single member LLC).
- Business license (may not need. depends on type of business). Click Here to see if your business requires a license.
Check out this website if you want more information on different business structure types to see what type fits your business the best: Click here
STEP 2: Develop A Face For Your Business
Use free tools like Facebook, or Free Web builders to put your idea out there. Start getting family and friends interested in what you are offering. Even without any content you can build a face for your business completely for FREE! Below are some resources to get you started with a Logo, Photo Content, & Simple to Use Web Builders. All for FREE.
- Free Logo Makers: Click Here
- Free Stock Photos: Click Here
- Start a Facebook Business Page: Click Here
- Build a Free Website: Wix or Squarespace
- Show Up on Google: Click Here
Now that you have a professional face for your business, reach out to family and friends through word of mouth, social media, telephone, or email. Let them know what you are offering. Waiting to reach out to family & friends until you have a digital face will make you appear professional and knowledgable. Your immediate social circles will be more likely to use your service or buy your product.
How to Setup Your Google Listing Step by Step Guide: Click Here
If you don’t have confidence in your web making/ graphic design abilities there are plenty of affordable alternatives:
- Fiverr is an excellent resource for affordable services. They offer a wide variety of services fit for almost every new business owner. Fiverr Website: Click Here
- Here at Bleagolf, we offer Starter Websites starting at $30 a month. That includes your annual domain costs, annual hosting, privacy protection & SSL certificate, and Initial Design/ Initial SEO setup. Bleagolf Web Design Package: Click Here
STEP 3: Create a Marketing Strategy & Start Generating Cash
DON’T DO ANYTHING FOR FREE! AS A BUSINESS OWNER YOUR TIME IS VALUABLE.
That seems a bit harsh. Let us explain. If you have zero dollars for marketing you need to get creative. It’s important as a business owner to understand that your time is valuable. You are no longer working for someone else. Therefore, everything you do now can be equated to value. Understanding the value, or even more so, the POTENTIAL value of your work is key to being successful.
For example, let’s say you start a lawn care business, but you don’t have any money for marketing/ advertising. How do you get yourself out there? And here’s what I mean by don’t do anything for free. Stay with me here. Offer to mow 5 friend’s/ family members/ acquaintances lawns for “free” from 5 different neighborhoods. Here’s what I mean by potential value. Simply mowing their yard for free is a good gesture, but that act alone won’t help generate long term revenue without the right leverage behind it. Use these first 5 lawns as marketing rocket ships. Get before and after photos/ video footage for your social media platforms and website. With the capability of cell phones these days you have access to a full film studio in your pocket. Tell your now clients that you will do their yard for free, but they need to give you a review on Google/ social media & share your page on their social media platform. You’re now giving value to your time. Now the “free” act of mowing your friends yards has leveraged future potential value.
Generate an Email List
Emails are still one of the most valuable marketing tools. Mailchimp is a free and easy software to use to collect emails. As well as designing eye catching effective email blasts that you can send to multiple customers at once. You can separate your clients/ customers in to different groups, and even schedule automated emails to those groups allowing you to concentrate more on your business.
Join Your Local Chamber of Commerce
A chamber of commerce, or board of trade, is a form of business network. Fancy for a local group of businesses whose goal is to further the interests of businesses. Business owners in towns and cities form these local societies to advocate on behalf of the business community. A chamber of commerce is a voluntary association of business firms belonging to different trades and industries. They serve as spokespeople and representatives of a business community.
Each city or town has their own Chamber of Commerce. And this is a great resource that is greatly overlooked a lot of the time. Being part of your local Chamber of Commerce gets your name out in the community. A lot of the time you will be put on their newsletters and email blasts. You will be invited to events where you can meet with other business owners in your community.
What if I can’t afford the fees to join my local Chamber of Commerce?
Again, get creative. A lot of the time these local Chamber’s want your membership. They want to grow local business in their community. They also usually have a lot of events. Ask to volunteer at an event in exchange for membership. If you provide a service they can benefit from, offer that service in exchange for membership. This resource is vital to expanding your social network in your local community.
That Should Be Enough to Get You Started
As a business owner you need to be creative, but you also need to be aware of this question, “Is what I am doing going to generate money or not?” It’s that simple. Stay focused on what is making you money, and stop doing things that aren’t working. The hardest part is being able to tell what will pay off if you continue, and what won’t pay off no matter how much time you put in to it. Your business is always evolving and growing as you evolve and grow. Take it one step at a time. Focus on the small things you can do. And stop worrying about the things you can’t.
If you found this guide useful, follow us for more tips in the future. As always, if you have any questions or requests feel free to reach out.