What does it take to become an entrepreneur? Most of the times, we are told that an entrepreneur is someone who has a vision and the money to make it happen.
You might have the zeal to succeed, a problem-solving mindset, the ability to accept failure, and possess almost all the qualities that make an entrepreneur, but if you don’t have money, you will go nowhere. So they say.
This is not entirely wrong. But the truth is, in the digital age, becoming an entrepreneur doesn’t have to rely entirely on money. Many people wanting to walk the entrepreneurship path have had to rescind their decisions because they are told it isn’t possible without money.
From now on, you need to remove the excuse of not having capital from your list of obstacles stopping you from achieving your entrepreneurship dreams. Who said you need to have money sitting in your bank account to hunt your entrepreneurship goals.
By the end of this guide, you will walk away with the confidence to go hit the road with your business idea and become the entrepreneur that you’ve always dreamt of. Let’s get started.
Identify a lucrative passion
They say follow your passion and the money will follow, right? What if your passion isn’t profitable? That’s why it’s always good to start something that can bring money. So how do you go about finding a profitable passion?
You need to look within yourself. What frustrates you about a particular service or product you use? If you don’t have something that annoys you, ask your friends about their own frustrations concerning the services they use often. Taking these ideas, you need to do rigorous online research to identify what is working, what isn’t, and how you can fix the problem at hand.
This approach helps you to identify good ideas. It also helps you to come out with a product or service that isn’t coming to add up to the existing junk but to change things for the better. Whatever idea you come up with should focus on making things better or cheaper. Once you are sure of this idea, you are already an entrepreneur. I guarantee that.
Get your hands dirty–jack of all trades
Want to be an entrepreneur without money? Then you need to get your hands dirty with work. You have to handle almost everything by yourself. If it’s a digital product, you will need to handle web/app creation, design, content, development, and marketing among others.
And who said being a jack of all trades isn’t possible when there is a myriad of digital products to take care of many tasks for you. Don’t know how to build a site or blog? Get on YouTube and learn. You can build great and beautiful looking websites or blogs with Wix or WordPress at absolutely no cost. Use online resources to learn more about the things you need for your business. Use Canva for your designs. Get on social media and start your marketing efforts.
Building high-end product or service? Go the Co-founding route
Sometimes, you cannot handle all that needs to be done. In that case, you need to get a co-founder who shares your vision and has a separate talent you need to add up to yours to make a complete team. You could handle marketing and design while your co-founder handles development and other technical stuff.
You and your co-founder could build a digital product from scratch with free resources and without needing any help, financial or human resource-wise. Platforms such as FounderNation and Co-foundersLab are great places where you can meet like-minded co-founders.
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Focus on early stage customers
Once your product is ready and launched, you need to get it to the market as quickly as possible. This is where rigorous marketing comes in. Social media, content creation, online forums, and more. You can also use word of mouth, where you tell friends and family about your product.
At this point, your goal should be to get early adopters for your product. And in doing so, you need the latest social media, content creation and marketing tools, most of which are free to use. So where do you go after you get your early-stage adopters?
Now you’re an entrepreneur – but in need of money to continue
So you see, it didn’t take money to become an entrepreneur. It only took your vision, idea, determination, and grit from you or your co-founder to make it happen. But now is the time to get the money you need and it might not necessarily come from your pocket.
Armed with your excellent startup and a few customers, you are ready to hit the road. At this point, you still don’t need a lot of money yourself. There are many options available. You can leverage crowdfunding platforms such as Indiegogo or Kickstarter to get funding for your startup. You can also pitch your business to angel investors or solicit funds from venture capital. These means would help you secure funding to grow your startup without having to cough out the money yourself. Another way to raise money or get cash faster, is by applying for a car title loan which is basically placing your car as collateral for a quick loan that you can access even if your credit is not up to par with banks.
Starting and growing a startup, especially a digital service or product doesn’t have to rely on money. For brick and mortar businesses, you would need money to start. All in all, in the digital age, it is easy to build a business or become an entrepreneur without investing much.