Can I start a small business with little to no capital?

Just a few years ago, it might have seemed that it was close to impossible to start a  new business with little or no capital. In the minds of most people, starting up meant getting a bank loan or some other source of long-term working capital. But there are actually a variety of creative ways to get around this problem.

The first and most obvious solution is to start a business that requires little or no overhead, no fixed premises and no expensive equipment to start. Consultants and personal trainers fit into this category, as do a growing number of service professionals. The barrier to entry is surprisingly low, and as long as you’re willing to launch from your kitchen table, basement or spare bedroom, you can use the Internet to get low-cost (or free!) business services. You don’t even need a website anymore, just get a free Facebook page.

Another solution for slightly more expensive business ideas is simply to reach out to “the crowd” for financing. Crowdfunding is all the rage these days. If you have a brilliant idea for a new product, then you definitely need to check out the best crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter. If you are social media-savvy and can make a compelling two-minute video, then you might find yourself receiving money from every corner of the globe as soon as you post your project.

And, finally, it’s worth considering some of the brand-new business models made possible by the Internet. Using Shopify, for example, you can create a global dropshipping empire with little or no money down. With Airbnb, you can transform extra rooms in your home into a revenue-generating “vacation property.”

The list of possible creative ideas is up to you. There are now more low-cost tools available than ever before, and with the Internet, the entire world is your potential customer base.

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