I grew up in a family where things weren’t very rosy. When I got into college, I found myself in need of money several times within the semester.

I didn’t like having to borrow money from friends either so I decided to start my own business with the little money I had.

Fast forward 4 years later, I am out of college and Founder of Invent Electronics, an online distributor of Electronics components and Co-Founder of Wires and Bytes, a software development startup.

When asked, most people give the “I don’t have startup capital ” line as their reason for not starting a business. I started Invent Electronics with no money.

In 4 Simple steps, you’ll discover how to start a business with no money. I’ll also share the experience of some of my friends who have been able to do so.

Step 1:
Find a problem whose solution people are willing to pay for.

The first step to launching your own business is to find a problem around you and figuring out a solution that people are willing to pay for.

It’s very important for people to be willing to pay for the solution you want to offer – unless you want to start a non-profit. :D.

Finding a problem around you and figuring out a solution may seem like a difficult task but in actual fact, it’s quite easy.

Just get a pen and a piece of paper, sit quietly for 5 minutes and I bet you’ll be able to write down a tall list of problems around you.

In fact, any unpleasant experience you encounter could be a big business opportunity for you if you are able to figure out a solution people will be willing to pay for.

I started Invent Electronics during my second year in college because as an Electrical Engineering student and electronics hobbyist, I found it extremely difficult to get electronic components to buy.

Students in my faculty were facing similar problems so I decided I’ll start importing electronic components to sell.

This is an example of an unpleasant experience which I turned into a business opportunity.

Of course, some of the problems and solutions you come up with may be beyond your reach or may not be feasible from a business point of view, but you’ll definitely find something you can do which people will be willing to pay for.

Do you want some ideas?

 

Step 2
Create An Identity and an Online Presence For Your Business

So you got that killer idea that people are willing to pay for. Great. But you need to be able to tell the world that you exist.

People who hear about your product or service need to be able to check you out and get more info if necessary.

Most probably they are going to google your product and are expecting to find something about you.

If you are now starting out, there are a number of things you have to do to get your product or service online – and, they are all free.

Here are just three of them.

1.Create social media pages for your business

Create a Facebook page and a Twitter account for your business. Canva.com lets you create all sort of designs, from logos, Facebook headers, Twitter headers for free without the need to hire a graphic designer.
canva.com

If you are selling a product, you can use a phone with a good camera to take a good picture of your product for your cover photo.

There are many online services which you can use to design a good looking logo for free. You don’t need to hire a graphic designer to do this.

Again, Canva.com is a great tool to use and is my preferred choice.At least not now

2.Add your business to online business directories.

Online business directories like Ghanayello give you the opportunity to create a short professional profile about your business.

You can add your contact numbers, link to your social media pages or website and even get initial customers to leave reviews.

When someone Googles a service similar to what you provide, there is a pretty good chance they’ll find you.

3.Create a blog or website for your service

With free tools such as WordPress, you can create a website for your service for free in 10 minutes. No web design skills needed!
Create a free wordpress website for your service now.

 

Step 3
Promote your Business

Now that you’ve figured out what you want to do and you have an online presence, it’s time to let people know about your business.

At this point, you are probably thinking about money for advertisement but the good news is that you don’t need money to advertise your business.

If your business involves you selling product, you can advertise for free on sites like Tonaton and Olx. For businesses which provide a specific service, you can advertise on sites like 15ghana.com and Freelancer.

15gh

If you are offering your service to students, chances are most of your potential customers are active on social media.

Your social media platforms like Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are great avenues to advertise your product or service.

Post regularly on your Facebook page and share the posts on your Facebook profile and your Facebook groups.

My friend, Awuradwoa makes very good use of her Facebook profile to promote her startup, Mashke Express.

If you are in multiple Whatsapp groups, take advantage of them to advertise your product or service.

Get your friends to share your posts with their friends and use your logo or product picture as their profile or display pictures on Whatsapp.

That’s exactly what my friend, Baaba does. Baaba makes beautiful necklaces and earrings using beads.

You can even create a broadcast list, but first get permission from your contacts before adding them to your broadcast list.

You should be careful not to spam your contacts or groups. People hate spam and you could end up doing your business more harm than good.

 

Step 4
Learn, Learn, Learn

So you’ve gone through Steps 1 to 3 and you’ve probably made one or two sales and are very excited. But it doesn’t end there. There is a whole lot which goes into running a business.

Unless you want your business to collapse, you’ll have to soon start learning stuff like how to reach potential customers, building good business relationships, keeping business records, pricing your product and services, branding, marketing, accounting, managing stock and a whole lot of business stuff that they won’t teach you in class.

Once again, you don’t necessarily need to go to school or pay to learn any of these. All you need is your phone or PC and the internet.

There are a lot of sites which offer online courses in almost anything you want to learn for free. Here is a list of 25 free online learning sites you can check out. I have personally taken about a dozen courses from Coursera alone.

Also there are a lot of business websites where top entrepreneurs share very insightful content on different business subjects. I have found Entrepreneur, Inc and GrowthHackers to be invaluable resources in my entrepreneurial journey.

entrepreneur2

Here is a list of 50 sites which will help you grow your business.

Final Thoughts

Building a business may be difficult but is definitely worth all the time and sweat. You don’t need a truckload of cash to start your own business. There are online which can help you launch your business with very little money and many of them are free to use.

So get up now and launch your business.

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