How to Start a Business With Just $0.10 in Your Pocket
Editor's note: This article is somewhat tongue-in-cheek but is based largely on how we got started four years ago.
The concepts and ideas presented here can be used to successfully start a business.
Entrepreneurship can be expensive but it is just as easy to start a business with just ten cents in your pocket. It’s important to note that this is primarily true for service-based businesses, but even a lemonade stand can be started for less than ten cents.
How do you start a business for less than ten cents? Give this method a try.
- Start by networking. Join entrepreneur groups on Facebook, attend in-person networking events, etc. Share your knowledge freely and cultivate respect as someone who has important knowledge and skills to impart on others.
- Start an email list. Send an email to the people you’ve cultivated relationships with and ask them if they’d like to receive a weekly newsletter with similar tips and knowledge to what you’ve already shared. Add the people who respond “yes” to your email list (MailChimp is a free service for your first 2,000 subscribers – this is a good place to start).
- After you’ve sent the email list for a few weeks, create an email series (ideally a five day course) that imparts actionable knowledge on how to resolve a pain point you’ve noticed among your readers. For example, if your readers have trouble figuring out how to grow their team and you have experience in hiring and managing people, write a five-day email course on hiring and managing people.
- Send an email to your email list and invite them to join the course. You can price it however you’d like but a good price is $24 or $49 to start. Add those who sign up to a group within your email list and set up the five-day email course to send to that group.
- If you’ve sold the course to 2 or 4 people (depending on your pricing), you’ve earned enough money to build a website. Head on over to Squarespace and build a website that
- Lists the other services you’ll offer with descriptions
- Has an about page that explains your credentials, background, and who you are
- Has a blog where you can continue sharing free knowledge with others
- Has a place for people to contact you to hire you for these services
As you can see, this business model requires some legwork to get it started, but it is founded without any capital input on your end apart from time and knowledge. As you enter the website and services phase of your business, you’re in a better place than most new entrepreneurs, because you already have an email list and an audience that is interested in what you have to say. You’ve also spent a few months “testing” whether or not your particular brand of knowledge is of interest to others before you’ve risked anything.
The people in your audience will appreciate that you took the time to share a tremendous amount of knowledge before you tried to sell them anything and you already know that they’re part of your target market because you’ve given them multiple opportunities to opt in/out as you progress through each part of your business development.
You’ll notice that the title of this article is “How to Start a Business With Just $0.10 in Your Pocket” but you haven’t found out what to do with that $0.10 yet. Take the $0.10 and use it to print the required forms to create a Sole Proprietorship at your local library. You’re now ready to become an official business – congratulations!