Can You Really Start a Home-based Business with No Money?

Updated: Jul 28, 2021

In my early to late 20's, I started business after business with little to no money. It didn't dawn on me that for some money would be thought of as a requirement. Ignorance was bliss, and thankfully so. During that time in my life, I had very little to spare while raising my three daughters. So, I took what I had at my disposal, including my talents, skills, abilities, and passion for creating businesses that served others. I looked at each company more like a project than a business and just started.

Actually, a few of these businesses were service businesses, such as the ones we will discuss later in this post. I discovered these types of companies take some work to start, as almost any business in the startup phase, but it doesn't require a lot of money. You can start a business for no upfront investment at all -- well, as I already pointed out, time and effort, of course.

Why Low-to-No Startup Costs

A brick-and-mortar business, or traditional business, typically has higher overhead costs. Among these things are facility rent, inventory purchases and storage, and sometimes employee salaries. Working from home allows you to avoid many, if not all, of these expenses. Your home is your office, and you can be the only staff member. The only startup costs are web hosting, a computer, and internet access -- and if you're like me, a printer.

Below you will find four ways are available to start a business working from home without having to pay any upfront costs.

1. Provide Services

You can offer services instead of selling products, which require storage and shipping. The deliverable is the work you do for the client or the file you send them of the finished product. A few of the services I provided are below, and additional services that may be a good fit for you are below. A quick internet search can lengthen this list.

Services that you could provide include:

  • web design

  • content creation

  • data entry

  • programming

  • customer service

  • marketing services such as SEO

  • social media management

  • graphic design

  • and so on.

Can you offer any of these services? If so, you're nearly ready to launch your business today. And don't forget to download the resources list of 17 work-from-home business ideas; it not only has a list but places you can go online to find out more about the ideas you're interested in.

Now, if you decide to sell digital products, there are a few things to consider (by the way, this is one of my favorite things to do due to the creative process involved -- it requires a lot of focus, too!)

2. Sell Digital Products

If you plan on starting a company that sells products, one free option would be to offer digital products like eBooks or online courses. The product is a file the buyer downloads. What does it take to make these files? Mostly, time and energy, and as I mentioned, some creativity.

Since the late 1990s, information products have become increasingly popular, and customers are willing to pay a lot for high-quality products. What makes these types of products so valuable? Your expertise and the problem you solve with it. It helps your buyer solve problems they're facing, meeting a need, and therefore increasing the value of your product.

3. Use Dropshipping to Sell Products