entrepreneurship

How Much Do You REALLY Need to Start a Business? The Answer is Less Than You Think.

Jon Westenberg

WealthFit Contributor

Let’s take away the training wheels and rip that band-aid off right now. If you really believe that you need a $500,000 seed round of funding in order to build a business that has value, there’s a shock headed your way.

The mindset that you need hundreds of thousands of dollars in investments to start a business is so outdated that it’s being shared in an AOL email photocopy of a faxed article from a discontinued business magazine.

In short: that kind of thinking is wrong. It caters to a world where becoming an entrepreneur is a goal that’s damned near unattainable for the majority of brilliant, hard-working people.

In that world, the road to becoming an entrepreneur is paved with investment collateral, documents, pitch decks, PDFs, stat sheets, networking, shaking hands, remembering names and straight up begging people to give you the coveted opportunity to network more, shake more hands, remember more names, and beg again just to get a check that probably won’t come close to the amount you needed in the first place.

That’s the world that mass media and startup books and billion dollar exits want you to believe in.

When you tell someone that you want to start a business, that’s the way of thinking they’re programmed to fall back on.

They’re going to ask: how much does it cost to start a business? And here’s what you can tell them . . .

Less Than $100.

The magic of business today is that you can start up your startup without small business loans, big investment capital, or driving yourself into a pit of personal debt.

All you actually need is a laptop, a phone, and access to Wifi.

Where you once would have had to throw thousands into office space (a long-term financial  commitment), you can now work out of your local library, a coffee shop, or even from your couch.

Think you need to buy fancy servers to run your software off of? You can rent cloud services from Amazon or Microsoft.

Completely custom website development can rack up costs into the thousands. Check out a Squarespace site for $20 a month or a Wix page for $5 a month. Rock an online storefront that can match or even beat your competitors.

And when it comes to legal fees? You can operate as a sole proprietor without any official legal entity. Becoming a sole proprietor could even help you during tax season.

You’ll need to keep track of your customers in order to communicate with them and track your business’s success. You can use a free platform for your customer relationship management (CRM) and there are dozens of options, from Hubspot to Insightly. These options aren’t janky either—they are top of the line, top quality software products designed to make CRM capabilities available to every self-starter’s business.

Same goes for your marketing costs. Premium tools like Buffer, Mailchimp, and Google Analytics are all employed by Fortune 500 companies. They’re also free.

If you drill down to it, the costs to make your entrepreneurial dreams a reality are going to look something like this:

Scaling down won’t just spare you the pressures, the pain, the time wasting, and the rejection of constantly seeking capital. You’ll also free up your cash flow.

Instead of running a business like an expense report, your cash flow is in your hands. It’s for covering costs, paying for scale, supporting customers, and providing you with a decent profit.

The simplicity and joy of that can’t be overstated.

You’ll be able to up the quality of the products and the services you offer, live with less pressure, and make your workplace a happier and healthier environment (even if it is a coffee shop).

Still unsure? Ask Mailchimp. Ask BaseCamp. Those companies are built on the principles we’re talking about, and they’re thriving. They’ve avoided taking on investments or loans so that they could slowly and organically build scalable, valuable companies.

Bootstrap Your Small Business Startup

The costs incurred in building a business this way are going to have to come out of your pocket. Let’s not lie to ourselves about that.

That’s okay though. The money you’re spending is the money that you can commit based on your needs and your capabilities.

You won’t have to go out and justify your expenses or argue for more money in board meetings with people who are worried that you’re putting their investments through a shredder.

And when your company succeeds? It’s money that gets paid right back to you. As a business owner, there is no better feeling than knowing the impact your contribution had on your company—and to see it paid back in full from your own hard work.

When people ask me how they can get money to start a business, this is the approach that I always offer is: commit yourself to $100 a month. Spend that money wisely and grow organically. Have a clear business plan. Start small.

Don’t try to go out there and pull $1,000 out of thin air. You’re wasting your time, your energy, and your life by creating unnecessary financial stress for yourself.

It Comes Down to You.

There are so many options today. The path to being a successful entrepreneur is no longer a series of sucking up to rich people and untrustworthy banks. Instead, it’s lined with opportunities to back yourself, to be independent and take advantage of the technology that equalises entrepreneurship for the masses.

There’s no excuse left. You can’t say you can’t afford it. You can’t say people won’t invest. You can’t say that you don’t have the capital behind you. You can’t say people don’t believe in you. Because right now, it just comes down to one person.

You.

(And your $100.)

Share

Written By

Jon Westenberg

Jon Westenberg has a thriving global audience, talking about startup entrepreneurship, writing, and innovation. Jon has helped hundreds of businesses worldwide grow their audience and take control of their content.

Read more about Jon

RELATED TRAINING

 in 

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

live talk
Why Right NOW is the Best Time to Start an Amazon Business

Did you know that two-thirds of those shopping for a product start on Amazon? What’s more: the other third starts on Google. Guess where the search results from Google go to? You guessed it: Amazon. This is according to Jason Boyce, who says that if you have an idea for a product, Amazon is the place to sell it. Jason knows how to sell on Amazon — he is a Top 200 Amazon seller. Under Jason’s guidance, his online company scaled from zero to $20 million in annual revenue. Jason also teaches how to Start Your Own Amazon Store and Advanced Amazon Seller Strategies here at WealthFit. 

Why Right NOW is the Best Time to Start an Amazon Business

Listen Now
article
5 Ways To Get Financial Help Today If Your Business Has Been Impacted By Coronavirus

Learn how to apply for financial aid from the federal government, your state government, or privately funded grants. Plus, learn how to get relief from your bills today.

5 Ways To Get Financial Help Today If Your Business Has Been Impacted By Coronavirus

Cash Lambert

Read Now
High-ROI Content Marketing

High-ROI Content Marketing

How To Rapidly Produce Digital Content That Drives Traffic, Leads, and Sales

Joe Fier & Matt Wolfe

Watch Now
The “Money Train” Method

The “Money Train” Method

5 Steps to Generating Consistent Income as a Speaker, Consultant, or Salesperson

Mike Handcock & Landi Jac

Watch Now
article
11 Startup Ideas + How to Create Your Own

Learn how to come up with a killer idea for your first (or next) startup — plus check out these 11 awesome ideas you can model or replicate.

11 Startup Ideas + How to Create Your Own

Cash Lambert

Read Now
Communicate, Sell, Win

Communicate, Sell, Win

How To Win Clients, Influence Employees, and Grow Your Business Through Effective Communication

Rene Kamstra

Watch Now
The 60-Minute Business Plan

The 60-Minute Business Plan

A Crash Course on Effective Business Design for Busy Entrepreneurs

Jason Smith

Watch Now
article
How to Write a Food Truck Business Plan [Template Included]

Starting a food truck? Learn how to write a business plan that will get you funding, co-founders, and more! Use our template to get started ...

How to Write a Food Truck Business Plan [Template Included]

Nathan Wade

Read Now
live talk
Connecting Extraordinary People With Extraordinary Lifestyles

Go behind-the-scenes with real estate agent to the stars, Rod Watson. This former athlete shares his humble beginnings helping struggling families with short sales to now working with high-end clientele. Meet the L.A. VIP Agent and hear his personal branding secrets.

Connecting Extraordinary People With Extraordinary Lifestyles

article
Business Valuation: How Much is Your Business Worth?

Learn how to value any small business using this simple formula that applies a business’s EBITDA to it’s industry multiple.

Business Valuation: How Much is Your Business Worth?

Nathan Wade

Read Now
Raising Capital

Raising Capital

How To Find the Right Investor, Make the Perfect Pitch, and Land the Funding Your Business Needs

Greg Writer

Watch Now
live talk
The 6 Billion Dollar Man: A Day In The Life

"The Man Behind the Brands", Bernt Ullmann, takes us deep into his learning experiences as a branding expert for fashion industry giants and the music industry.

The 6 Billion Dollar Man: A Day In The Life

Financing Your Business

Financing Your Business

How To Land a Business Loan (… Even If You’ve Got Bad Credit)

Gerri Detweiler

Watch Now
live talk
The Renaissance Man, Jumping Ship & Family Businesses

Learn from the man who has done it all. Adam Mendler is a modern renaissance man who went from working in corporate America to starting a successful business himself.

The Renaissance Man, Jumping Ship & Family Businesses

Credit Secrets for Entrepreneurs

Credit Secrets for Entrepreneurs

How To Use Business & Personal Credit To Launch Your Startup

Gerri Detweiler

Watch Now
live talk
Reading People, The Power of Listening & Winning an Emmy

Rene Kamstra, top speaker and communication expert, teaches us how to read people and their body language, a very important skill that helps us gain leverage.

Reading People, The Power of Listening & Winning an Emmy

live talk
Billion Dollar Branding, Direct Response & Getting ‘em to BUY NOW

Rick Cesari, the mastermind behind turning iconic household products into icons, reveals his strategies for direct response marketing and brand-building.

Billion Dollar Branding, Direct Response & Getting ‘em to BUY NOW

Crowdfunding with Kickstarter

Crowdfunding with Kickstarter

How To Raise the Money You Need To Get Your Business Off the Ground

Anthony Nardolillo

Watch Now
live talk
Conquering Cancer, Making Movies & Selling Businesses

This Cancerpreneur didn’t let the bad news of illness get in the way of his entrepreneurial spirit and positive mindset.

Conquering Cancer, Making Movies & Selling Businesses

live talk
Structuring Creative Deals, “Thin Slicing” & Exiting Smart

Roland Frasier is someone who has achieved great success in his life through highly-profitable business deals, yet believes that degrees and certain career paths are overkill.

Structuring Creative Deals, “Thin Slicing” & Exiting Smart

article
How To Build Your Business Credit Score — To Get Loans & Low Interest Rates

Learn how to build your business credit score so you can get access to business loans and credit cards with low interest rates.

How To Build Your Business Credit Score — To Get Loans & Low Interest Rates

Michelle Black

Read Now
article
Do You Have What It Takes To Be An Entrepreneur?

In her new book “Women with Money,” Jean Chatzky gives us the top 5 traits of successful entrepreneurs. [Excerpt]

Do You Have What It Takes To Be An Entrepreneur?

Jean Chatzky

Read Now
article
How to Fund Your Business with Government Grants

Who doesn't want cash from their favorite Uncle Sam? Here's how you can find grants and fund your business with free government money.

How to Fund Your Business with Government Grants

Ian Chandler

Read Now
article
Bootstrap Your Startup & Kickstart Your Success

Launching a startup without investors may seem like a one-way ticket to failure—but it’s one of the best ways to kickstart your business.

Bootstrap Your Startup & Kickstart Your Success

Ian Chandler

Read Now