Lots of people dream of starting a business but put it off because they have no money. Don’t you need thousands of dollars in funding to stand a chance in business? Not only is it possible to start from zero but, in my experience, it can actually be an advantage, says Oleg Campbell, Founder & CEO at Reply.
Starting From Zero
Thanks to the internet everyone has access to customers and resources, regardless of their background or bank balance. A programmer living in a basement in India can compete with tech giants like Microsoft. A person with energy and enthusiasm can beat someone who’s rich and lazy. Why? Customer’s don’t care who developed an app. They just care it does what they need and does it well.
If I’d had unlimited resources starting out, I’d be a lot less creative today.
I didn’t have money to throw at adverts for my first business. Instead, I had to use growth hacks to get any initial traction. The money I made at my full-time job went toward hiring a developer, while I worked on the business evenings and weekends.
I moved back to Ukraine to work on Reply, my second business. With the lower living costs, all my salary from the first business went to paying my developer.
For each business, my process looked something like this…
Start Your Business Today
- Validate your idea. Before working on your product/service, reach out to your potential customers and ask, “Do you need this? If not, what do you need?” To be successful you need a deep understanding of what they need, then provide it.
- Start promotion early. Once you’re sure you have a viable idea, begin promoting it. Immediately. Set up a landing page, give people somewhere to sign up for beta access and share details on social media.
- Help one person. If you do a good job, they’ll tell another person. Word will spread and you’ll start collecting prospective clients. Then you can start charging for your services and reinvest the money into your business.
- Prioritize important tasks. One of the top mistakes I see new businesses owners make is starting with the easy jobs or the ones they enjoy most. Your priority should be what makes revenue, not picking new business cards.
- Keep learning. In preparation for launching my second product, I learned everything I could about marketing. I even spent six months working on sales for a friend’s business, which was invaluable for creating my sales software.
There’s Always A Way To Start
Whatever business you’re looking to start, from selling physical products to digital services, the principles are the same. It’s completely possible to start lean, using minimal resources. You already have everything you need.
Looking for an easy way to reach out to prospective customers?
Check out Reply.io! It automates your sales emails, so you can focus on running your business. Learn more and sign up for a free trial today.