In the simplest terms, a business is an organization or an enterprise engaging in commercial activities like the exchange of goods and services for money with the intention to make profits. Most often than not, and irrespective of the type of business, a good amount of investment is essential.
Investment is most often a financial asset acquired to generate regular income and profits to create wealth. However, there are a good number of business options that can be setup without, well, almost without any investment.
This can seem impossible initially but, certainly is not the case. You can start in a small way and build a solid plan to work towards. Traditionally, to start any business, capital is required. However, you need to make a shift in your mind set to start a business with limited or no capital.
Obstacles will always be there in between you and launching your business. However, take a different approach and see what you can do without investment. See what is really essential for your business right now. If needed, you can get a custom-designed website for your business or create a Facebook page for promotion. Decide whether you need to design marketing materials for your business.
You can start with your skills and knowledge and make the best use of the tangible resources you currently have. Make the maximum use of whatever you have at your disposal.
Test Your Ideas
Develop a solid plan and make an initial start in a small way to test your skills. Target a small group and observe how well your ideas are received and, discover if there is a potential for growth. You can also conduct a survey among the audience and receive useful inputs to induce into your business.
Invest in Sweat Equity
You are the only one wholly invested in your business. Develop the drive and put your heart and soul to make your dream venture a reality. Explore all perspectives and do everything to build a robust foundation to kickstart your business.
And remember, you will make mistakes too. It’s extremely important since you will learn better what works for you and what doesn’t.
Get Someone You Know
Bringing together whatever you have with someone you know is a powerful combination to motivate you to use your resources effectively. Your partnerships with others give shape to your ventures and enable you to pierce new markets.
Experiment a Little and Adapt Yourself
Try and take small, calculated risks in the process of setting up your business. You can invest in something you can afford to lose yet remain unaffected. By doing this, you can be flexible and reduce the stress in managing your business. If you are not flexible, you may never take the leap to launch your business.
This and adaptability give you a competitive advantage and ensures a successful venture by being responsive to changes. Moreover, being a new firm, you can afford to experiment more and easily adopt newer technologies into your business.
Develop Skills the Inexpensive Way
Discover important skills needed for your business and, if you lack them, look for opportunities to learn without spending much. You can look for free online tutorials or learn from someone you know. You may also tie up with institutions or companies to get trained in exchange for your services.
Keep a Reasonable Amount of Savings
Whatever job you are doing currently or have done, make sure you have enough funds in your savings account. Make an estimate of how much you will need in case of small investments. This way, you can avoid taking loans and keep your risks to a minimum.
Extra Funds from Friends and Family
There arises a need for some extra cash. You can approach your friends or family members once a solid business plan is in place. They can also be the resources to experiment with your sales pitch. You can later ask them if they can contribute a small amount and assure to repay, all in writing.
Check if your business appeals to a large group of professionals or specialists in a particular field. If yes, then crowdfunding is a great way to raise money for your business. Get inputs from established business owners and start a crowdfunding campaign. Have a vision and involve people into it and, make way for secure funding.
Small Business Loan for Extra Cash
During the operations process, the need for extra cash can definitely arise. A small business loan can surely be a choice if not the only one. There are traditional banks and online lenders who have favourable terms and conditions.
You can also consider a business line of credit to purchase items or invest as and when the need arises. You can also try business grants and use free cash advances to fund or expand your business.
Now that we have more than a fir idea of starting a business without cash (well, almost without), lets venture into marketing your newly set up business.
Marketing Your Business Without Money
All those business cards, your classified Ads and other traditional marketing stuff are a passé. With the advent of the digital age, marketing has gone online. And what’s more? Most of it is free. You can easily set up a Facebook page, go on craigslist.org, market on LinkedIn or develop a website with hardly any investment.
The best way to start a business without any money is to start an online business. The advantage is, these are the most affordable business ventures and can be started from the comfort of your home. You can make your own home office and get some business acumen flowing.
In fact, most online businesses can become a potent source of income once you start delivering results and establish yourself as a brand. This makes way to expand your online business and venture into other related areas and target new customers.
Check out these lucrative online business options:
The online business domain is flooded with freelance writers owing to the increasing demand for content marketing. You have strong vocabulary skills? You can write in different styles without grammatical errors? Writing is your passion? Then set up a free profile on popular freelance websites and build your portfolio.
Social Media Consultant
You can help businesses to promote their brand on social media by creating and posting about their products and developments online. You can take complete responsibility for their social media accounts and create online Ads to generate more traffic and increase sales.
It’s one of the most lucrative online business opportunities where there is no dearth of clients. If you have an eye for design and a flair for creativity, then this is for you. Showcase your best works and, you are there.
This goes along with the requirements of a web designer. It’s a great option for you if colours, designs, visuals and art fascinate you. Self-motivation and an eye for detail are the keys to launch a graphic designing business.
Optimising web pages and online content with data-driven analytics keeps clients knocking your doors.You have a great potential to make a mark in the digital world where everything from brand-building to promotion to sales is going online.
Having the knack and the skills to help individuals achieve success is an amazing way to launch a business. Rather than giving advice, you can guide them and teach them how to do it by themselves. You can focus on personal development and induce your clients to incorporate practical skills in their personal and professional lives.
This is, in fact, a fantastic way to earn handsome bucks without selling anything or maintaining any inventory. You can earn a substantial percentage of sales by generating referrals to another online merchant, resulting in sales.
Do you own a camera? Are you good at photography? Then, make a lucrative career by offering extensive photography services. Whether its corporate events or social gatherings like weddings and anniversaries, professional and creative photography is something people are willing to spend a fortune.
In fact, the list is endless. If you look into it, there are numerous online business opportunities that can be launched without any investment (Or, just a negligible amount in select cases).
The Bottom Line
Though seemingly intimidating at the thought of it, you have a choice of business opportunities that don’t require capital to start. You can convert your dream venture into reality and opt for funding only during the later stages if required.
However, it’s advisable not to quit your regular job immediately. Build a business plan, make alterations as necessary and lay a strong foundation for a solid customer base before going full-time. Once you hit the road and start progressing, reinvest a percentage of your earnings to scale higher.
Robinhood plans confidential IPO filing as soon as March – Bloomberg News
(Reuters) – Online brokerage Robinhood, at the centre of this year’s retail trading frenzy, is planning to file confidentially for an initial public offering as soon as March, Bloomberg News reported late on Friday, citing sources.
The California-based brokerage has held talks in the past week with underwriters about moving forward with a filing within weeks, Bloomberg said.
Robinhood did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Reuters reported last year that Robinhood has picked Goldman Sachs Group Inc to lead preparations for an initial public offering which could value it at more than $20 billion.
Robinhood was at the heart of a mania that gripped retail investors in late January following calls on Reddit thread WallStreetBets to trade certain stocks that were being heavily shorted by hedge funds.
The online brokerage tapped around $3.4 billion in funding after its finances were strained due to the massive trading in shares of companies such as GameStop Corp.
(Reporting by Ann Maria Shibu in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)
Analysis: How idled car factories super-charged a push for U.S. chip subsidies
By Stephen Nellis
(Reuters) – When President Joe Biden on Wednesday stood at a lectern holding a microchip and pledged to support $37 billion in federal subsidies for American semiconductor manufacturing, it marked a political breakthrough that happened much more quickly than industry insiders had expected.
For years, chip industry executives and U.S. government officials have been concerned about the slow drift of costly chip factories to Taiwan and Korea. While major American companies such as Qualcomm Inc and Nvidia Corp dominate their fields, they depend on factories abroad to build the chips they design.
As tensions with China heated up last year, U.S. lawmakers authorized manufacturing subsidies as part of an annual military spending bill due to concerns that depending on foreign factories for advanced chips posed national security risks. Yet funding for the subsidies was not guaranteed.
Then came the auto-chip crunch. Ford Motor Co said a lack of chips could slash a fifth of its first-quarter production and General Motors Co cut output across North America.
“It brings home very clearly the message that the semiconductor is really a critical component in a lot of the end products we take for granted,” said Mike Rosa, head of strategic and technical marketing for a group within semiconductor manufacturing toolmaker Applied Materials Inc that sells tools to automotive chip factories.
Within weeks, automakers joined chip companies calling for chip factory subsidies, and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and President Biden both pledged to fight for funding.
Industry backers now aim to be part of a package of legislation to counter China that Schumer hopes to bring to the Senate floor this spring. Still, all agree it will do little to solve the immediate auto-chip problem.
Headlines about idled car plants resonated with the public that had shrugged off abstract warnings in the past, said Jim Lewis, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Lawmakers, already worried that a promised infrastructure bill will not materialize this year, decided to push for quick solution.
“Nobody wants to be seen as soft on China. No one wants to tell the Ford workers in their district, ‘Sorry, can’t help,'” Lewis said. “It was one of those moments where everything aligned.”
The package includes matching funds for state and local chip-plant subsidies, a provision likely to heat up competition among states including Texas and Arizona to host big new chip plants that can cost as much as $20 billion.
The subsidies could benefit a factory in Arizona proposed by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co and one in Texas eyed by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, even though those factories would be geared toward high-end chips for smartphones and laptops, rather than simpler auto chips. And those factories would not come on line until 2023 or 2024, according to plans disclosed by the companies, the world’s two largest chip manufacturers.
In the longer term, a raft of U.S. companies are also poised to benefit. Any chipmakers that build factories will source many tools from American companies such as Applied, Lam Research Corp and KLA Corp.
Intel Corp, Micron Technology Inc and GlobalFoundries – which already have U.S. factory networks – will also likely benefit.
Smaller, specialty chip factories also could benefit.
“The recent chip shortage in the automotive industry has highlighted the need to strengthen the microelectronics supply chain in the U.S.,” said Thomas Sonderman, chief executive of SkyWater Technology, a Minnesota-based chipmaker that makes automotive and defense chips. “We believe that SkyWater is uniquely positioned due to our differentiated business model and status as a U.S.- owned and U.S.- operated pure play semiconductor contract manufacturer.”
Even with subsidies, the U.S. companies still must compete with low-cost Asian vendors over the long run, and the immediate auto chip troubles will probably persist.
Surya Iyer, a vice president at Minnesota-based Polar Semiconductor, which makes chips for automakers, said his factory is booked beyond capacity and has started to speed some orders up while slowing others down, to meet automakers’ needs as best it can.
“We are expecting this level of demand to continue at least for the next 12 months, maybe even longer,” he said.
(This story has been refiled to add attribution to quote in paragraph 9, add dropped words in paragraphs 10 and 17)
(Reporting by Stephen Nellis and Hyunjoo Jin in San Francisco and Alexandra Alper in Washington. Editing by Jonathan Weber and David Gregorio)
Atlantia disappointed with CDP bid for unit, continues talks
By Francesca Landini and Stephen Jewkes
MILAN (Reuters) – Italy’s Atlantia said on Friday an offer by a consortium of investors led by state lender CDP for its 88% stake in Autostrade per l’Italia fell short of the mark and asked its top managers to see if the bid could be sweetened.
“The offer falls below expectations,” the Italian infrastructure group said in a statement, adding it had mandated the chief executive and the chairman to assess “the potential for the necessary substantial improvements” to the bid.
Italian state lender CDP, together with co-investors Macquarie and Blackstone, has presented a proposal valuing all of Autostrade per l’Italia at 9.1 billion euros ($11 billion).
The consortium also requested Atlantia guarantee up to 700 million euros in potential damage claims and another roughly 800 million euros for a pending legal case, making the bid less attractive than previously expected.
One source said the consortium estimated overall pending legal claims against Autostrade at 3 billion to 4 billion euros, adding the 700 million euro cap did not mean the amount would be detracted from the offer price from the start.
Earlier on Friday Atlantia’s minority investors TCI and Spinecap had called on Atlantia’s board to reject the offer, saying it undervalued the asset.
“No deal is better than a bad deal, especially a bad deal and a wrong price,” TCI Advisory Services partner Jonathan Amouyal said in a emailed comment to Reuters.
TCI, which holds an indirect stake of around 10% in Atlantia, repeated that the value for 100% of Autostrade should be no less than 12.5 billion euros.
The board will hold a further meeting in order to take a final decision on the offer in due time, Atlantia said.
The negotiations between Atlantia and the CDP-led consortium are part of an effort to end a political dispute over Autostrade’s motorway concession triggered by the collapse of a motorway bridge run by the unit.
(GRAPHIC – Atlantia share performance: https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/qzjpqggjdpx/image-1614331237501.png)
The bid expires on March 16, but the deadline could be extended in case Atlantia calls an extraordinary shareholders meeting (EGM) on the issue, according to one source with knowledge of the matter.
Shares in the group ended down 0,7%, after recovering some losses, as investors waited for the decision of the board.
Atlantia, which is controlled by the Benetton family, owns 88% of Autostrade, with Germany’s Allianz and funds DIF, EDF Invest and China’s Silk Road Fund holding the rest.
The group also kept open an alternative plan to demerge and sell its stake in Autostrade per l’Italia unit and called an EGM on March 29 to extend to end-July a deadline for offers for the demerged stake.
(Additional reporting by Stefano Bernabei, editing by Louise Heavens and Steve Orlofsky)
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