One of the keys to starting a successful business is to develop an alternative entrepreneurial mindset. This is definitely the case when you are looking for ways to fund your business especially in Zimbabwe.
Normally when a person considers starting a business when they lack the funds, they apply for funding from different organisations. (Check out the funding page for ideas of where to start looking for this type of funding).
The problem is organisations that fund new businesses usually have so many strings attached. You need to fulfill so many requirements, draw up a business plan and be a certain age. Even when you fulfill all these requirements, there are high chances that they will not fund your business or give you the amount you require mostly because they get so many applications for funding. What makes the whole situation worse is that in Zimbabwe there are not that many organisations that actually offer funding for start-ups. (I believe this is because there are no tax benefits for most types of donations, perhaps ZIMRA might change this in future).
So now that the normal system is unavailable to the majority of aspiring entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe, how then can one start a business with little or no money? Is it possible?
Yes it is! Developing an alternative entrepreneurial mindset is tantamount to development While there is no fixed method to success, we can always give you some tips! Here are some keys to starting something with no money.
1. You can use what you have!
You may not have money, but you have skills, experience, knowledge and you have resources! Consider what you have at your disposal. Open your mind to the possibilities Forget about out of the box, there is no box. Bootstrapping is ideal. You can do everything yourself or ask a friend to help you.
2. The relationships you have.
Your family, your friends and colleagues. They can help you in so many ways including giving you money you need or partnering with you in other ways!
3. Keep your day job!
Start small. Work after hours and use some of the money from your job to finance your business. Invest in your own idea. If you don’t invest in it no one else will!
4. Be flexible.
If you have to try barter trade. It didn't die with the dinosaurs. Experiment and adapt to the situation. Flexibility is a key to competitive advantage.
5. Get your customers to pay first. As simple as that.
You can start a business with no money. Take advantage of all the free advice you get online. You can get a free website as well. Assess your position, is that money you require for needs or wants? Instead of renting office space, why not rent out a meeting room for a few hours. Be flexible.
Vongai C Mudzamba
Co-Founder Zimbabwe Entrepreneur Zone
I am and always will be inspired to inspire.