Blog | Entrepreneurship

How to Start a Business Without Money (Part 2)

Expand your business through advertising, monetize your idea, expand your team, and use OPM to finally get out of the Rat Race

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  • Starting a business without money requires product, marketing, and a solid team.

  • Taking advantage of tax benefits when starting a business without money helps to scale your business strategically.

  • In Part 2, you’ll learn steps 9-15 to start a business without money.

In part one of this plan on how to start a business with little or no money, you were introduced to the concept of the B-I Triangle and the importance of identifying your mission, establishing yourself as an expert, and building basic systems you need in place in order to be successful.

If you want a refresher on what we covered, you can read all of part one here; read this especially if you aren’t familiar with the B-I Triangle.

This post will cover the important steps needed to understand what product to sell, how to market that product, grow your team, and scale your business.

How to start a business without money (steps 9 through 15)

Grow your team

Rich dad said, “Business and life are team sports.” If you want to be successful in business you can’t do it all on your own. You’ll need a team. That’s why it’s one of the three foundations of the B-I Triangle, along with leadership—in this case you provide the leadership as you are the owners and the industry SME.

Depending on what industry you are in, you’ll need different experts on your team. But at the base level, you should have a good lawyer and accountant, from there determine who else you might need and ask around in your social circle for good recommendations.

Ultimately, you want to hire people who are better than you. If you need to be the smartest person in the room, you won’t make it far as an entrepreneur.

  1. Social media

    Another way to leverage communication as part of the B-I Triangle is to utilize social media.

    People love to hang out more on social media than they do in real life. So, harnessing the power of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram will instantly give you access to audiences of billions of people. This will allow you to get up close and personal with your audience to learn their likes and dislikes.

    One useful strategy is to email your community daily or to post content consistently to keep your audience engaged. Make sure to make your communication strategy a mixture of providing value (your SME content) with product-related content (offers, how-to’s, etc.). Social media is a space that requires providing value to build an audience, not just always trying to do the hard sell. That will turn people off.

    Make sure to reply when they leave a comment on your website, email application, or social media network. These are the very people you’re going to be selling to. The power of social media lies in building trust and relationships. Just like in real life, people like to buy from people and brands they like.

  2. Make a product

    So far, we haven’t spoken too much about making money. (But we haven’t spent much money either). We have discussed the importance of understanding your industry and finding our voice in the market. You’re even gaining some momentum through social media.

    Congrats, you’ve now established your mission, took care of cash flow (by keeping your day job), and established some communications and systems. Now, let’s decide what product to sell.

    Before you begin investing the time and energy required to sell physical products, we suggest leveraging the power and speed of digital products first.

    Remember those blogs you’ve been posting that provide solutions to your markets’ problems? Well, that could be an excellent resource for your first product idea.

    Let’s say you want to work in the home garden industry. You’ve analyzed the market and know there are different ways to grow flowers in different types of soil. Maybe you used your blog to discuss each method. Take 10 or 12 of your best blogs and combine them into an eBook.

    This shouldn’t require too much effort on your part. In fact, you can use a simple tool like Google Documents to combine them into one document and then export it as a PDF.

    If you’re having a difficult time deciding what to produce, take a look at or What catches your eye. Think you can do better?

  3. Let’s make some money

    Your eBook is done. It’s been edited into a cohesive product that’s good enough to be printed and sold in a mass retailer. But why spend the money to print it? Why not leverage the power of your community and sell it online?

    First, you’ll need to store it somewhere on the Internet. Once you finish uploading it, grab the link and start advertising it. Utilize your email list with daily promotions. Leverage the power of your social following to help spread the word.

    Once you’ve chosen where to store it, you’ll need to decide how your customers are going to buy it. The most common ways to perform this transaction is through one of two online payment gateways—PayPal or Stripe.

    1. PayPal

      Supports online money transfers and serves as an electronic alternative to traditional transactions through paper methods like checks or money orders.

    2. Stripe

      Allows both private individuals and businesses to accept payments over the Internet.

    Another key integrity of the B-I Triangle is legal. If you’re selling a product and building a list, you’ll need to make sure to have terms and disclosures, as well as privacy policies, return policies, and more. Work with a good lawyer to set these up, which leads to the importance of building a good team.

  4. Listen to feedback

    One of the advantages of building a digital product initially is that you can get fast feedback. In this way, simply putting something out into the market, what many call an MVP or minimal viable product, will let you learn from your customers how close or far you are from hitting the target of success. So use your first product as a test to learn.

    Through this process, you’ll probably end up with a lot of insight that might not have occurred to you initially. The reason businesses invest so much in gathering feedback is because of its value. It allows them to make changes to their business model, products, and core customer relationship policies to make more sales.

    The power of second opinion is often undervalued in the business community due to overconfident entrepreneurs. You, however, must make the most use of the testing data to make sure that your business is off to a smooth start. Always remember that an idea that looks attractive on paper might not be profitable in the market.

    The market will determine the value of your product or service; you must develop a keen sense to listen to it when required. The capability of making adjustments will put your business miles ahead of other aspiring entrepreneurs who are rigid with their plans and preferred mode of execution.

  5. Expanding into physical products

    You’ve made it! Well, sort of. You should continue to communicate and grow your community. Continue to add content to your web presence and market your digital product to current and new customers. Now, it might be time to make your business physical.

    There are literally millions of products sold on Amazon alone each month. Every one of those products falls into an industry of some type. That includes that flower business we started earlier. Think of all the different types of physical products you can offer that would help sell your digital eBooks—and vice-versa.

    Seeds, pots, soil, gardening tools, watering hoses, gloves… the list is almost endless.

  6. Raising capital

    When you are sure that your business will thrive, next comes time to start looking for loans, venture capital, angel investors or even crowdsourcing. The type of business you build will help to determine the path you’ll take to raise your capital.

    While joining with investors is widely promoted in the entrepreneurial and start-up circles, you’re not limited to people. You can also opt for several loan programs that are aimed at helping small businesses and entrepreneurs.

    The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides different loan programs sanctioned by the US government to start-ups in need. However, your business must fulfill some of the criteria to qualify for the loan. If you’re in the United States, the company must be fully compliant with the local laws and regulations and must function according to SBA guidelines.

    All that said, as Rich Dad Advisor Tom Wheelwright says, “The best way to start a business with no money is to have the government pay you to start a business. A good tax strategy for your business can give you the startup capital you need to begin.” Your accountant—the great one you hired for your team--can help you assess opportunities for your industry.

    Your business must also be a profit-making venture and have a good credit score to show for it. You can also approach your friends, relatives, and other people in your network for funds. You may even decide to bring in a co-founder to help with the funding and other administrative duties. The possibilities are endless when you have a reliable business model that is ready to be executed.


Now is as good a time to start as any other, so get out there and hustle. The sooner you begin, the sooner you’ll make mistakes. And you know what they say about failure being the cornerstone of success. Don’t let your thoughts of going broke hold you back from pursuing the business and lifestyle you desire. Be an entrepreneur; show the world what you’re capable of!

Original publish date: July 30, 2019

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