Discover top 5 things you need to start a business with no capital

Often when people want to start a business, they get hung up on start-up costs. It’s true that for many business concepts, you need to have some start-up capital to get your idea off the ground. But many of the things you need to start a business are more nuanced, more important, and more hard to find than money.

Here are a few of the characteristics and intangibles that new entrepreneurs need to have — even if you have $0 of start-up capital.

  1. Product-market fit

You have to know that there is demand for your services or your product, and that you can meet that demand. Ask yourself:

Discover top 5 things you need to start a business with no capital
Discover top 5 things you need to start a business with no capital

What problem are you trying to solve with your business?

What other businesses are already serving this market? (Hopefully a lot! That’s a good sign that there is enough demand for what you sell.)

What can you do better than the competition in this market?

How much can you charge for your product (or service) to be profitable?

Sometimes a great product does not translate into a successful business. A boutique pizza restaurant that serves $50 artisanal pizzas made by hand with all-organic ingredients might not find product-market fit in a neighborhood where the average pizza costs $10. An elegantly designed software app might have the best features on the market, but if it costs $500 per month per user, no one will want to pay that much if comparable software costs only $5 per month.

Finding product-market fit doesn’t have to happen overnight. It can be a gradual process of test runs, showing your product to people, offering your services on a trial basis, or otherwise testing the waters to see if it’s time to launch your business. Gather feedback from potential customers in person, online, or with email marketing surveys.

  1. Passion

The best entrepreneurs need (and want) to make a profit and have a prosperous life, but they’re also driven by passion. Do you believe in your business? Do you love what you do? Do you care about your customers? Are you excited to be doing this? It’s got to show.

Not every business succeeds, and not every enthusiastic entrepreneur has a great product, competitive pricing, or everything else you need — but you’ve got to have passion to get your company off the ground. The world is full of corporate brandspeak and big-box stores. What makes your small business special and memorable? How are you bringing color, creativity, and delight to the world?

  1. Hustle

Entrepreneurs are some of the hardest-working people on Earth. You don’t have “work-life balance” as an entrepreneur, you just have “life.” You’ve got to be willing to work harder at this than any job you’ve ever had. You’ve got to love building your business more than you love hobbies or going to movies or chatting with friends or going on vacation.

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