The prospect of starting a business without money in Canada – or anywhere else, for that matter – might seem insane at first. However, it’s easier done than said. Selling services is the easiest way to start a business without cash. You don’t have to be a professional in a given area. It’s enough to be better at something than the average person!
Some services that are in demand at the moment include freelance writing, social media marketing, virtual assistance, and handyman services.
You can also provide services that don’t require a strong set of skills. Your time costs money. People will pay you to do something they don’t have time for or don’t want to do, like cleaning, dog walking, car washing, or personal shopping.
Make a website for cheap
In most cases, you need a website to advertise your business. You can choose from several affordable providers of web hosting in Canada. For example, GreenGeeks charge only $2.95 a month. They offer reseller hosting, shared hosting, VPS hosting, and WordPress hosting through data centers in and outside Canada. Their services are fast, secure, and environmentally friendly. Free extras include site migration, SSL certificates, and a domain name.
Write your business plan yourself
A business plan generally includes a description of your business, your products or services, market research, a marketing strategy, and a plan for operations and finances.
The description should contain an overview of the business you’re about to start, including the legal structure and business model. Here are some of the most common business structures in Canada.
Explain what your service or product is and why people would buy it.
Your research should include information about your target market, like demographics, and details like whether you plan to sell directly to end customers or not.
Your marketing strategy involves how you will reach customers: via email marketing, advertising, or social media.
Include information about how your customers will access your product or service. This can include printing labels, dropshipping suppliers, or third-party logistics companies.
There are free business plan templates you can use. If you plan to apply for financing, a business plan is imperative.
Sources of financing
On that note, options to finance your new business include small business loans, government funding, crowdfunding, or loans from friends or family.
Crowdfunding involves raising small amounts from a large number of supporters. They are usually ordinary people who don’t have much to spare either but believe in your business idea. Popular crowdfunding platforms include Kickstarter, SeedInvest, and Crowdfunder. You can attract support with a unique proposition.
You can ask family members or friends for a loan. Promise them a bigger return with interest when your business heads north.
The Canadian government offers funding to Canadian business owners on a shoestring budget. Some grant and loan programs don’t require you to make an initial payment. You still need a business plan to fulfill the agency or program’s requirements. Approaching a government institution is a smart option if you want to launch a business in Canada with no money of your own.
Types of prospective business owners
There are two types of prospective business owners. So far, we’ve looked at those who have no money to invest in their business. There is another type of aspiring entrepreneur: one who has money but doesn’t want to spend it. Usually, this is because they’re afraid their business won’t take off and they’ll lose the money.
Such people are also eligible for government funding, but getting approved is harder. Some programs offer financing through grants, loans, or partial payments.