How can creatives make money when their business budget is virtually at zero?
No doubt you’ve heard the tired – and untrue – phrase, “It takes money to make money.”
It’s never been easier to start a self-sustaining business with less than $100. But that doesn’t mean that it’s easy. Nope, it’s not.
Just because you don’t need a lot of money or a bevy of investors to start a business nowadays doesn’t mean you don’t need a lot of investment. The real question becomes, “What do you have to invest?”
We have more time than we’d like to think. If you’re serious about building a creative business, investing serious amounts of time is a good way to work towards success.
Building my business, what I didn’t have in money I invested in time away from TV, shopping, cooking dinner, and even my family. Yes, I set limits and made sure to keep up with my responsibilities but I was also mindful of how big a priority building a business was to me. And I stayed true to that priority.
Time – spent learning, experimenting, producing, creating, networking – makes up for a lot of money not in the bank.
College buddies, past teachers, vice presidents of local banks, county commissioners, local business managers… no doubt you have relationships with people who know people. Hint: everyone knows someone.
In the first 3 months of my business, I struck up a friendship with the CEO of an up-and-coming daily email start-up through a neighbor. I didn’t actually know what I was doing at the time – probably better that way! – but that relationship and others like it have catapulted my career in ways no amount of money could.
Human capital is just as important – and probably much more so – than financial capital.
Passion, energy, enthusiasm – don’t underestimate the investment of your spirit in building a profitable business. Your love for what you do is infectious. Don’t hide behind a “professional” facade and don’t allow yourself to show up without your game face, either.
I continually receive comments & emails saying that my enthusiasm is what is so attractive about my brand. Out of all the blogs out there, my readers are loyal because my energy keeps them coming back. That passion also makes it easier for my customers to buy when the offer is right.
Maximize your enthusiasm contribution and reinvest the dividends.
You don’t need loads of money to build a profitable business anymore but you do need an investment. Take an inventory of the “assets” you do have and make sure you’re maximizing your contribution.
This post arrived just on time for me! I’m actually starting a new project with my fiance and we said we wouldn’t invest more than $100 to start it… But we have time, some relationships and a lot of enthusiasm!!!
I’m so excited for you! What is the project going to be? Yes, you can absolutely start with $100. That’s actually how some of the best businesses start. Good luck!
We want to launch a t-shirt collection! We are working on a few designs at the moment! To start without having to invest a lot of money, we will use spreadshirt.com but we really want to get at the point where we will sell our t-shirt ourselves (to be in control of everything like customer services!).
Ooh, what fun! Have you checked out http://www.ex-boyfriendcollection.com/? They might give you some ideas in terms of advertising, photographing, etc. I think it’s a really good idea to start with spreadshirt.com. One of the ladies behind Ex-Boyfriend runs http://smallerbox.net/blog/ and does a ton of business blogging. She’d answer your questions, I’m sure!