Hey guys, thanks for coming back. My name is Megan and this is episode two of the Bootstrap Boutique.
Today I want to talk about something I see asked all over the internet all the time, which is “How do I start a business online with no money?”
And if you really want to start a business with no money, there are some things you can do. I’ll give you two ideas really quickly.
The first is start a blog or some sort of content, authority based website. You can go to Blogger, you can go to WordPress, you can start that site in five minutes and you can be in business.
The second way is you can go to Kickstarter if you have some sort of product that you want to create. So you are probably familiar with Kickstarter already, but if you’re not what you do is you go to Kickstarter, you create a video, similar to this, and you say, “Hey Kickstarter! I want to make this cool thing.” And you explain what that cool thing is and if people are interested in your cool thing, they will pay you money for it. You hit your funding goal, you get money, you go out and create that cool thing and you send it to everyone who already told you they are interested. It’s a great way to test a market and see if there is interest in something that you want to do before you go sink thousands of dollars into production and then you can’t sell it, it’s just sitting in your garage.
So let’s talk about how to start a retail business because that’s what I’m kinda leaning towards as review my options. So there are two different types of retail stores as you know.
There is your traditional retail store where you have rent, you have labor, you have to have everything that you are going to sell right there in the store, otherwise you really can’t sell it. There’s a lot of barriers to entry and that is definitely going to cost you money.
The second way and what I’m looking at more doing is going to be an online e-commerce site. So, with that, still going to cost you some money. You still are going to have to have a domain name, you are going to have to pay for hosting, you are going to have to have some sort of shopping cart on the site, and you are going to have to have a way to accept credit cards. None of that is free, you are going to have to pay for it all.
But we want to look at ways that we can minimize those expenses and get the most value for it at the same time.
So again, how do you start a business with no money? Well, you probably don’t, unless you are in a couple of specific areas. Otherwise, you spend where you have to and you do the work yourself where you can.
Ok so I want to give you an update on what I have done so far in starting my
business. And honestly, its not a lot. So I think I probably jumped the gun, but the reason I did it is because I wanted an EIN (or an employee identification number) to set up whole sale accounts so I can start looking at products with distributors, and I thought that I had to have a LLC to get an EIN. Now that I have looked into it a little bit more, I’m not convinced that that is true, but I’ve done it now.
So, I’m looking at that as my first investment into the company. $250 I know. But even with paying the $250, I did manage to find a few ways to save on expenses.
Legal Zoom is really good for walking you through step-by-step what you have to do to register a LLC in your state. And what I found is that they also offer some services, that if you didn’t want to do them, they would be happy to do it for you. Obviously for a fee, they are a business.
But there are things that I looked into and are things that I can do myself. First is, when you open a business as a LLC, you have to have something called a Registered Agent. Best I can tell, what that means is someone who is available at your office, or at an office, during business hours to accept legal documents or something from the government. I can do that without much problem so I just decided to be my own Registered Agent and save that fee.
The second thing that I found that Legal Zoom could do for a cost that I can do at no cost for myself was get a tax identification number or that EIN I mentioned earlier and they will go out and they’ll do it for you as part of their process but I was looking around on the IRS website and found that you can get an EIN at no cost. It doesn’t appear to be a very difficult process so I just opted to go ahead and do that myself. There are also going to be a couple of state filings that I am pretty confident I can handle myself and opted out of those too. But, if you are someone that doesn’t feel comfortable doing that research, you can absolutely let legal zoom take you through step by step and just have them do all those things for you, just know its going to cost more than $250.
So there is one other thing that I have done this week is set up a free wordpress blog just like I mentioned earlier. Its thebootstrapboutique.wordpress.com again it’s free, we are bootstrapping and we aren’t trying to spend a lot of money to start. So I really don’t plan on doing a lot of blogging there but I wanted one site where the YouTube videos and the few blogs that I may do here or there can all be housed in one place. So if you need one place to find me, that would be it going forward.
So feel free to check that out, please subscribe to channel, like the video, share it with your friends, and I will look forward to seeing you next week. Thanks!
You can watch this video on The Bootstrap Boutique’s YouTube channel here.
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