Founding a company without start-up capital – with these 5 tips it will work!


Maxi Knust

1/3/20242 min read

Founding a company, Woman with laptop, startup without capital
Founding a company, Woman with laptop, startup without capital

Do you want to become self-employed and dream of (your) own business? But the financial investments, the entrepreneurial effort and the supposed risk of starting your own business unsettle you too much and are (still) holding you back from the implementation? We will show you why this attitude is often based on false beliefs, how you can overcome them, why founding works with little money or no seed capital and you can - and should - start your own dream business.

You are (perhaps) currently still employed by a company, have your (supposedly) secure 9-to-5 job, are very bored and have actually been planning for a long time anyway to finally take your life into your own hands and make the leap to venture into self-employment?

But as soon as you tell those around you about your plans, it starts, because honestly, how often do you have to hear how uncertain self-employment is, how it will ruin you financially and that you will have a huge one anyway. Do you need a chunk of savings to protect yourself in the best possible way in the event of relapses?

Phew - sometimes it can be quite difficult to keep trusting yourself and your intuition. We have therefore put together a few great tips and useful methods for you that will show you that, with regard to your dream, you can start your self-employment adventure with little financial effort.

5 tips: self-employed with little equity!

#1 The basis for your business: Thorough planning!

Of course, running your own business always has to be well planned – with or without financial reserves and investments. But especially when you start self-employment "on your own" and bring only little equity with you, sensible and clearly structured planning and preliminary considerations are important and decisive for you and your success.

So grab a pen and first put your dream business on paper - write everything down and use the Business Model Canvas as a template and inspiration to cover and record all aspects and basics of your business idea.

You will then have a good first overview of your future company and possible costs and income. You should always keep your dream and your goal in mind, but also be aware that every beginning consists of the first small steps. Step by step to success - maybe your new mantra?

#2 Become a bootstrapper and take your business into your own hands

Hardly any entrepreneur starts at the top right away and can afford to employ several people right from the time of founding - there is simply no money for that at the beginning! Anyone founding a company without external financing therefore becomes a so-called "bootstrapper" - this is a term used to describe a form of financing for founding a company in which the founder builds his own company completely independently and strives for quick success with a small budget and few resources, in order to do so as quickly as possible achieve a positive cash flow.

Such a cost minimization at the beginning means DIY - think about what you can do yourself and don't have to outsource, what is really essential for the start and what you can postpone in the future.

Thanks to numerous online tools and modular systems, you can, for example, build your website or launch your own video or podcast channel to market your product or service in take your own hands. With this you have already achieved an important part of your independence relatively quickly and with minimal financial effort - marketing.

#3 Trade performance for performance - a win-win situation

If you would like to get help right at the beginning of your business start-up, but do not want to pay any extra costs for it, you might be able to negotiate a so-called barter deal - i.e. a barter transaction in which you exchange your desired service for your own skills and you and your swap partner help each other.

So you know each other B. great with Pinterest, Instagram & Co., but urgently need crisp and convincing texts for your website? Ask a copywriter to help you find the right words in exchange for tutoring on social media! And by the way: Even later, barter deals are always gladly closed among founders - e.g. B. for mutual exchange of guest posts and backlinks!

#4 Start small and share an office

To be honest, at the beginning of your self-employment you probably don't need your own office and you can do most of your work comfortably from home. As practical as it is, the home office can of course also be a pretty lonely thing over time - you work the whole day alone and miss the chat with your colleagues (whether that's positive or negative, you're allowed decide …)

A great opportunity for networking and exchanging ideas is a co-working space, i.e. a shared office where you can rent a table, a workstation or even your own office, depending on your needs. This not only helps you to maintain or establish a daily routine, but also enables you to get in touch with other freelancers, founders and freelancers. It is not uncommon for you to be able to fish for your next order in such a place!

#5 What else you can do privately and "after work"

A good and relatively safe way to start self-employment and to try it out without great risk is to start a part-time business. So don't quit your job immediately just because you have a promising business idea, but work slowly and casually on your dream - this means a lot of work in the first place, but you can use your product or service in peace for the time being try on the market.

Are you starting out from unemployment or have you perhaps already resigned? Maybe you can create additional financial income with a part-time job or a visit to the flea market if the regular cash flow is still a long time coming.

Also think about what monthly fixed costs you have and write them down for a better overview - what can you do without in the future or at least during the first start-up phase? Where can you shrink and minimize? Be honest with yourself here and learn to do without.

So you see - there are plenty of opportunities to found a company without a lot of seed capital and to build up a successful business step by step. Whether sharing, exchanging or starting part-time, just try out what suits you and your personal business idea best - many female founders who want to start without capital implement each of these tips and steps or fall back on the cooperation of a network to support each other and to achieve the first turnover as quickly as possible.

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