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Has anyone started their business with little/no capital?

(16 Posts)
slipperandpjsmum Thu 23-Jun-11 09:04:26

Is it possible? Has anyone done it?

I have a job which I hate and hate more and more with each passing day. I would like to branch out on my own but I don't have any savings and have out goings that would continue to need to be paid. In my financial situation could I start up my own business?

Limy Thu 23-Jun-11 10:59:29

It may work depending on what you are planning on doing. First you need to do some research to see how popular your idea/business has the potential to be. My sister started her own business with a small amount of capital and unfortunately she did not get enough customers and as a result the business failed. If you can save some money before you start out on your venture, if you can cover your bills for a good few months then you will find the whole thing a lot less stressful. good luck x

Ragwort Thu 23-Jun-11 11:02:38

Yes, but as Limy said we did have savings to cover us for a few months and we are mortgage free which is obviously a huge advantage.

What are you thinking of doing? We provide a service so we didn't have any start up costs - ie: worked from home and had a computer already.

slipperandpjsmum Thu 23-Jun-11 15:13:58

Thanks for those replies.

My current job is very stressful with long hours and a three hour commute and its taking its toll on my family and my health. I have a couple of weeks off and have decided I need to make some changes.

I am thinking of starting a service provider business. Domiciliary care to begin with. I have alot of professional experience, however, what I lack is business knowledge.

Any hints, tips or advice most welcome.

worldgonecrazy Thu 23-Jun-11 15:24:08

My friend started her own business with a very small amount of capital. She rented an office - I hadn't realised there are companies that hire offices out, some complete with staff, to make it look like your enterprise is a little larger than it really is. She didn't use fake staff, but having a 'posh' office, was really useful for early meetings with clients to give them confidence to place business with her.

What's the modern day equivalent of Business Link? There used to be organisations that people could go to for advice on starting a business.

TalkinPeace2 Thu 23-Jun-11 15:56:51

The business link website is still live.
Local Chambers of commerce?
My client base was all word of mouth and they always knew I worked from home so startup capital was never an issue - DH and I survived on tax credits for the first couple of years.

Pegasi Fri 24-Jun-11 17:24:47

Hi Yes I did last year but my husband has a good income that kept us going until it was earning a good profit. My business is also service based so no stock needed plus I had previous business experience. I would recommend if you don't have previous experience you do some business training first and find yourself a good mentor! I am now doing very well but it did take 12 months to get to a stage where I am now constantly fully booked grin I say go for it but do all your homework first - Market research and planning etc :-) Good luck!

Pingpong Sun 26-Jun-11 09:32:18

do a business start up course - our area offers a free course with 3 sessions with a business advisor. They help you get a business plan sorted out and it's a good chance to meet other people in a similar situtation and find out about networking opportunities.

poppydesign Sun 26-Jun-11 15:21:24

Hi there

Yes I did it! I was lucky in that my ex employer allowed me to go part-time for 6 months, in which time my business had taken off and I left my employment - he did know from the start I was setting up my own company and has in fact using my company for my web design services last year!

You will still need some money to cover the basics though, ie logo design, business cards, fees if setting up a ltd company.

You should get in touch with Business Gateway as they usually offer free courses in all the basics when setting up.

Good luck!

joshandjamie Tue 28-Jun-11 18:45:08

I did. I set up a pr biz from home. I had a laptop. Wrote to my first few clients, printed off some basic leaflets, paid someone about £80 to make me a logo, used 1and1 Internet for a domain name and they had a create your own website package for very little money ( like a fiver per month) and went from there. Just sold it after 5 years for £40 k

slipperandpjsmum Wed 29-Jun-11 07:59:14

Been into Business Link and although our discussion went well and I left thinking I had done alot of research prior to the appointment, when I got home I started to feel very overwhelmed and uncertain about everything. I now feel very unsure whether I can manage the whole thing myself. There seems so muc to consider and I feel very alone. I am used to working in a sector that works in teams and there is always alot of discussion regarding management of situations and I wonder if that has something to do with how I am feeling??

The person at Business Link kept saying its not hard at all to run your own business, maybe, but thats not how I am feeling about everything!!

Saffra Wed 29-Jun-11 12:55:22

I think it's probably quite natural to feel a bit like that, especially if you are used to working in teams and as part of an organisation of people. The new venture will be outside of your comfort zone!

Obviously there is a fair bit to consider when you are setting up a business (and a lot of stuff that you need to learn on the fly), but the best thing you can do at the stage is seek advice, consult and evaluate feasibility - which is what you are doing.

Personally, I think running a business can be as difficult or as easy as it needs to be. That was a bit of a sweeping comment by the Business Link person. Some businesses will be harder to run than others.

slipperandpjsmum Wed 29-Jun-11 15:30:01

Thanks everyone. I did think if I wasn't a little unsure that might be even worst!

I don't want to rush into everything unprepared but nor do I want things to linger on and on. I have to give three months notice at work and I am worried how much work I will be able to do on the business whilst working the long full time hours that I currently do. Does anyone have any suggestions regarding how best to manage the timescales from their experience of leaving work/setting up etc.

joshandjamie Wed 29-Jun-11 20:29:32

slippers - what line of work are you wanting to go into? That will largely determine set up time. For example, I've had a client create a new kids snack and it's taken her almost two years to get to the point of launching. Where as I set up instantaneously. I'd say do as much as you can while you're still working so that you're earning. Work evenings - it'll get you used to running your own biz and being a mum at the same time :-)

pollyteapot Thu 30-Jun-11 08:01:18

Slippers, I am kind of in the same position as you. I will finish up work on Aug 16th so I can take DS to his nursery every afternoon, and I plan to concentrate to my very small and tiny business when I can during the day.
i found that Business Gateway (i livein Scotland) were good for some things, and I am actually going on a marketing course this morning with them. They also have network nights which can be good.

My business took over from a hobby so we had no capital at all to start with, and we are actuallt several thousand down. But I am hoping that with not working for someone else, i will be able to work on expanding things.

But, you mentioned the loneliness and that is a huge deal for me. I didn;t like my day job, so not being part of a team, or getting the office goss never bothers me, but your business is YOUR business, you will be brimming with ideas and want to talk about it non-stop and unles your OH or friends are in there with you, it can be really hard if you don;t have someone to bounce ideas off. I still struggle with this and my DH is great. But he's got his own stressful job so I don;t bug him as often as I would like to.

slipperandpjsmum Thu 30-Jun-11 08:12:37

joshandjamie The business is a service provider - domicillary care primarily but I would like to also cover disability respite care. The management of the latter is partly my job now but someone else does the contracting.

The difficulty I have is I currently commute 15 hrs per week so when I get home in the evening it can be quite late and my brain is pretty frazzled so I am worried I am going to be able to do much planning.

pollyteapot thanks for your comments. You are right I need to acknowledge that I need someone to talk to.

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