You might be limited to a strict budget when you want to start a business, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have any options. It is possible to start a business with very little money, if you have the right combination of skills, work ethic and marketing know-how.

According to Chris Guillebeau, author of The $100 Startup, “To succeed in a business project, especially one you’re excited about, it helps to think carefully about all the skills you have that could be helpful to others and particularly about the combination of those skills.”

Follow these simple guidelines to start a business when you have little to no money. Learn how to make money today.

1. Make something.

Yes, making something does take an initial cost in supplies, but oftentimes, these products can be sold for many times over their actual cost. What you decide to make is up to you, but there are several places you can sell your handmade options online:

  • Abe’s Market deals in natural and organic goods, such as lotions, candles, granola, and more.
  • Etsy is one of the largest online markets for almost anything homemade, from jewelry to wooden toys for kids.
  • Bonanza is another growing handmade marketplace, similar to Etsy. According to PC World, it boasts over 10 million visits per month.
  • eBay is one of the biggest online ecommerce marketplaces in the world, and its streamlined store options, easy checkout through Paypal, and customizable listing options make it a great choice for selling items.

Many business owners sell their products on multiple platforms to get the most exposure possible. It is important, however, to make sure your inventory stays updated on all sites you have a storefront on. If you want to learn about more resources for selling homemade items, check out this Lifehacker post.


2. Resell something.

If you don’t want to make anything (or you don’t consider yourself a creative person), many business owners have grown large businesses just be reselling products that have already been made. This can be done through a variety of ways or channels:

  • Drop shipping: Set up an online store and partner with drop-shipping companies that will do all the order fulfillment for you. Online ecommerce platform Shopify has a great drop shipping guide, and Tim Ferriss does a good job of explaining drop shipping in his well-known book, The Four Hour Work Week.
  • Thrift stores and garage sales: If you know where to look, you can find items at thrift stores, antique shops, flea markets and garage sales and resell them online or in your local community for more than you purchased them for. One extremely successful example of this is Sophia Amoruso, the founder of Nasty Gal. Amoruso started buying and reselling vintage and unique fashion pieces on eBay, and her company has grown to a net income of $24 million in 2011 with over 200 employees. Her book, #GIRLBOSS, is in inspiring look into how she got started.

3. Sell your services.

One way to start a business with little to no startup capital is to sell your services, instead of a physical product. There’s a huge variety of services you can offer, depending on your background and interests.

Some will require advanced degrees, such as accounting, while others require little more than a working knowledge of how it’s done (such as babysitting, lawn mowing or personal assistance).

Because you are selling your services, you will need a branding plan to make sure your name and company gets in front of the people who may need the service. Some places that are free for promoting your services include Fiverr, Craigslist, Elance, Taskrabbit and Skillshare.

It’s also useful to have a website to show examples of your work, list your experience, and blog about your industry to draw visitors. If you want to learn more about branding and online marketing, check outBuffer’s social-media blog, Hubspot’s blog, Content Marketing Institute and CopyPress.

4. Barter to get what you need.

Unfortunately, it’s extremely hard to start a business without any type of funds at all. Even creating a freelance-writing business utilizing Elance and a free Wordpress or Wix website will still require a computer to work on as well as Internet. However, there are ways to get supplies you need for starting your business without money.

For instance, if you find yourself in need of a used laptop, try to barter for it. Build a new website for a used electronics supplier, or offer babysitting services to your neighbor for their old Macbook.

5. Utilize low-cost services.

As mentioned previously, you can use sites such as Fiverr or Elance to advertise your products and services on, but you can also use these platforms to build up your own company. For instance, many designers offer $5 to $25 logo designs (that come with free revisions). Sort by reviews and look at past examples to find a designer or service provider that matches your style.

This is a great way to get branding materials, printed items (Vistaprintand Zazzle are great places to buy personalized items), or other needed items without much cost. And for additional savings, be sure to look for coupon codes on sites such as RetailMeNot before checking out at any online retailer!

Starting a business requires ingenuity and a passion for what you are doing. Once you find yourself doing something you enjoy, you will be more likely to find ways to make it all come together.



The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects or "things" embedded with electronics, software, sensors and connectivity to enable it to achieve greater value and service by exchanging data with the manufacturer, operator and/or other connected devices. Each thing is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system but is able to interoperate within the existing Internet infrastructure.

The term “Internet of Things” was first documented by a British visionary, Kevin Ashton, in 1999. Typically, IoT is expected to offer advanced connectivity of devices, systems, and services that goes beyond machine-to-machine communications (M2M) and covers a variety of protocols, domains, and applications.The interconnection of these embedded devices (including smart objects), is expected to usher in automation in nearly all fields, while also enabling advanced applications like a Smart Grid.

Things, in the IoT, can refer to a wide variety of devices such as heart monitoring implants, biochip transponders on farm animals, electric clams in coastal waters, automobiles with built-in sensors, or field operation devices that assist fire-fighters in search and rescue. These devices collect useful data with the help of various existing technologies and then autonomously flow the data between other devices. Current market examples include smart thermostat systems and washer/dryers that utilize Wi-Fi for remote monitoring.

Besides the plethora of new application areas for Internet connected automation to expand into, IoT is also expected to generate large amounts of data from diverse locations that is aggregated very quickly, thereby increasing the need to better index, store and process such data.

Up to now

Anis Uzzaman is the general partner and founding member of Silicon Valley-based Fenox Venture Capital. He serves as the CEO overlooking the firm’s management and operations. At Tech in Asia Singapore 2015 today, Uzzaman took to the stage to deliver a keynote speech on Silicon Valley trends and how they can relate to us over here in Asia.

Now’s the time to put your hardware online

The Internet of Things (IoT) is something that everyone, startups and investors alike, should be getting into, said Uzzaman in his keynote. “With IoT, you can be very different, and you can build a unique product,” he says. He told the audience why they shouldn’t be reinventing the wheel in areas like chat apps, traditional ecommerce models, etc.

In 2014, 14.2 billion devices became connected to internet, says Uzzaman. So far in 2015, that number has grown to 15.8 billion, and will continue to rise quickly. According to him, by 2020, IoT will represent a US$1.9 trillion component of the global economy. Uzzaman says Fenox has made a few plays in this space, one of which was its decision to invest in EDYN, a smart garden system that tracks environmental conditions.

Areas of improvement

Uzzaman says that IoT can help the world improve in many ways. He says that new healthcare IT is the wave of the future in terms of solutions for hospitals, children, and elderly people.

Additionally, the manufacturing industry is teed up to benefit from IoT. Production management is something that can be improved dramatically all over the world. Uzzaman also says the possibilities for IoT aiding retail businesses is nearly limitless.

Wearables are poised to grow wildly in popularity in the US and Asia alike, says Uzzaman. For this reason, Fenox invested in a company called META, a firm that is at the forefront of augmented reality. “This is a startup that came out of Y Combinator about two years ago. They have already become very very big in Silicon Valley,” explains Uzzaman.

Google cancer tech

Uzzaman also believes that wearables are the next frontier. He gives honorable mentions to Jawbone’s fitness band, and to Google for patenting a digital deodorant. Additionally, he laudes Google for looking into a possible cure for cancer in the form of a wearable. He says:

The idea is that you wear the device on your arm and it produces acoustics that hit your blood cells in a way so that they won’t produce enzymes that cause cancer.




There’s a saying that you have to “fake it till you make it,” in life and in business. However, you also hear about wantrepreneurs. So what’s the difference? The real difference to me is in the action.

If you want to get started, but you don’t know how to begin from zero, here is a simple and effective approach. Follow these 10 step-by-step instructions to get started on your business today.

1. Write down your vision.

You can’t get somewhere without knowing what the vision for your business and your life is. While the end result of your business will probably look a little different than your initial vision, you have to have the end result in mind to start. What do you want to do with your business? Try answering these three simple questions about your product or service and you’ll have a business vision nailed:

  • What is it?
  • What do I get?
  • How do I get it?

2. Research your market.

This is such a boring step. There’s no way around it. It’s unsexy and it’s in depth. It’s for those exact reasons many well-intentioned first-timers at entrepreneurship will want to skip over this part.

Sure, you asked your family and a few friends and they say your idea is great, so you’ve got a market, right? Wrong. You need to look back at the questions that help you with your vision and drill into them again.

What is it, and more important for your research, why would someone want it? What do I get from you that I can’t get from someone else or something else? How am I getting it and how is that delivery method better, cheaper, faster or easier for me? These are all helpful questions to see where the market is for your business and what pain points you’ll need to solve for your market with your offering.

3. Create something you can sell.

If you can’t solve a problem for your market, you aren’t going to make any sales large enough to sustain a business. It’s that simple. Make sure whatever your business is offering, it solves a problem, because you can market and sell the solution to that problem for a viable business.

4. Get a website.

Now that you’ve figured out your market and product offering, you’ll need a website. It doesn’t matter if you’re a retail or online business, both need a website no matter what.

You don’t have to spend a fortune on a website to start. Purchase a domain from a site such as GoDaddy or Host Gator. If you’re handy withWordPress, you can install a theme for free or a small fee and get started. If you aren’t handy with WordPress, use a build-it yourself, idiot-proof site-building service such as Weebly.

If you really don’t want to deal with it, look to Elance or Odesk and outsource your website design.

5. Outline your automation.

These days, most businesses require some level of marketing and sales automation to really scale. You hear a lot about passive income, and getting your marketing and sales processes as automated as possible will help you maximize the opportunities for truly passive income. Even if you don’t want a passive income business and are actively planning to market your business, you’re still going to want things such as product registration, order tracking and purchases to have some level of automation. Examples include a thank you email, confirmation or upsell offer.

Think about the total user experience from visit to purchase on your site and outline what you think are good points for automated messaging or sales offers. Build it on paper ahead of time. Depending on the size of your budget and needs, look into the sales and marketing automation standard for small businesses, Infusionsoft.

6. Set up a sales funnel.

If you don’t need the robust offering of a site such as Infusionsoft just yet for your business, look at sales funnel-specific software programs such as Lead Pages or Click Funnel. These plug and play into email service providers and payment processing vendors and can be a nice option for small businesses just starting out until they’re ready to scale to bigger platforms.

7. Set up an email opt-in. 

First, you’ll need an email service, such as AWeber or MailChimp, or if you have Infusionsoft or another bigger service provider such as Marketo, email will be part of the platform already. Once you have your email service, you’ll want to ensure there are plenty of places for people to opt-in to your email list on your website, on your landing pages from your sales funnel and anywhere else it’s appropriate. The key to a great, scalable business is a healthy, robust email app.

8. Start a Facebook page.

Facebook is a great, free tool for spreading brand awareness and linking to your landing pages and website. If you create and curate really valuable content consistently, you’ll build up a following that can help drive your business and your brand.

9. Create valuable, shareable content.

You can post your content on your website, syndicate it through services such as Rebel Mouse and post to your own Facebook page. However, if you want the word to really spread, make sure each piece you post is easily sharable so you can build organic traffic and word of mouth.

10. Refine, tweak and improve as you go.

You’ll never be done, but follow the previous nine steps and you should be on your way to establishing your business and your plan of action. As you implement each step, remember that you’ll need to continuously learn from each part of the process to tweak and improve as you go. The more you learn and make corrections, the better your business will be positioned for success in the long term.



Sitting all day isn’t good for you – and we’re not just talking about it making you stir crazy. 

Being stuck at your desk doesn’t just make it hard to focus -- it can ultimately cause damage to your spine, muscles, circulation and heart. In a study published in 2012, researchers found that people who sat for 11 hours or more each day had a 40 percent higher chance of dying from any cause.

But there are ways to combat the punishing routine of taking a seat from 9 to 5. Check out this infographic of simple stretches, embedded below, compiled by employee engagement platform Of ficeVibe.