Starting a business comes with many challenges and it can be difficult to know where to begin financially. Here we share our top tips on how you can run a business with no money.

Think about what you can access for free

It is true that when running a business there are many costs to consider which soon add up. However, take time to consider what you might be able to do for free. Think about things that are essential to the running of your business; this will help you prioritise what is strictly necessary and what is a luxury.

The internet is a valuable resource. If you are willing to spend time and effort, much of what you need might be at your disposal. There are so many free tutorials and courses available online that may be able to teach you the skills you need to take your business to the next level without employing a specialist.

For things such as accounting or bookkeeping, you may be able to save money by doing this yourself. In the first years of the business especially, it may be better to manage this yourself rather than pay for someone external to do it.

It can be tempting to spend money on social media accounts or other marketing strategies, especially if you are trying to build brand awareness. However, this takes time and more importantly money and does not always yield the customers that you would think. 

The best course of action is to first establish your business and then develop marketing strategies that resonate with your target demographic. You can also look at free marketing strategies such as SEO or referral marketing.

Save up before starting your business

Before starting your business, it is recommended that you have around six months’ worth of money saved up. Although it is not ideal to tap into your savings to cover expenses, it is useful to have it there as a safety net. 

Realistic business plans need to take into account exactly what you are spending, exactly what revenue you are bringing in, and when you can expect to see a profit. This will help you know exactly how much you will need to save as a safety net until you have regular cash flow.

Ask around for extra funds

“Friends and family can be a big help when it comes to making your business dreams a reality,” explains Justine Gray, founder of

“Make sure you have a solid business plan that you can present to them; if they believe in your business model, they could be the early investors of the company.”

“Not only that, but they can offer valuable advice and input. Think about who you have in the network that could offer you strategic or practical business advice based on their own experiences.”

“Even if they do not offer you financial support, they are a great resource for bouncing ideas, networking, or could even be some of your first customers.”

“If you do borrow money from a family member or friend, make sure to keep careful records and stick to a strict repayment schedule, as you would with any other type of loan.”

Apply for a small business loan

If you need more capital after running your business with zero funds, there are plenty of options available for small business loans. Whether you need additional cash flow or are hoping to take your business to the next level, there are many different loans available that could suit your needs.

 If you already have a bank account, you might qualify for a business bank account with the same bank. Additionally, there are several online lenders available who may be more accessible to you if you have a smaller credit history or the business is relatively new.