Last Updated on May 23, 2020 by Ron Stefanski

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How to Start a Business With NO MONEY in 2020

A lot of people think that starting a business with no money is nearly impossible. I actually think that having money when starting a business can be a negative thing. 

I’ll tell you why that is.

When somebody starts a business with a lot of money and they come across a problem, like having their sales go down, they throw money at it. They might hire a sales associate or customer service representative, or spend a lot on marketing. However, that doesn’t get to the root of the problem. 

You see, the advantage of starting a business with no money is that they are in the trenches every single day. If that’s you right now, having this is a competitive advantage because you understand what your customers want and you understand what the data is telling you. 

You are in it every single day, so when something goes wrong, you react to it; you don’t hire someone else to react to it. That’s a very important distinction. I honestly believe that what makes a business successful is being passionate about what you do.

Today, I’m going to talk about seven different businesses you can start with absolutely no money. Now, I do want to say that when you’re starting a business, understand that you won’t be super successful overnight. It will take time, but you need to start the business in order to grow it into something much bigger.

WATCH THIS BLOG POST IN VIDEO FORMAT

1) Start a YouTube Channel

Number one is to start a YouTube channel. This is exactly what I’ve done, and really it’s just as easy as shooting content on your phone and editing it, creating a thumbnail for people to click through, and posting it on YouTube. It starts that simply.

In order to monetize a YouTube channel and actually make money from it, you have to have over a thousand subscribers, and you have to have over 4,000 hours of watch time in the past 12 months. I know that sounds insurmountable, and you’re probably thinking, “I could never do that.” But the answer is you can, and all you have to do is get started.

That being said, if you are going to focus on YouTube, you have to be in a niche. You can’t be a very broad channel talking about very broad things with no real theme. 

You need to focus on videos about a specific topic, and the subscribers you get will be people that are interested in that topic. When you get those subscribers, they are going to watch more of your videos. That’s what will continue to grow your channel.

If you deviate from that main topic and you completely change your strategy, you’re going to see that a lot of subscribers are not going to go with you. When you create a niche YouTube channel, it’s going to really attract the people who are interested in that topic.

How much can you make with a YouTube channel? The answer to that is, it depends. There are certain YouTubers that make hundreds of thousands of dollars every single month. Obviously, they are the outliers. Personally, I always disclose how much income I make on my channel every month. 

I make around $300 to $350 a month, and I’m just getting started. There definitely is money to be made, but it depends on what niche you’re in and what exactly you’re talking about. There are many things that you can do with YouTube. 

You have to understand, it’s not just about ad revenue. When you talk about starting YouTube, think about starting your brand, and using YouTube as the vehicle to connect with your followers. 

2) Become a Freelancer

Number two is to become a freelancer. This sounds complicated, but it’s actually pretty easy. You could join different platforms to find work in what you’re passionate about. Starting out, I would recommend that you join upwork.com. There’s another freelancer marketplace called fiverr.com. Both of these platforms are great. 

You can even look into Facebook communities or blog writing services. Or, if you want to become a virtual assistant, you can look into virtual assistant groups on Facebook.

If you’re wondering how much you can make as a freelancer, here are people that make their entire living doing this. 

It could be marketing services. It could be editors for videos. It could be a lot of different things. It really depends on how skilled you are.

Regardless of what platform you join, the key in the beginning is to price yourself low. Although that sounds like it goes against what I’m saying, and it will change how much you can make, you need to compete with people who have a lower price. As you start getting successful jobs, you could start raising your price and then get paid what you’re actually worth.

3) Start a Website (This is what I do)

Number three is to start a website, which is what I do. I actually have many websites. It’s pretty simple to begin; you can click on this link to learn more about creating your own website. 

Generally speaking all you have to do is start a blog and write on a topic you’re passionate about, even if it’s about something like books.. After that, you’re over the hurdle that most people never even get to because they never even begin.

Eventually, you’re going to end up making money, whether that’s with affiliate marketing, some ads, or possibly a membership or an info product. Then, you’ll figure out how to make money in the future. Don’t worry about that now, just focus on starting.

I think the thing to understand is that once you start making money, the way that you really scale the business is you hire a writer. The writer is someone who can help you create content on your website.

Just like a YouTube channel, it’s really good to go niche with this, to make sure it’s something that you could technically outsource to someone else, and it’s not just your voice at all times.

How much can you make? Well, just like a YouTube channel, it really depends. Personally, it took me about six years to get here. I have a portfolio of seven different websites and they make me somewhere between $20,000 to $25,000 every single month. Click here to see my income reports.

4) Turn Trash into Treasure

Number four is to turn trash into treasure, which is a real thing. I’m not saying that you have to be a garbage picker to do this. Though, if you’re willing to put your pride aside and pick through some garbage, that’s even better. 

However, a great place to go to is Craigslist, where you can find different things people are getting rid of and are like, “Hey, I want someone to haul this away.” You can message them and say, “Is there anything wrong with it?” Maybe it’s exercise equipment, or an old chair, or something like that.

A lot of times people just want to replace stuff because they’re sick of it. That’s just human nature. You could be the guy or girl that goes in and hauls that piece of junk away, or maybe brings it home and fixes it up and makes it even better. 

Then, you can resell it on Craigslist. There are many different applications out there that you can use to sell things. If you do that, you will essentially take $0 and make it into something more. 

After you’ve done it a few times, you’re going to get better at it, and better at negotiating, and better at spotting deals. You’ll also be able to do more of it and make even more money. Plus, you get to tinker with things, so if that’s what you like to do, then it’s a great option.

In terms of how much you can make by turning trash into treasure, it can add up to quite a bit. It depends on what it is you’re flipping and the items you’re getting. Generally speaking, it’s not crazy to start off making an extra $100 to $200 every other week. You can then expand that once you’ve really gotten good at it and make a pretty decent living doing it. There are a lot of people that do.

5) Join the Gig Economy

Number five is to join the gig economy. If you don’t know what this is, stick with me here. A lot of people have heard of Uber and Lyft. Obviously you can join those platforms and start driving other people. You can also look into Instacart that lets you shop and deliver food to people. 

You can join a platform called TaskRabbit, as well. With this platform, you can help people perform tasks, just like the name says. If someone needs a couch move, you go into the platform and say, “Hey, I can help you move that couch for 50 bucks.” Once they agree, you help them with the task, and then you move forward.

You can become a cat or dog sitter, or a pet sitter in general. It could be snakes, it could be antelopes—whatever you’re into. I don’t care. I’m not here to judge. The point is, as a pet sitter, you can use the platform called rover.com. This platform allows you to find people in your area who need a pet sitter.

You can also try a platform called Wrapify. This platform is pretty interesting because it allows you to do something kind of small and get paid for it. In this particular case, they will wrap your car with an advertisement for a local or nationwide business, and all you do is drive around. If you do that with Uber or Lyft, it can be a pretty killer combo.

How much can you make with this? Well, it depends on how hardworking you are, and exactly what it is that you’re doing. Generally speaking, if you put a lot of effort into this, it’s possible that you can make at least a couple thousand dollars every single month.

6) Retail Arbitrage

Number six is retail arbitrage. Now, this is something that not everyone knows about, but it actually works really well. Starting out, you’ll need to find a way to come up with a couple hundred dollars.

I know these are all supposed to be free, but just go to Amazon or eBay and sell some of the junk that you have that you don’t need. Once you’ve sold those, you have a couple hundred dollars to start. 

What you do with retail arbitrage is go to retail stores or department stores you look at the discount sections or clearance sections. Then, you purchase some items and resell them on Amazon or eBay.

This sounds crazy because most people think, “How would this possibly work?” The answer is that people pay for convenience. I pay for convenience all the time. There may be a product I want, but I don’t want to go track it down and I’m too lazy to go to the store, so I will actually buy it online. A lot of people are like me.

Now, you’re probably wondering, “How do I pick the right items?” It’s really not that difficult. What you can do is get the Amazon Seller app. You can basically scan a barcode and it’ll tell you how many of that particular item has sold and what the prices have been. 

Look at that, then compare it to the prices in the store and see if you can squeeze enough margin in there to make it worth it. There is a lot of information about this online, and a lot of people do this successfully.

How much you can make with retail arbitrage? In the beginning, you’re not going to make that much because your risk is low. You’re not buying a lot of products and you’re not pushing a lot through. Because of this, your profits are going to be relatively low, for example, maybe $50-$200 in the first few months as you’re figuring things out. 

As you scale larger and start finding products that you know sell quickly, then you can make significantly more money. There are people making thousands of dollars every single month by doing this. 

7) Become a Loan Signing Agent

Number seven is the one that not a lot of people know about, so let’s just keep it between you and me.

Become a loan signing agent. 

You’re probably wondering, “What is a loan signing agent?” Well, my wife and I just refinanced our mortgage. When we did that, someone came to our house to help us sign off on the loan, and make sure that all the paperwork was in order. That’s what a loan signing agent is. 

Not the most difficult thing to do in the world, but you travel to a location, and make sure that everything is signed and everything looks in order.

Technically this one is not free, and you need about $200 to start, but I just gave you a list of all the other ones that you can do. You could try some retail arbitrage, come up with $200, and then you have the money to start this. 

You need around a hundred dollars to get a notary license, and you can take an online test. You also need notary insurance to make sure you can actually practice everything, which is about a hundred dollars as well. 

How do you get signings? Well, really it comes down to loan officers and realtors. They always need someone to make sure that all the documentation is signed off correctly. Otherwise, they can’t sell a house.

There are two ways to go about this. The first and most popular way to begin is by joining a signing service. There are different companies out there, but they essentially assign you work.

The second one is after you’ve gone to a few different signings and passed around your business card, people will refer you to other people, who will then continually call you, and you will grow organically. 

Generally speaking, this is not a very saturated type of employment. It’s something that once you start, you can continue to grow, and continue to network and get bigger. 

You really want to make sure that you have good relationships with realtors and loan officers. They are your lifeline. Once you’re in good with them, you’re in really good shape.

How much can you make as a loan signing agent? Well, actually the pay is fairly good. Most of the appointments pay somewhere between $50 to $150. It’s not a ton of money, but definitely a good amount. 

The reality is, most of those appointments take less than an hour to complete. It’s very possible, if you take this seriously and really dive into it, that you could make a couple thousand dollars in the first few months. Then, once you’re able to scale yourself and you get used to the whole process, you can do pretty well for yourself.


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