No Cash But Big Business Aspirations? No Problem

Aug 17, 2023

IBA, as the premier business brokerage firm in the Pacific Northwest, is firmly established as a respected professional service firm in the legal, accounting, banking, mergers & acquisitions, real estate, and financial planning communities.  Periodically, we will post guest blogs from professionals with knowledge to share for the good of owners of privately held companies & family owned businesses. The following blog article has been provided by John Dunbar of Housing Secrets (

No Cash But Big Business Aspirations? No Problem

It typically costs a few thousand to start a home-based business. However, many of us don’t have $3,000 just laying around that we can divert away from our living expenses and into our entrepreneurial endeavors. Fortunately, there are a few ways that you can start a business without liquid cash. Keep reading for a few tips.

Take Out Loans to Fund the Acquisition of an Existing Business.

International Business Associates explains that buying a business is not like buying other things. There’s not an inventory that you can just browse, and the value of the business you want to buy is subjective. But they all have value, and it takes money to acquire an existing business. When you don’t have your own money, you’ll need to rely on other sources. This could include requesting seller financing or seeking private equity or venture capital investors.

Regardless of which route you go, you’ll need to make sure that your credit score and financial standing are intact. Credit scores range from between 301 to 850 – 740 and higher will get you the best interest rates. When you seek investors, you’ll also need to be prepared to show them that you have the experience needed to take over an existing company.

Consider Starting a Business that Does Not Require Overhead.

There are a few types of businesses that you can start today utilizing your existing equipment, technology, and experience. Many of the services that HubSpot recommends fall into this category. Online dating consultant, sewing or alterations specialist, software developer, personal trainer, photographer, and car detailing are all great examples.

The caveat for these types of businesses is that you’ll likely need to start small. After all, you may not have the money from the beginning to hire an assistant or to invest in the specialized equipment that you need to grow from a single-person business to a larger company. In the beginning, it’s best to focus on quality and build your reputation.

Make Sure that You Have Enough Money to Cover Your Living Expenses.

Although you don’t necessarily have to have money to start a business, we all have bills to pay. You’ve likely heard the tried-and-true advice of saving six months worth of expenses before quitting a job to start a new business. Strive for at least that. If possible, save up at least one year’s worth of what you need to cover your cost for a year. This gives you a cushion of time to weather the hardest part of running a new business, which is waiting to turn a profit.

Go Banking Rates explains that it takes around two to three years for a business to start making money beyond its own expenses. Don’t let this discourage you, however, because you’ll likely be able to pay yourself a salary much sooner. Once you become profitable, you can then look at reinvesting money in your business or give yourself incremental raises until you reach your earnings goal.

Work Your Future Business as a Side Gig Until You’re Established.

If you absolutely can’t save enough money to cover half a year without making money, then there’s nothing wrong with starting a side gig to establish yourself as a player in the industry. You can continue to work your 9-to-5 while you build your clientele a few hours here and there. It might not be easy, but the challenges you’ll face are worth their rewards of self-employment.

While it does take money to make money in many cases, it doesn’t have to be your money, and there are many careers you can begin with zero startup cost. From getting a loan to starting a no-bottom-line business, today’s tips can take you from aspiring entrepreneur to seasoned business owner without draining your life savings to make it happen.

If you have any questions relating to the content of this article, John Dunbar would welcome the opportunity to answer them.  Mr. Dunbar can be reached at (919) 894-2043 and

IBA, the Pacific Northwest’s premier business brokerage firm since 1975, is available as an information resource to the media, business brokerage, mergers & acquisitions, real estate, accounting, legal, and financial planning communities on subjects relevant to the purchase & sale of privately held companies and family-owned businesses.  IBA is recognized as one of the best business brokerage firms in the nation based on its long track record of successfully negotiating “win-win” business sale transactions in environments of full disclosure employing “best practices”.