Running a Business on Limited Resources.


 Running a Business on Limited Resources.

In the modern day of business, there are many different ways to reach your goal. For example, many entrepreneurs are starting businesses on limited resources. What does this mean? It means that they don't have the luxury of investing large sums of money into a new venture in order to make it successful right off the bat.

Fortunately, it doesn't take a lot to start and grow a business with limited resources; oftentimes all you need is an enthusiastic mindset and some very basic skills.

So, where do you start? Building a new business with limited resources is sort of like building a house without a blueprint. You have to know what you want to build first, and building on limited resources requires that you have a strong sense of what your abilities are.

If you are in the market for starting a new business, there are two key things that will determine your success potential: 1) your knowledge about the industry/niche and 2) your level of motivation. Let's look at each one in depth (we'll deal with item #2 first).

"Resources are only limited if your mind is small.


(Here comes the good part!)

The first step in starting a business on limited resources (with the aforementioned two points: knowledge and motivation) is to understand your needs and the industry you want to enter. The only way you'll be able to do this is by researching the niche: understand what customers are looking for and what they're willing to pay for. In other words, make sure that you have a solid understanding of your market, as this knowledge will help you narrow down your selling point later on.

Once you've done your research, you can begin to source out the tools that you'll need to start your company.

If you do a lot of surfing on the internet for web design, that's a good beginning. If not HTML and CSS, definitely learn them. If you don't have any familiarity with programming languages for web applications, brush up on those basics before putting together a portfolio website.

Have some money saved up? That's great! How about $500? Here are some ways to do it while keeping it as small as possible:

Go to a local flea market, garage sale or thrift store and look around for items that could work in your business (e.g. home-made greeting cards, doilies and lamp shades). Some of these items can be purchased wholesale or privately. If nothing appeals to you, take the whole family to a local park and see if you can find any odd ball things that could work for your business (e.g. broken yard art)

Go door to door and ask people who live in your neighborhood if they have any old stuff laying around their house that would make a good business to buy/sell. This could be books, baby clothing, old electronics etc. Take note of what they have and bring it up if you see an item listed for sale on craigslist or ebay.

Buy used items from thrift stores or garage sales. If you're thinking about selling your own home-made items (or other crafty things), buying used is a great way to get a cheap start for your business because these sellers are usually ready to move things out of their house and into someone else's. Buy low, sell high!

Volunteer for local charity events to make some cash on the side (e.g.: walk dogs or do yard work).

Ask friends and family for a small amount of money (maybe $5-$15) if they have some old stuff lying around their house that they don't use anymore. You can do this in person, via e-mail or even in a Facebook post or tweet. Remember, you're looking for ANYTHING that can be turned into a product to sell.

If you don't have local connections then you might consider doing an online garage sale with websites like craigslist, ebay and Facebook classifieds (many of these sites will allow you to respond to all the ads so that people know exactly what's being sold). A great way to advertise is by listing your business online as well. Make sure to include all the specifics (e.g. payment options, shipping and return policies etc.). Also remember to set up your business online at a place like where you can sell everything from arts/crafts to homemade baked goods and candy/cookies!

If you love music, consider getting a used keyboard or guitar on eBay or Craigslist and putting your favorite album on it (preferably something obscure). You could also do this with an old kids' toy like talking dolls by putting out ads in the classifieds that say: "I'll put your voice on my doll" or "I'll record your voice for my toy. The best voices will get to buy my toy."

If you know how to fix things then consider fixing things that other people have broken. Many small business owners are too busy to fix their stuff and don't have time for it. So offer your services as a handyman. For example, there's a site called where you can post a profile for free and then answer calls from people looking for anything from computer trouble shooting to furniture assembly (for a fee, of course).

Selling on Craigslist or eBay could be an interesting way to sell some of the things that you gather during your research period. You can also sell on a lot of other websites that didn't quite strike your fancy.

Once you've established a saleable/attractive product, it's time for the marketing phase. Here are some good ways to do so:

Create an eBay store! This will allow you to keep track of all your products in one place and make it easy to find new items and relist what sold. You'll want to set up a payment service like PayPal too. Don't worry if you don't have much; you can verify your account by using a credit card or bank account number to deposit money into the account (up to $200). Use this money to market in your store and establish "permanent" addresses to use when selling your products.

Create a Facebook page (even if it's just a profile page) and set up a Facebook Store. There are many free tools that allow you to sell on Facebook and also post advertisements on certain segments of the site (e.g.: cell phones, cars). Some features that you'll want to get for your Facebook Store include: an online store with unlimited items, payment options, feedback-providing function and support for multiple languages including English, Spanish or Italian (if you plan on selling European goods).


The hardest part of starting a small business isn't setting up the company, but rather doing all the little tasks that no one else wants to do. For example, collecting money and filing taxes. A great way to keep track of things is with a personal finance software like Quicken or Mint (for American consumers). For small businesses (although you can still use it for your personal purchases), I recommend my favorite app: Pocketing Money.

Hopefully I've covered most of the general information in this article which will help you kickstart your new business venture.

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