Starting a business sounds great on paper: you get to be your own boss, decide exactly how you want your business to run, and so much more. In reality, though, it takes a bit of money to start down the road of entrepreneurship. Don’t let a lack of funds stop you from your entrepreneurial dreams, though! There are resources out there that could potentially help you, and you can start a business with minimal funding and careful planning. 

For starters, you’ll want to choose a business venture that’ll be relatively inexpensive to start. Some businesses will cost a lot of money to make a reality, so do some research into the idea you have in mind and see how much it’ll cost to get you started. If you’re offering a service rather than a product, you’ll save even more money; you won’t need to worry about manufacturing, inventory, or warehouse space. Internet-based services will further save you money, as will being tech-savvy and setting up web hosting and the website yourself.

When you have little money to work with, your business venture will have to be a side hustle rather than your primary source of income. The most important thing to focus on when you’re getting started is building the cash flow of your business on the side before turning it into your full-time job. Your current job will help cover your living expenses and provide you with benefits in the meantime. Doing this will give you time to develop your business in a way with little risk and leave room for any mistakes you might make. 

Once you’ve reached a point where the cash flow is good and sustainable, you can turn your business into a full-time career. Until then, you need to be aware of where your money is going and how you’re spending it.

Take, for example, equipment for your business. A common mistake for new entrepreneurs is investing their money in appearances—an office space, furniture, and so on—before they can afford to. Instead, keep your equipment purchases to a minimum and only buy what you need to get your business off the ground. As your cash flow increases, you can afford more equipment.

Any investment you make for your business should be directly related to revenue generation. Investing in marketing, for example, will promote your business to potential customers and can be relatively inexpensive. Training is also crucial to a business’s success and can be done cheaply. Do your research online for both of these investments and use your free resources wisely. Social media is perfect for free online marketing, while YouTube videos are great for training yourself in necessary skills for your business.