Do you have a great business idea but don't have the money to get it off the ground? With online courses and e-books telling you about the large sum of money required to invest in your business, you have probably taken that dream and placed it in a box up high on a shelf.

But I'm here to tell you to take down that box, open it up, and show you that your business idea IS possible with little to no money involved up front.

Here are five ways to start a business without any money:

1. Stay employed, and work the new business on the side.

As a certified life coach, I work with clients who often think they need to quit their secure jobs before they start a business. But this isn't the case, nor is it what I recommend in the beginning.

Eventually, you will transition to your new business full-time, but, to start, the income of your current job is important to take the pressure off yourself. Of course, you want your new business to have earning potential, but if you keep your current job, you can enjoy the beginning phases of your business. Take time to develop your business rather than spend all of your money up front because you dug a hole of debt and need to earn money fast.

2. Meet a need.

If your business is less about you and more about meeting a need, you can expect to earn money right away instead of spending money on convincing future customers or clients why they should buy your product or use your service. Meeting a need does the advertising for you and gives you the support needed to get your business up and going right away!

3. Barter services.

Starting my first business, I was well aware that I would need help. The expertise I had wasn't going to be enough to be successful. A friend of mine mentioned that many people barter services when they first begin. Intrigued, I asked what this meant. Bartering is when people come together and use their strengths to help each other using their gifts and talents rather than finances. So if a marketer friend of mine needed writing services, instead of paying me to write for him, he would give me some marketing services in return.

There are many ways to barter. Have a friend who is a website builder and logo creator but hates cleaning his house? Clean it for him! Have a photographer friend who wants to get away from the kids and go out with her husband a few times a month? Barter your babysitting services for pictures of your products!

Widen your network so that you can barter until you can afford to hire.

4. Find investors.

Maybe your business has been up and going for awhile, but you don't have the money to take it to the next level. I encourage you to consider reaching out to investors! Levo provides a helpful guide about what investors look for in an entrepreneur, so do your homework before you begin the search!

5. Ask.

You may not be ready for investors quite yet, but you can ask loved ones to support your venture. Of course, you need to offer something in return such as your products and services. Don't be afraid to ask for the sale. You'll be surprised how many people want to help!

In addition to the tips above, remember, if you have a “get rich quick” mindset, none of these tips will work because you have to spend money to make money. But if you are willing to implement these tips to get you started and allow your profit to happen organically instead of forcefully, you can use the money you earn to put back into your business and develop a successful business over time without going into debt.

Tell us in the comments: do you think you're ready to take that business dream box off the shelf? What do you have to lose?

**If you're ready to start this business, it will typically begin in your home. Read this post to see how to prepare for an in-home business!

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