Ever tried to start a business for free? I thought it would be easy with lots of info on the web. I was wrong. There's plenty of advice but it all starts with...
1) Get a Domain
2) Setup hosting
3) Build a website
Um, those ain't free!
$100+ was too high an initial cost. Seriously, I didn't want to put even a penny down until I was earning. I needed to start using only what I had or could access for free.
Here's what I did to build a business for free.
How I picked my business...
Typical Advice: Aim for something that utilizes a skill and materials you already have (or can access for free).
For me that meant knitting (and, to a lesser extent, crochet). Why?
1. I know how to knit and crochet
2. I own knitting needles and a few crochet hooks
3. Websites to sell knit/crochet stuff already exist
4. I could join those websites for free
The real hardship with my business idea came in two areas: yarn and final product.
Yarn can get expensive fast. I overcame the yarn obstacle by initially creating patterns based on what was in my stash and yarn donations. In total honesty, it was a large yarn donation to my knitting group that allowed me to start.
As for the final product, well, due to time constraints (two young kids, remember), I decided to create patterns only. I focused on hats too. Hats are fast to knit up. Plus it was October when I started and that's the beginning of hat season in central Illinois.
The beauty of a pattern as the final product really appealed to me.
I opted not to go with Etsy or BigCartel. Those sites are known for wearable finished products.
Instead I used existing memberships at Ravelry and Craftsy as my selling locations. My personal computer supplied the software to write out the patterns. My iPhone served as my camera.
It can be done.
Need some ideas to get you started?
Here are some links to pages that will help you brainstorm possible options.
No Money to Start a Business? Try These 5 Options
Business Idea Center
Low Cost Business Ideas
1001 Business Ideas
50 Small Businesses You Can Start on Your Own
I'd love to hear from you.
Seriously, I would love to hear from you. Drop me a note in the comments if you have questions about starting and I'll do my best to help. If you've started a business, please share your story. Thanks for reading this post. I appreciate your time.