Becoming an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. That’s why the work must ignite a fire in you. You need strong convictions about your ideas. This is critical, because when you start a consultancy business – particularly without funds – these convictions will give you the energy to overcome the obstacles and setbacks you face along the way.

A Clear Strategy

You have the fire; now you need a plan. Some people pay short shrift to developing a strategy, but that’s not a good idea. Draw a detailed picture of what you want your company to look like in the future. Explain the actions you will take to get there. The plan will help you make decisions about what you need or don’t need. It contains measurements to check whether you are on track with meeting milestones. If you’re missing them, examine why and make adjustments. With a clear strategy, every step will drive you towards your goal.

Debt?

With the plan in place, it’s time to work on the nuts and bolts of the business, but what can you do when you have zero funds in the bank? You can register the company as an LLC, go to the local chamber of commerce, and apply for a small business loan. It makes sense if you want to be a brick and mortar, but first think about if and when you want to have debt on the books. It makes more sense to take advantage of technology first.

Advertising

For entrepreneurs, connections are golden. If you have friends and family in the business arena, ask for their support. Consider it free advertisement. Get them on board by describing your strategy with conviction. Nothing inspires others to support you more than your natural enthusiasm and a realistic strategy alongside it. These connections can occasionally get you in the door.  Use social media for additional advertising, but note that it’s not necessarily easy to garner attention. You’ll encounter “WIIFM” (What’s In It For Me?). What desirable can you give people in exchange for their attention? A freebee usually goes over well, but if you have no money, what do you offer?

Webinars as Revenue Streams

Your services, of course.  Social media platforms have tools that lend themselves to the type of work provided by consultancies, and many of the platforms are free.  Zoom, Facebook Live, and Skype are three of the most popular. Develop a webinar that contains practical tips and advice. Send invitations via Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr and broadcast that the webinar is free. Attain more press at the same time by announcing that one lucky attendee will receive an hour’s worth of your services, also for free. Conducting webinars can eventually turn into a revenue stream. When you grow popular, you can charge as much as $300 for each program.

Not having funds doesn’t have to prevent you from starting a consultancy business. Clarity on your objectives, a comprehensive strategy, and a little creativity will carry you a long way.

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Linda Noskewicz
Linda Noskewicz cut her teeth as an entrepreneur in Texas when she opened her own management development consultancy. She coached executives and high-level managers on a variety of leadership skills and offered training programs as well. After moving to NY, she opted to work with a team of international business consultants and coached clients around the world. Later, she took a role as an organizational development manager and eventually shifted into corporate communications, marketing, and investor relations. Five years ago, her entrepreneurial spirit reared its head again. She now freelances as a content and copy writer. With her experience and education, she is well versed in producing high-quality instructive information for entrepreneurs. She has a BA in Mass Communications, an MA in English, and an Executive MBA. Her interests include scuba diving, oil painting, and photography.

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