How much cash will I need to start my own business?

How much cash do you need to start your own business?  It depends on the kind of business.  But, generally, if you’re going to start consulting, you DON’T need a big hunk of cash to get started.  Realistically, you could probably start independent consulting for less than $100 in start-up funds.

Start your consulting business with no moneyWhen I talk to people who consider independent consulting, the common–and mistaken–idea is that you need to have a significant amount of cash to get started, maybe thousands of dollars.  Or maybe pool your money with partners, or get outside funding.  First of all, going in with partners or getting outside funding is usually a big mistake; I’ll talk more about why that’s typically true in later posts.

For now though, just remember that to be a self-employed consultant, you actually need very little to get started.

I know, I know.  You’re probably thinking:  But I need an office, furniture, high-speed internet, a phone line, fax machine, copier, a new laptop, an accountant, an attorney, a fancy website, graphic design, business cards, brochures, time & billing software, and maybe even specialized software for the consulting work I’ll be doing.

It’s overwhelming.  And it’s also not true.

First, rethink what’s really necessary, especially starting out.  Instead, think:  what’s the absolute minimum I need to get clients, do the work, and get paid?

I worked out of my home for 4 years before I decided to get an office.  Expensive enterprise-level software can often be bought very cheaply by purchasing a developer version.  Do you really need brochures?  When I first started my consulting business, I spent a bunch of time and money designing and printing nice, professional brochures, and sending them to clients; but I can’t say I got any business from it.  It was more an exercise in doing what I thought I needed to do to be in business, rather than testing out what really worked.

moneyOne of the greatest things about technology today is that a lot of the tools you’ll need for starting your consulting business can be had for free or very low cost.  That goes for graphic design, website development and hosting, accounting software, printing, marketing, and pretty much anything else you can think of.  I’ll give examples of some of those tools in later posts.

There are already too many imagined reasons NOT to start your consulting business.  But start-up funds isn’t one of them.  Don’t make a lack of money an excuse for not starting your own business.

12 Responses to How much cash will I need to start my own business?

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  2. admin says:

    Thanks for your comment!

    The theme I’m using is Simplism, and you can get it from Elegant Themes.

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  4. Howdy! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the outstanding work!

  5. Don’t buy things that you don’t need. Don’t buy stuff just because your friends are buying it. Live life in your own terms. If you can’t resist the temptation of credit cards, hide them somewhere so that you don’t get to use them often. Carry cash; this will help you stay in control.

    • Greg says:

      Excellent points! Especially when starting a business, it can be easy to get carried away and think that you need a new laptop, phone, etc. But keeping expenses to a bare minimum will boost the chances that you’ll succeed without taking on debt.

  6. You’ve got great insights about start own business, keep up the good work!

  7. Its about time somebody posted a good quality post on this issue

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  9. […] Do you need a pile of cash to start your consulting business? Of course not! A few of the articles below talk about how you can start on the cheap. […]

  10. vinodh says:

    great post. Its agreed that not having money is a lame excuse for not starting a business

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