Easy way to launch a business with no start-up capital

Earlier this week I was browsing the posts within The Wholesale Forums and noticed that often, people post about wanting to start an online business…but they simply have no ‘seed money’ or capital to get started!

This is a common problem and is a recurring theme in my inbox too, but quite frankly there are plenty of ways to make a small amount of money which you can then use to get your business up and running. Then you simply reinvest your profits until you have a bigger pot each time.

It’s tricky to start an online business with zero funds – that’s the first thing to point out, because you have to purchase something (yes I know that if you drop ship you don’t have to spend money on stock, but in my opinion this is not the easiest or the most profitable way to get started).

When I started selling online, my ‘seed money’ stood at £150 and that’s what I spent on my first small wholesale lot almost 10 years ago. But quite honestly, you don’t even need that much! Most people have a spare £50 (and if you don’t I’ll explain how to get £50 or more with one mornings work in a minute), so I want to show you that even with this seemingly small amount of cash for purchasing stock, you can in fact still get started.

This strategy won’t make you rich overnight. It’s the beginning of a process. But it will get you started so that you can reinvest, reinvest, reinvest!

A long time before I started my online business, I used to do car boot sales to make a bit of extra cash once every few months. It’s true when they say ‘one man’s junk is another man’s treasure’ because I used to regularly make over £100 from the bits and pieces that were sitting in my house taking up space and gathering dust.

So, thinking about raising cash to buy your first wholesale lot, first of all, have a clear out at home and get yourself down to your nearest car boot sale. I can pretty much guarantee that even after having paid the fee to set up your stall (usually around £5) you’ll still come away with at least £50 in your pocket.

Oh look…there’s your first £50 to spend on stock!

Now you’ve got two options. You can take that £50 and research profitable items to sell online, for example on eBay, and invest it in stock which you then list, or you can take that £50 and invest it in stock to sell…at a car boot sale!

So, the choice is yours – go straight online – make sure you do your research very thoroughly and you choose exactly the right products – or commit to making a larger amount of ‘seed money’ before you start selling online by selling products bought at wholesale via car boot sales to increase your pot further.

If you set up at a car boot sale once a week for a month you have the potential of at least a £400 pot for stock, by the end of the 4 weeks – and this, in my opinion is a better option.

But where can you get decent stock for just £50 from?

Cash and carry type items are ideal for car boot sales where you can reach a wide range of people from all walks of life who are mostly just looking for cheap knick-knacks – i.e. non-specifics.

People go to car boot sales for something to do on a weekend but they are usually not looking for anything in particular. A bargain is a bargain though and most can’t resist buying something whether they want it or not. So, let’s say you’re off to your local car boot sale. What should you take with you to sell?

Here are some examples:

You could offer a range of goods purchased in bulk from a supplier such as MX Wholesale – - whose minimum order value is £50. They offer items such as packs of dishcloths, cutlery with novelty ends, bottle openers, toy robots, pirate swords and kites.

MX Wholesale

These dishcloths are just 49p for a pack of 10. You could make more than 50% profit on these by selling each pack for £1.00:

Image 2

Or how about these Snakes & Ladders games from Cut Price Wholesaler – - available at 78p each:


Minimum order of these is just 12 which comes in at under £10 (plus delivery). You could easily charge £2.50 or more for these games at a car boot sale. Cut Price Wholesaler has a huge selection of goods for you to choose from online:

Cutprice 2

The aim then, is to at least double your initial investment, which shouldn’t be difficult given that most of the items you’ll be purchasing for resale will cost you pennies.

If you do decide to do this, a little trick you can use is to only put a couple of each item that you have, on display on your stall at a time (to disguise the fact that you, in fact, have multiples of each item).

Mix this in with some personal stuff (old lamps, books, toys etc) so that interested buyers assume that your items are limited and if they want them they will have to buy now or miss out!

Remember that if you set yourself a target and do four car boot sales in a month and make at least £50 profit each time, that’s £200 profit made in just 30 days which is more than enough to get you started on eBay. I know from experience though that you should be able to make nearer £400 in those 30 days. And all for just a couple of early mornings and a few hours work!

So, as you can see, it’s entirely possible to get started online with very little capital. The ‘no money to get started’ scenario usually arises when would be ‘entrepreneurs’ assume that they need thousands of pounds right from the get-go, to invest in stock, when that is simply not the case at all.

To build a proper, viable business, starting small and growing it gradually by re-investing your profits all the time, will ensure you can grow your business sensibly without having large amounts of money tied up in stock and of course abolishes the need for an unfeasibly large start up bank!

Amanda O'Brien is an eBay expert, skilled product sourcer and author of home study courses to help you sell successfully online. Sign up to her free w...

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