You are not running a business if there is no clear line of daily income activities that directly result in income flow. There must be something you’re doing consistently that brings income consistently. Business for me is not just a place of meeting but a transaction point that result in consistent cash flow. If you are not making money, you are not doing business. What to do to make money and the inflow of money is what I call business. Now, with the above understanding, can you start a business with zero capital? I think you can. Below are step-by-step of starting your first business with zero capital. Discover your money-making side. What can you do or give in exchange for money? My firm belief is that what’s stopping many from having money in abundance is hidden in the nomenclature that surrounding the word money. The first thing you hear about money is the phrase “make money.” Really, do you make or earn money? To understand money you need to get yourself familiar with the word “exchange” because the only way to have or earn money is to exchange something for money. You can exchange your time, talent, energy, freedom, love, sleep, health, comfort, properties, creativity… for money. Back to our question, what can you do or give in exchange for money? Knowing that you are not allowed to literarily print money, the primary way to get money fast is to exchange something of value for it. Find out what you can give others that they will be willing to pay for. It must be a thing of value. People will only give money willing for the thing they value. Don’t be quick to say you don’t have such a thing, you have it. No one is left without a precious thing of value that others will want. It is either they have not discovered it yet or they haven’t found those who really want it yet. Let me try and help with a list of common things that when done differently will attract profits. Just by adding value to your common everyday activities, hobbies, gifts, and talents, you can create that unique commodity, others will be willing to pay for. What can you do better or easier? Can you cook better than most? Can you write, sell, talk, babysit, gossip, sing, smile, decorate, organize and so on. You must find your money-making side and start building your own business today. You can take the quiz of Finding Your Profitable Side here. Develop your unique market. Your unique market is the people you will sell to, those who need what you have. Separate them from the crowd. In a typical market structure, you have those interested in your products, those who need it and those who can afford it. You need just a fragment of the last two, those who need it and can afford it. This used to cost a fortune but now it cost zero cash, only your effort is needed. It is so now because you can simply leverage on the power of the Social Media. We have over 3.6 billion people on the Social Media today. You must engage this huge market to develop your own unique market. You must reach out to them, filter them and locate the ones that will become your early majority. Plunge into the pool of Social Media and find your first followers, those who will believe in you and what you are selling. There are various techniques to do this. Once you find them, they become your unpaid first market, your product examiners and fine-tuners. They are the people you must never underestimate or take for granted. Cherish them because they are the soul of your business. Design your business pitch. The first person to sell your business is you. Nobody should know your business more than you. Your business is you, so how will you convince me to like and accept you? Design your own unique way of telling potential buyers and investors, the reason they must trust you and your business. You love your business, if not you wouldn’t have started it all. So why designing your pitch let that love and passion for what you do flow through to anyone listening to you or reading your pitch. Your logical why will relate understanding; your passionate why will unleash conviction. This is why I believe your business pitch should contain the unique compelling start-up story of the business owner. You must be able to translate the why behind what you are doing or selling. Beyond making money, why did you choose to start the business? This will not just help you build loyal fanatical customers who believe what you believe because they could relate with your story, but will attract for you diehard investors willing to commit to your business. Make it simple, whenever you think about a business pitch, think about why you strongly desire to start the business. What’s your drive? What’s your why? There were several other businesses, why this one? Why did you start when you did, who inspired you, who pushed you, who encouraged you and finally how did you start pushing your business? Deploy your business test. One of the first things, all business developers will do is to test the integrity and demand for the business that they are developing. Your business will need to be tested to ascertain its acceptability. Business testing used to take time and money. Researches will be done, questionnaires will be sent out and data will be analyzed. Fortunately, it is not that cumbersome anymore. This is because you can do all the research required on the Internet, run your questionnaires with the unique market you have developed on the Social Media, then sit back and filter the data. There are several tools you can use to run your business test on the Social Media. The beautiful thing about this is that testing your business on Social Media helps you to filter your market, determine the size and strength as well as selling before production is made. Even straight questions like ‘how much will you be willing to pay for …’ will help you determine a win-win price margin. Design an incredible offer. There are different kinds of offers, I will stick to the ones I called the luxury and charity offers for the benefit of those new in business. Basically, your business will always have two major kinds of customers, the luxury customers and the charity or what I called outreach customers. The luxury customers are not particular about price, they just want to be treated as special or at least treat them decently. While the charity customers are the ones that are carried away by promos, bonuses, and low price. As a start-up, you will need to create offers for both. You can call it the VIP offers and the Fabulous Discounted offers. Just make sure both key customers are carried along. While trying to attract the multitudes in the charity category don’t forget the highly influential few in the luxury category. My advice is that you should create two offers, one absolutely free, and the other, hangout with the big names with a lofty price-tag. Demand endorsement/referral for your free offers. Since nothing is actually free, I believe you should know that by now, demand referral from that those getting your free offers. Today, there are many ways to ask for referrals. It could be that they must follow your Social Media pages, like your product, harsh-tag, recommend, rate your app/product etc. Whatever you do, just make sure it is to the benefit of your business. If you offer a free cake for example if your business is baking, make sure you take a selfie, get a testimonial from the receiver and broadcast your free offers for others to see. You can also create some kind of taste-test for your luxury customers, especially for them, everyone is not allowed just by invitation. That way, your luxury customers will feel honoured and will be committed to your business. And don’t forget to also take selfies, testimonials and endorsement. Your luxury offer could also be a kind of a hangout with a certain celebrity if you can reach-out to any of them. Deliver with a thank you. Finally, never forget to deliver with a big thank you. It is true that your luxury customers enjoy being treated right, but they are not the only ones, all humans love to be genuinely appreciated. Thank you is to a customer what I love you is to a lover. You can choose to be a little more creative by adding a thank you card to a product while delivering it. Imagine you ordered for a birthday cake and the baker came with the cake plus two special cupcakes for the celebrant and her best friend.