How to Start a Business When You Have Limited Time, Money, and Resources
Feeling called to start a business? Starting a business can be tough. Nine times out of ten, as an aspiring business owner you are a visionary, and you can see the vision so clearly, but when you break that vision down, you realize that it requires more than just a dream to get the business off the ground. It requires investment— an investment of time, money, and resources — often things that you don’t have much of when first getting started. The good news is that you don’t need much of anything when you’re starting your business; you just need to use what you have.
When I first started out in business, I was a recent college grad and a newly enrolled master’s student, which tells you off rip that I didn’t have any money. I was also juggling two jobs on top of running the business and completing my school work and research, which tells you that my time was non-existent. As far as resources went, thank God I’m very resourceful, but it took a while for me to realize the resources that were already available to me. And despite those limiting factors, I made it happen, and the good news is that you can too. Here’s how you can maximize your time, money, and resources when starting your business.
When you’re starting a business, it’s easy to fall prey to this notion of time poverty— the belief that there is not enough time to do the work that you need to do. However, there is ample time available, the question is how are you spending it? Like money, time can be spent, but unlike money, you can’t it get back. So instead of thinking that you don’t have time, start asking yourself 1) How am I using time? 2) What time is available to me? and 3) What can I sacrifice to make time?
Often it’s not that we don’t have time, we’re just mismanaging the time we have. You know that time you spend scrolling on Facebook or watching Insta Stories? That’s time. The time that you spend binge-watching Netflix? That’s time. Your lunch break at work? That’s time. The hours you spend chatting on the phone? That’s time. And the weekends that consist of you doing absolutely nothing? That’s time — all these instances are time that can be spent investing in your business.
When I was just getting started, I had a full schedule but I made sure to invest my time where I could. For me, that looked like waking up an hour earlier than I normally would so I could spend time growing that business. That looked like me utilizing my lunch breaks, time after work, and the weekends to build my business. So there is time available, the question is how are you using it?
Related: 10 Tips to Wisely Master Your Time
Unless you’re starting a brick and mortar business, the price of entry into the business world is little to none. Don’t let the lack of money be an excuse as to why you can’t get started. There are so many tools that are available for free or little to no cost. We just trick ourselves into believing that we need all the money to get started. There is no need to take out a loan or make a huge financial investment when you’re just starting out. Instead of buying all the things, focus on only investing your money in the key things that are needed to get your business off the ground.
Don’t have the finances to invest anything yet? No worries! If you don’t have the money to invest, it’s best to invest your time in teaching yourself how to do it or finding the free resources that can. Then try to save as much money as you can. Cut back on your personal expenses or pick up a part-time gig so you can put more money into your business. There is always money that can be saved, found, or made.
One of the biggest lies that the enemy told me when I was starting my business was that I didn’t have enough resources. That lie had been the reason why I hadn’t blogged for two whole years prior to beginning my business. When the Lord told me to pick the blog back up and start coaching, I gave Him the excuse again, and He quickly reminded me that I already had everything that I need. The problem was that I thought I had to have all the latest tools and software to get started. It wasn’t until the Lord encouraged me to get creative and crafty that I realized that I had two of the biggest tools already available to me for free — hello, Google & Pinterest!
Up until recently, I had DIY’d a lot of my business just by learning how to be resourceful by researching, learning, and implementing information and taking advantage of free tools and software. So instead of looking outward, ask yourself, "What resources and tools are available to me that I maybe haven’t considered using?" And don’t forget about people too. Sometimes the best resources are found in people that are able and willing to help. You just need to ask.
So now that we’ve set the record straight, here are my best tips for starting your business when you have little time, money, and resources.
Stop thinking that there is only a one way, one size fits all approach to business. Instead of comparing yourself to what’s already out there, ask God how He’s uniquely qualified you for this business and how you can innovatively carry out His work.
Again, there’s no need to go and reinvent the wheel or spend unnecessary money. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and get scrappy. There have been many successful, grassroots entrepreneurs who have bootstrapped their businesses in the beginning. You don’t need much. You’ll find that when you get crafty and take inventory of what’s around you, you’ll discover that you already have the tools you need to begin the good work.
If you’re waiting on the perfect circumstances and tools to get started, you’ll never begin. Don’t allow the excuse of not having these assets keep you from doing the work that God is calling you to do. When you find yourself hesitating, remember that done and progress is better than perfect. You can always go back and tweak and because you’re moving forward, growth is guaranteed, but that can’t happen until you get started. Start with where you are and what you have, right now.
Need some more encouragement and support to get started? I created a Resource Guide for Newbie Entrepreneurs. Click the button below to download your guide and start your business today.