My statcounter showed that someone put that search term into Google and landed up on my site. Since I did start my business with exactly that capital (approx USD 4500) 5 years ago, I can claim to be some sort of an authority on how to start and grow a business with that low an amount. So here goes:
- Keep your capital expenditure low. This one is easy. You're going to end up spending upfront on some items - deposit for your office, company registration, computer equipment, etc. Well, keep these expenses the very minimum possible. In Hindi, we call it jugadbandi.
- Thrash around. You know when someone throws you into the deep end of the pool, you either thrash around as wildly as you can, or you drown, or someone comes and saves your sorry ass. Well, don't just sit there. Think! Where can you get the money to pay next month's rent. During our penurious days we did whatever we could to simply survive. We didn't bother about core competencies and such like. If there was a project to be done, and we could do it, we did it. One of our butt-saving projects required us to crack into an encrypted database file, and export all that data into Excel. That had little or nothing to do with information security. But what the heck. It helped paid the bills.
- Image doesn't matter. Hey, forget about having an office in a prime locality, or having a really good letterhead. Or laser printers. Get going with whatever's absolutely necessary for you to get the job done. You can always splurge when you've got money in the bank.
- Evangelize and network. You obviously cannot spend on advertising with that kind of a capital. You probably won't be able to get a professional brochure designed or printed either. And you simply won't be able to hire a marketing guy. So how do you get the word out there that you're now in business. Well don't just sit by the phone. Pick it up and start talking. Don't worry if people question your decision, or say they can't help you out. There're lots of people out there who'll want to help you along. And don't just ask them if they can give you business. Ask them if they know people who can give you business. Be persistent, but not desperate. Follow up with one phone call and one email.
- Be inspired. You're going to feel terribly low every now and then. That kind of money doesn't take long to run out. Read stories of other entrepreneurs. Talk to other entrepreneurs you know. If nothing works, send me an email!
- Pray. Really hard! Seriously, it's crazy enough starting your own business. Doing it with such less capital is really nuts. But that's what I did, and you could do it too. Unfortunately, I am an atheist, so this is advice I didn't follow. But yes, I hoped really hard that things would work out. That next month's checks wouldn't bounce.