How to start online business with no money

How can you start an online business with no money?

Start an online business by identifying who your ideal customer is going to be. Use free online tools such as social media, email, and invoicing tools to start your online business. New business owners should just get started and figure it out they go along.

Imagine, starting an online business this year and being able to quit your full-time job in a matter of months. The internet has made it easier than ever to start an online business without any investment.

You just need to take the first steps.

Luckily for you, I’m going to show you how to start an online business with no money. I will show you how you can get clients and paid for free. Should you put in enough hard and smart work, you could be quitting your job.

21-050 - how to start online business with no money

This article may contain affiliate links which pays a commission and supports this blog.  Thank you for your support!

How to start online business with no money

Start an online business with no money by choosing your business niche. Determine who your customers are going to be and just get started. Utilize free tools to start and grow your business and upgrade when you have the income to do so. You can worry about all of the details as your business grows.

Click to Tweet! Please Share!Click To Tweet

Choose your business

The first step to starting an online business is to choose your business. What type of business do you want to run?

Do you want to be a blogger who writes articles for the internet? Or would you rather videotape yourself cooking in your kitchen to be posted on YouTube?

There’s a lot to consider when choosing your business. Different businesses have different strengths and weaknesses. For example, a freelance writer has to continue to produce work while a blogger can build a passive income stream.

The most important thing is that you choose a business that you are passionate about. You cannot show up day after day if you don’t care about the business you are building. 

A lot of people start out wanting to be an Instagram influencer, but it never works out. It doesn’t work out because they aren’t passionate about the process. To be an Instagram influencer, you have to be passionate about taking pictures and being on social media.

Therefore, the best business you can choose is the one that you find enjoyment doing. After all, you are going to have to work on this business every single day. So you might as well make it something you enjoy.

Select your niche

Once you’ve decided on your business, it is time to choose a niche. A niche is a specific topic of interest to focus your business around. Narrowing down your niche is what’s going to make you the most amount of money.

For example, many bloggers start out and want to write about everything they can think about. They might be interested in snowboarding one day and then want to write about a trip to Disneyland. 

Unfortunately, nobody gets a clear idea of what your business is actually about. If I’m coming to your website, I don’t know if I’m going to learn about cooking or skateboarding. You will build a much more loyal following by selecting an interest and sticking to it.

However, what if your YouTube videos are about off-road vehicles. There are tons of people interested in off-road vehicles. There are people that even dream about off-road vehicles during their lunch breaks at work.

People will look forward to your content or business if the content is good and they know what to expect. It’s okay to dapple in multiple areas when you’re first getting started. However, once you figure out what your audience is interested in, stick with it.

Get started

Once you’ve decided on your business and your niche, it is time to get started. Use free tools to start your business and upgrade when you can. The best way to learn your business is to just dive into it.

Most people make the mistake of going into research mode which can be detrimental. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of learning. I will learn in my spare time, but the only thing that is going to bring business success is doing. 

For example, I once met a person who wanted to start a business. They said they wanted to do some research before they got started. 

Six months had passed before I asked how they were doing on their business. Unfortunately, they were still stuck in research mode and were still researching a year later. 

You need to focus on the one task that’s going to drive the most results. For content creators, your primary task is going to be creating content. Freelance writers need to be producing freelance deliverables. 

The best part about online businesses is that there’s an abundance of free tools. You can always sign up for email accounts, social media, PayPal, or any other tool you need. Typically, there is always a free version you can use and you can always upgrade later.

Stay consistent

The one thing you can do to separate your business from everyone else’s is be consistent. The majority of new businesses fail because people failed to show up. You can be more successful than anybody else by being consistent.

Rarely has anybody become an overnight success. What makes people a success is showing up every day and putting in work to become a little bit better. Over time, your business starts to grow from the effort you put in years ago.

A good example is blogging. You can start a blog, but you’re not going to get hundreds of thousands of readers with only 10 blog posts. Even if you averaged 500 page views per post, you wouldn’t have 100,000 page views until you’ve written 200 posts.

You would be surprised at how many people do just a small amount of work and then give up. To be honest, most people feel like the small amount of work was a lot of work.

However, starting your own business is a big change in your life. The bigger the change in your life, the more work you have to do to make the change.

For example, it doesn’t take a whole lot of work to change the brand of cereal you eat in the morning. However, building an income source from scratch takes a huge amount of effort that most people don’t realize.

The biggest problem is that people think creating an income source takes just as much effort as changing the brand of cereal.

I will be honest. It takes a lot of work to be consistent and build an online business. All you have to do is one thing everyday to move the needle. 

Get a business license

At some point, you will make enough money that you will need to get a business license. When you’re first getting started, you won’t need a business license. However, once you start making more than $400 you will need to get a business license.

Most business licenses have minimal cost associated with them.The biggest expense I found was having to buy things that my county required. For example, I had to purchase a specific fire extinguisher and mount it somewhere on location.

Getting a business license is kind of a pain, but it’s a necessary first step.

Open a business bank account

You will need a business bank account in order to keep your transaction separate. You may even want to consider getting your own business credit card for expenses. Unfortunately, it is not a good idea to use your personal bank account for business expenses.

At some point you may even consider getting a certified public accountant. Your CPA will probably want to link your business bank account and credit card with QuickBooks Online.

I don’t think your bookkeeper will be very happy if they have to split out personal expenses from business expenses. Most probably won’t even work with you if that’s the case.

Hire a bookkeeper and CPA

A bookkeeper and certified public accountant can be your best friend. Your bookkeeper will manage your books and make sure your budget is balanced. A certified public accountant can help you with taxes, tax questions, and filing for you.

Unfortunately, a bookkeeper and certified public accountant are probably going to eat some of your early on profits. However, being able to focus on your business and not the finances is a huge benefit.

What online business can I start with no money?

Most of the online businesses you can start with no money are content creators or service providers. You will most likely be creating content for others to consume or provide a service to others. Content creators tend to build more passive income streams while service providers are always providing a service.


As a YouTuber, all you need to get started as a YouTube account and the camera. Setting up a YouTube account is free and you can start with your iPhone camera. Therefore, YouTubers have one of the easiest businesses to get started.

You can start off making ad revenue where you earn money through showing ads. Eventually, you can form sponsorships with companies or sell your own products.


Blogging is very similar to YouTubing, but you are writing the content. Your goal as a content creator is to rank on Google through search engine optimization. People find your website and you make money through ads, affiliate marketing, sponsorships, or selling products.


Dropshipping is all about finding products at one store and selling them for higher at another. Whenever a customer purchases your product, you buy it from the first store and ship it to your customer.

An example would be finding a product at Home Depot for $10. You find out that this product is selling on Amazon for $20. Therefore, you list the product for sale on Amazon for $20.

Whenever someone purchases that product, you are responsible for shipping it out. You get a notice that you need to fill this order. Therefore, you head over to Home Depot’s website and buy the item for your customer.


Consulting is about helping other people with your unique knowledge. You know a subject so well that you can help others achieve success. People are willing to pay you to help them reach their goals.

For example, maybe you know a lot about weight loss. You can charge $50 per month for a half hour consultation to help your customers lose weight. Should you get 100 customers, you are earning $5,000 per month and only working 50 hours.


There are many avenues to make money with freelancing. One of the most common ways people make money is through freelance writing. However, there are plenty of other ways to make money freelancing such as search engine optimization or graphic design.

As a freelancer, you were responsible for finding clients and producing a deliverable. Clients will ask you to perform work. It is almost like having a nine-to-five job, but you set your own work schedule.

Finding a good freelancer is extremely difficult. It is very difficult to find someone that will actually show up and get the work done. You can set yourself apart simply by being responsive.

Service Arbitrage

Service Arbitrage is another online business where you leverage the skills of others to make money. Essentially, you are finding work and then hiring that work out to others to perform. You are the middle man facilitating a transaction.

For example, you can be a freelance writer at Arbitrage. You find clients who are willing to pay $0.10 per word and you hire freelancers under you for $0.05 per word. For every 1000 words, you earn $50 and so does your freelancer.

Virtual assistant

A virtual assistant to someone that can help with the day-to-day tasks of running a business. The only difference is that a virtual assistant works from home. 

As a virtual assistant, you will most likely be answering emails, sending emails, scheduling social media, and other generic cast. Ultimately, it’s up to the business you are working for to decide what kind of tasks you should perform. 

Digital course creator

You can also become a digital course creator. A digital course creator creates awesome informational products that people would be willing to buy. You then find internet marketers who are willing to promote your product in exchange for a commission.

For example, maybe you create a weight loss program that you are willing to sell for $80. The product is completely digital and anyone who buys it can download it to their computer. You have packed this product with plenty of information so you know your customers will be happy.

The only problem is that you have nobody to sell this product to. Therefore, you can outreach to other people on YouTube or bloggers who have an audience already. You give the creators a 50% commission for every product sold.

Every sale, you get $40 and so does the person who sold your product. It’s a win-win situation.

Click to Tweet! Please Share!Click To Tweet

Summary: How to start online business with no money

As you can see, it is completely possible to start a business online without any money. You first need to decide what kind of business you want to run and then determine your niche. The best thing you can do is just get started.

In order to have your business succeed, you must stay consistent. Businesses are built slowly over time and not overnight. Focus on building your business a little bit each day and eventually you might hit success.

As your business starts to grow, you’ll need to get a business license. You will also want to consider opening up a business bank account and maybe even a credit card. A bookkeeper or certified public accountant can help your business grow by managing the financials. 

Starting an online business is easier now than ever. The internet is full of free tools that you can utilize to start your business.

John is the founder of TightFist Finance and an expert in the field of personal finance. John has studied personal finance for over 10 years and has used his knowledge to pay down debt, grow his investment portfolio, and launch a financial based business. He is committed to sharing content related to personal finance based on his experience in his career, investing, and path towards reaching financial independence.