From the moment creative inspirations get you all twirled up and excited, to the point of concept creation and business planning, few things in life are as exhilarating as quitting the rat race to start your own business. And according to worldwide statistics indicating the gig-economy to grow to well beyond $1.3 trillion US dollars per year, there is no better time than the present to start a business. Bonus? It takes as little as $100.

So how about it?

Do you feel tempted to quit traditional employment that has left you drained and feeling empty? Do you want to start your own business but feel lost and uneasy about investing all your hard-earned cash into your business idea?

Though we acknowledge that it is tough work to start, manage, and earn well from a new business, the process can be life-changing and rewarding. Not only financially, but mentally too, since as a business owner, you will learn various skills traditional employment usually never allows for. To top it all, you will be the boss. Awesomeness!

In this article, our experts at IdeaBuddy put their heads together, to come up with the seven steps you should follow if you want to start the business of your dreams with little or no money.


Get a pen, paper, and a warm cup of coffee ready; you’re about to start a business from scratch with only $100!

Let’s get started.

STEP 1 – Identify Your Passion Skills

Most successful startups are created from the founders’ own unique interests and passions. Take Lynda Weinman (a self-taught computer wizard), who in the 1990s created training films for her website design students since she found there were none available at that time. She didn’t need much financial startup capital (less than $100), investing mostly her time to create videos. In 2015, her company was acquired by LinkedIn for $1.5 billion US dollars.


Oooh, yah! We certainly think so.

To set yourself up for success, determine what the skills are that you could earn from, and what you are genuinely passionate about. At IdeaBuddy, we call these passion skills!

Questions To Ask & Answer:

  1. “What are my passion skills?”
  2. “Can I take one or all of my passion skills and earn money from it?”
  3. “If I start a business based on my skills or passions, would this motivate me to get up every morning and do it for the next 10-years or more?”
  4. “If I don’t have any particular passion skills, what other ideas could I start a business with?
  5. “Could I start my business without investing more than $100?”

Cost: $0

Time: Up to you!

How-To: Take a sheet of paper and note down the answers to the above 5-questions.

How-to Example


  1. I’m passionate about Graphic Design, Drawing, Art, Painting, and Illustration on T-shirts, and would love to quit my corporate job to do this full time in 2020!
  2. I think so . . .
  3. Yes! Hundred times over, yes.
  4. N/A
  5. I guess I could. I need to do some more research.


  1. Mmmm … I can’t say I have passion skills. What I would like to do though is start a Gardening & Cleaning Service in my town since there is currently a lack in the market for it!
  2. Sure, I think this new business idea can work.
  3. If the money is good – hell, yah!
  4. Cleaning & Gardening Service
  5. I already have my own gardening equipment and cleaning supplies, so yes, I guess I could.

Just had an “Aha!” moment?

Did an excellent business idea pop into mind seemingly out of nowhere while answering the 5-questions in Step 1?

You’re on the right track. Keep going!

STEP 2  – Flesh Out Money Making Ideas 

Millionaire and wealth mentor Jim Rohn famously said: “You just need one more idea, an idea that could change your life forever. So, keep on searching, and note down your ideas. You never know which one might bring you fame and fortune.”

So true, isn’t it?
Ideas have the power to change our lives and help us create a more meaningful existence if the idea is something we are truly passionate about. Now that you have determined what you are passionate about, or established that you have a skill that you can start a business with little or no money, it’s time to put your ideas on paper and determine how you can earn from them.

Questions To Ask & Answer:

  1. “Which products or services can I create from my skills or passions?” (List at least one product on your paper or Idea Plan board.)
  2. “How can I earn from my skill(s)/products/services?” (What is it that I can do with my skill that would earn me income without me investing more than $100 to get started?)
  3. “Where can I sell my skill(s) with little or no upfront money?” (Determine the platforms for selling your products, services/skills.)

Cost: $0

Time: 1-2 Hours

How-Do: Note down your business idea(s) on a piece of paper, or sign-in to your free IdeaBuddy account and use our Idea Plan feature to create a visual overview of your ideas and business concept.



1. I can create unique, Graphic T-Shirts with awesome graphics, illustrations, or artwork printed on them.

2. Sell through dropshipping without any upfront costs to me. I can also create Custom T-Shirts for customers according to what they want.

3. I can sell my graphics, illustrations, art, paintings, and drawings on:

  • Dropshipping Company Such as Printrove (Free Account – Print-on-Demand)
  • My Own Website (Free if I design my website myself)
  • Etsy (Free signup)
  • Amazon (Merchant – Free signup)
  • Envato Market (Free)


1. Gardening service for working people too busy to cut their own grass, clean the yard, or keep the garden neat and beautiful.

2. House cleaning service to clean homes on a weekly, monthly, or yearly basis.

3. I can sell my gardening & house cleaning services by:

Creating posters and putting them up at:

  • Supermarket Shopping Boards ($20 printing cost est.)
  • Small flyers to post boxes (I’ll deliver them personally to each box) ($30 printing cost est.)
  • Library notice Boards
  • My Personal Website
  • Word Of Mouth – Send all family, ex-colleagues, and friends messages to help me market my services.

STEP 3 – Find The Product-Market Fit

Skills determined? – Check.

Ideas jotted down? – Done!

Fabulous! Time to get to the nitty-gritty of market analysis find out if you have a product-market fit. This is the point where you will know if your idea is worth pursuing or if you would need to alter or improve upon it.

When it comes to your target market, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does anyone need my skills, products, or services?”
  • Who are my target customers?”
  • Where are they located?”
  • How old are they?”
  • Where do they hang out?”
  • “Which promotional activity would be best to reach my target customers?”
  •  “Is there a market for my specific skills, products, and services?”
  • “How big is the market that I am planning to cover?”
  • “Is there a growing need for my skills, products, or services?”

Cost: $0 – $10 depending on if a market analysis report needed

Time: 1-8 Hours depending on research involved

How-Do: Provide answers to your questions on a sheet of paper, or sign-in to your free IdeaBuddy account and use our Story Mode feature to add the info about your market.

STEP 4 – Meet Your ‘Friendly’ Competition

Who are your competitors?

What is unique about them, and how do they differentiate themselves in your chosen market?

What can you do that will set you apart from the rest?

These are all questions you can clarify if your business idea is within a market or niche with a lot of competitors. By doing some research and finding out what leading players in your market is doing, you will also find some new and inspiring ideas.

Cost: $0

Time: 1-8 Hours depending on research involved

How-Do: Determine the top 5 competitors in your market. Have a look at their websites, the products and services they offer, and how they communicate.  You can also use the IdeaBuddy Story Mode feature for this.

STEP 5 – Write Down You Startup Costs 

Excellent work, you got this far already. Next up, we’ll be showing you how to determine any upfront costs you might need to get started in your business. We’ll use Amanda and Tom to illustrate two options, but the possibilities are endless to start a business with little or no money today.

Cost: $0 – $100

Time: 10 min– 1-Hour

How-Do: Create a list of all the things or goods you might need to start your business, including what you already have or the items that won’t cost anything. You can also use IdeaBuddy Story Mode.



Things I need to get started:

  • Laptop (already have one)         $0
  • Internet ($8/month)                   $8
  • Market Research Report            $10
  • Merchant Account Signup         $0
  • My Website – WordPress FREE  $0
  • Domain Name Purchase            $12.99
  • Website Hosting ($2.99 p/m)     $35.88
  • Social Media Marketing             $20
  • Dropshipping ($10 Deposit)      $10

TOTAL:   $96.87


Things I need to get started:

  • PC (already have one)                   $0
  • WhatsApp & Internet Pac             $8
  • Marketing Materials Print             $50
  • Fuel to Drop Marketing Materials $14
  • Supplies & Eqpt. (already have)    $0
  • Cleaning Soap                               $20



TOTAL:   $92

STEP 6 – Make a Business Plan (Optional)

Is your idea a winner? Fantastic! Congratulations are in order. You are now ready for the next step to write your business plan. Don’t worry; you don’t need to be a writer!

For a small or solo business, writing a business plan is optional, but it can come in handy in the future.

Simply use your IdeaBuddy account and let us create your internal business plan from the info you already recorded about your business. We’ll send you the completed PDF to your inbox. Fast and easy!

Why A Business Plan?

A business plan is important if your business idea is going to be presented to potential investors or business partners. It is also used internally in your business, even if you are a solo entrepreneur, to formulate the concept and writing that will later go on your website and marketing materials.

Our blog post, Is Writing a Business Plan Really a Waste of Time? , can help you get started.

Cost: $0

Time: <10 Min

How-Do: Sign-in to your IdeaBuddy account and complete all the steps in the Story Mode to get your business plan (Journal)

STEP 7 – Time To Get Down To Business

It’s time to set up your business and start earning money!

Though every business is different, there are several steps needed before you can start selling your goods or services. To guide you along, we’ll follow Amanda and Tom as they proceed to set up their businesses.

Cost: <$100

Time: It depends on your type of business.

How-Do: Make a list of what you need to do to get your business operational.



Things I need to get my business up and running:


  • My Business Name: Zuzia Designs & T-Shirts
  • My Business Slogan: Custom T-Shirts
  • Domain Name:


  1. Buy Domain ($12.99)
  2. Buy Hosting – 1-Year ($35.88)
  3. Register for Dropshipping Account with the print-on-demand press who is going to print my t-shirts. ($10 deposit for my 1st product)
  4. Register for Free Merchant Accounts with Amazon, Etsy, and Envato Market. ($0)
  5. Write the content for my website. (I’ll use my business plan for this.)($0)
  6. Setup my social media page. ($0)
  7. Design my website with WordPress. ($0)
  8. Create my first 5 products and services.
  9. Write the content for my first 5 products and services.
  10. Create graphics, mockups, or images for my first 5 products or services.
  11. Add my services and products to my website and all my merchant accounts.
  12. WhatsApp! – Let all my friends, colleagues, fans, and family know I’m open to receiving new orders.
  13. Social Media – Advertise my services /products on SM for $20 this month.
  14. One-on-One Marketing – Visit some local businesses and let them know about my services and products.
  15. Finances – Setup an excel sheet on my laptop to track income and expenses, or install a free finance app for accounting.
  16. Done!  I’m now ready to start accepting orders.


Things I need to get my business up and running:


  • My Business Name: Tom’s Cleaning & Gardening Services



  1. Setup WhatsApp group for my business + create QR code for easy scanning on posters & flyers.
  2. Write content for posters.
  3. Write content for flyers.
  4. Design poster & flyers on my laptop.
  5. Send Posters & Flyers to Printer to print.
  6. Setup one of my garages with all cleaning supplies and equipment that I already have.
  7. Set aside the supplies & equipment I need for 1 x day cleaning.
  8. Setup my vehicle with 1 x day cleaning supplies & equipment.
  9. Invite all friends, family, colleagues and community members to my WhatsApp group for my business.
  10. Collect printed posters & flyers from the printer.
  11. Setup posters at all the notice boards in town.
  12. Personally, drop flyers to all the postal boxes in my neighborhood, as well as surrounding neighborhoods within a 30km radius.
  13. Tell all my friends at the golf club on Saturday about my new business.
  14. Tell everyone at church on Sunday about my new business.
  15. Visit local businesses from Monday to Wednesday and market my gardening and cleaning services to them to get long-term contracts with businesses.
  16. Finances – Setup an excel sheet on my laptop to track income and expenses, or install a free finance app for accounting.
  17. Start service delivery!


Well done on starting your new business with as little as $100. We wish you all the best and all the success you desire. If you would like more information on starting a business, check out our other awesome free blogs and content, or send us an email for direct inquiries.

Enjoyed this blog? – Let us know in the comments below.




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