Series: How to start a startup without funding

How to make your startup a success without funding
Founding a start-up is no easy task particularly if you don’t have the funds to back the business. Here you’ll learn that it’s possible to bring your business dream to life without major financial backing.

Startups in Saudi Arabia are flourishing with the country investing both time and money to build and innovate businesses from within. In 2021, funding to Saudi Arabia’s startups rose by 65%, recording its best-ever quarter, and attracting $205 million in 24 deals, according to Magnitt. 

Most startups try to go for venture or external funding, but for some entrepreneurs having an investor-free startup is beneficial in many ways; from ensuring you maintain complete autonomy to authority in the decision-making of business and budgetary plans. 


Can you start a business without funding? Absolutely. 

But the real question is, how long can you live your day-to-day life without an income? 


This is an exciting time for any budding entrepreneur, so here are a number of ways for you to keep control of your business, but without putting yourself or your new business under any extra burden. 


Start Small 

Like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, they’re infamous for starting out of a garage, from being the side hustle and passion projects of the founders, until they grew and developed into self-sufficient businesses. 

So if you’re starting out, start small. Work on your startup idea in your free time, allowing you to still keep your income from your full-time job whilst developing and honing your product or service without the added financial burden.  


After all, people start a business from an idea, by meeting an immediate need in the market. This progresses to expanding on that product or service so they can increase their sales, and with increased sales, comes the ability to support themselves, and employees and re-invest in the product or service for further growth. 


Opportunities Not Obstacles

Starting a new business is a daunting task and it’s easy to come up with a list of obstacles that can hinder its progression. 

A tip here is to reflect on what is essential to your business now, and what you can live without. Build a list of any financial burdens and research any free alternatives. You can then plan for those eventual expenses and save the relevant funds to purchase them. 


Build up your savings

Before you make the big switch to becoming a full-time entrepreneur, make sure you have enough savings for yourself to live off. 

When designing your business plan, be honest with the amount you’ll spend, and your living costs, and be realistic about how long it may take for you to see a profit. Typically, it takes startups six months before they see money coming in, so build up at least six months' worth of savings so you can devote your time to your new business and not worry about the financial headaches. 


Growing your business… quicker

Without capital injections, growth can sometimes be slow. But that doesn’t mean it’s not doable. Here are just some tips that can help speed up business growth so you can start seeing the income quicker.

  • Stay True to Your Purpose; Focus on the fundamentals of your business. If you have a clear understanding of your core offering, you’ll be sure to have in mind where you want to focus your funds and staffing. 
  • Collaborate with established brands; One of the safest ways to grow your business is to partner with an established brand or influencer. Collaborative marketing is a great way to build brand recognition and showcase your business as a bigger entity. 
  • Make the most of tools; Use free tools, software & apps to take your business to the next level. Whether it's data and insights to give you an edge, or scheduling tools to save you time. 
  • Develop your Social Media presence; Social media has become a core marketing strategy, with brands continuously selling through the platforms. This could be from building a storefront on Facebook, using influencers to sell their products, or generating awareness among prospective consumers. Social media is a cheap and effective way of getting your brand name and product out there, and growing it exponentially. 

Another thing you could consider is enrolling in the Misk Startup School Masterclass, where you’ll learn the basics of funding and all the different ways you can raise money for your startup, along with meeting some of the best funding instructors in the region.

Different entrepreneurs will take a variety of different routes to build their startups, and there’s no right or wrong way to go about it. But being a single investor in your company has many benefits, so growing your business without breaking the bank could be a winning formula. 



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