There’s an old saying: “You have to spend money to make money.” This means that some kind of financial investment is usually required to earn a profit on something. The stock market, for instance, requires that you invest your own dollars in the hope of increasing stock prices that will pay you later on down the line.
Entrepreneurship and business-owning are forms of investment that can lead to profits later. Some people believe that the only way to truly have financial independence is through owning your own business. But what if you don’t have the money to open your business? Some people choose to start small and open an online-only operation with an affordable website domain and no operating costs or overhead and build their presence and profits slowly from there.
Other people choose to buy an existing business and make it their own. Buying an existing business can be a great idea for someone who already has some business savvy and wants a built-in base of existing clientele. Still, no one is giving away their business.
Is it possible to buy a business without money?
Here are some ideas on how to buy a business with little to no money.
1. Get a partner
If you’re working with very limited funds, try finding a business partner with more capital. They will own more of the business, and therefore earn more of the profits annually, but as you grow the business, you can buy more of the business over time. Buying into an existing business as a partner can be a smart way in for new or budgeting business owners.
2. Get a loan
You can also investigate ways to finance buying an existing business. Getting a business loan can be a very effective way for someone to buy an already successful operation. Banks want to see that owners can pay back a loan, and a business with a solid stream of revenue that’s just changing ownership can help encourage them to give you the funds to buy and place ownership in your name. This is particularly helpful for businesses that are selling because their ownership is retiring – these store owners often want to see their business continuity in the community and will often sell for only a small profit.
3. Start with shares only
Find out if the owner of a company will give you shares in the organization in exchange for your work and a reduced salary. If you’re passionate about their organization or business type, they may be more likely to bring you on board as a part-owner with room for expansion. Once you grow the business and increase profits, you can buy more shares until you’re the primary owner.
4. Trade or sell
Do you have anything you can trade or sell for cash? If owning a business is your dream and you don’t have the necessary money on hand, consider downsizing your home or selling off other investments. You don’t want to necessarily sell off everything you own to become a business owner, but there may be sacrifices worth making in the name of a larger goal or bigger picture. Some small downtown businesses often include an apartment over the business that owners can rent out or live in – if this is an option, it may make sense for you to sell your home and move in that space temporarily.
When it comes to how to buy an existing business with no money, it’s all about being creative. You want to be careful and manage your risk, as well as acknowledge that business growth can take time. Still, there are options available to aspiring business owners that can help make that dream a reality.