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Question:What's the best way to start a business with very little money, and terrible credit?

I'm a single mom, tired of working cashier jobs and nurse aide jobs. I have terrible credit, because of doctor and hospital bills I've been unable to pay. I want to be able to be home with my daughter, so others aren't raising my child, instead of me. I want to be in business for myself, so I can make the rules and make my hours. And have time for my daughter. Being nearly broke all the time makes it seem impossible for this dream to be a reality.

Asked by redrockwolf on 7/8/08 3 Answers»


I feel it's necessary to keep it real with you, so that you start your new business venture with the proper expectations and don't sabotage your success right off the bat.

If you have terrible credit, then hopefully you're taking the necessary steps to improve that issue and are educating yourself on how to mantain good credit.

Of course, you can't fix it overnight but as long as you're taking positive steps towards correcting it -- you're on the right track. I say this because in business, you most likely will encounter situations where you need to get credit or a loan.

If you didn't address your credit issues as an individual, then you can likely expect the same issues to pop up with your business. Believe me, this is not a good scenario.

There's one more thing I'd like to address -- time. There's two major resources you have as a business owner: time and money.

Having a substantial amount of money (start-up capital) will save you time because you can pretty much pay others to help shape and build your business, i.e. consultants, accountants, marketers, researchers, etc.

Now if you don't have a lot of money or are starting out on a shoestring budget, you'll have to pay in the capacity of time rather than money.

So, realistically, you should expect to work 12+ hours a day when you start out. And -- this can last a substantial amount of time, depending on what business start-up you choose.

As long as you're aware of these realities and accept the amount of time and effort it takes to grow a business, it's very possible to start a business with practically no money upfront. Upfront is the key word,
because you'll want a business that will start generating revenue for you rather quickly because there are always monetary costs with any business venture.

Oh, and remember...you must be willing and prepared to give up a steady paycheck and a sense of security when starting a business. The best advice I can give is to at least get a part-time job until you have enough
resources to go full-time.

I hope this gives you something to think about if you haven't considered it already. Sadly, not many people do and go into business ventures with the wrong expectations. This pretty much explains why the

majority of small businesses fail. You never want to go into business blindly or bring an employee mentality with you.

Ok, so now the good part. From what you've stated it looks like you want to start a business that requires very little to no start-up capital.

I have two words for you: network marketing.

Now, there are many misconceptions and false expectations in the network marketing industry, so it's important that you do your research first, and find a good sponsor/mentor.

You can realistically start a network marketing business for under $200 and make a substantial amount of money within a relatively short period
of time (I'm talking 1-2 years).

With that said, it all depends on you. The amount of money you make is related to the amount of effort you are willing to put into your personal development and learning the ins and out of this industry.

If you're interested, your first step is to do some preliminary research on this industry to see if it's right for you -- then look for a sponsor or mentor that can teach you effective marketing and business building
strategies and techniques.

Answered by: mwilson51 on 8/4/08


In reading your question I was thinking you must be articulating a need that other people feel as well. What if the business you started was a home day care business, where you could watch your child as well as others.
If you're qualified to be a nurses aide, you probably have the skills to be a day care provider.
Maybe you can find a day care center to work at until you get a sense of what's required and then slowly start understanding the business while you save the money to start your own business.

Just a thought. Other moms might share the same feelings and be willing to support you as you get started.

Answered by: VictoriaB on 7/28/08


Have you thought about finding a business partner? I don't know exactly what kind of business you want to start, but as someone who has my own business, I can tell you that you'll often work more hours than you did before—and I can tell a huge priority for you is having more time with your child!

A partner could also help with finances, especially co-signing for a small business loan.

Keep pursuing your dream and find a way to get around this obstacle! If there is something you want to do, just start doing it (even if you have to keep the "day job" for awhile.) You'll be happier for it—and a great example to your child that anything is possible!

Please come back and let us know how it's going.

Answered by: Kiki76 on 7/9/08
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