How to start an online business for free

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I'm Steph, mum of three! 👋
Here, I share practical insights on making (and saving!) money. With a knack for budgeting and a passion for financial freedom, I've picked up lots of tips & tricks along the way. And I can't wait to share them with you here!

If you’ve been wondering how to start an online business for free, the best way we know is by taking advantage of the skills you already have and using them to generate revenue.

I can tell you, you don’t need money to start your online business. There might be some small costs, I paid about £7 for the first hosting package I needed to start this site, but the costs are tiny compared to many businesses.


And many times, especially if you’re going to start selling online, you’ll be using a platform that’s free to join.

Many people are turning to the internet as a way to start their own business because it doesn’t require a large investment and they can work from home. If you’re interested in starting your own business but don’t know where to start, I’m here for you!

In this blog post, I’ll be sharing all of my best tips on how to get started with your new venture without breaking the bank.


How do I start business online with no money?

Starting a business online with no money simply means coming up with a skill you have and getting it to an audience. This doesn’t have to cost more than a few pounds.

The internet is global and you’ve got access to a planet full of people, all for free. However, finding a business idea can be tough. Everything’s been done already right?

Well…yes, you’re right. But that in no way means you can’t do it too. You’ve just got to put your own spin on it, do it better, do it cheaper or do it differently, but don’t not do it just because someone else has.

What skills do you have? When I first considered working from home having been a stay at home mum for a number of years, I struggled to come up with any skills I knew I had. I didn’t see the things I could do as skills, and I certainly didn’t see them as valuable.

Yet I’ll bet you’ve got so many skills.

Maybe you’re a wizz at tidying up, organising homework schedules, planning awesome dinners for the week or sticking to what looks like an impossible food budget. All skills, and what’s more, all skills people have monetised and turned into businesses.


Do you enjoy cooking, or crafting with your children? Perhaps it’s your knack for organising that has been put on hold since having kids, or maybe you’re an amazing photographer who just doesn’t know where to begin. Whatever your talents are – there is a way for them to bring in cash!

As a stay at home mum, you’ve probably got your hands full. With kids, housework and everything else in between it’s easy to forget about the business side of things. But with so many opportunities out there for stay at home mums – from running an online store or blog to starting a consultancy service – if you’re thinking about starting an online business, my advice? Just do it!

What is the cheapest online business to start?

There are loads of business that started online, often for free or very little money, and the cheapest online business to start is one that’s free.

Try not to think to big at first. Keep it small and achievable. The cheapest way to start an online business is to invest your time, not your money.

Here’s some proven ways to start an online business for FREE!

{You don’t have to start huge, starting small can be a great way to test a market, and then grow}

Look at it this way: if it’s already being done, there’s a high chance that’s because it works.

Write down your goals and objectives 

Work at home mum’s, like me, have a tough time coming up with goals for their online business.

Download my FREE side hustle workbook and get your goals and objectives written down. Having it all in one place (that’s not your head!) is very very helpful!


I know that you want to spend more time with your family (this was my sole reason for starting my business) and work from the comfort of your own home but how do you even get started?

One way is by answering these questions: What are my short term objectives? What are my long term objectives? Am I looking for financial freedom or lifestyle flexibility? Once you know what you want from your business, it’s far easier to work backwards and plan how to get it off the ground.

My goals for starting my business were:

  • The business needed to be free (or like, less than £20!) to start
  • To be able to earn money while staying at home
  • To LOVE what I did. Yes, you need to earn money, but it was important to me I really loved what I did
  • To not be tied to a schedule. I don’t mind working loads of hours, but they need to be flexible. Like at 4am if I get woken up and can’t get back to sleep :)
  • I wanted to be able to ‘grow’ the business from nothing. Literally nothing

Research the competition and market demand for your product or service 

What you need to do before you start your business

When I started out, I didn’t research properly. I didn’t know I was supposed to, and if I’d have know, I wouldn’t have known how. I got lucky and it worked. But it would have worked way better and quicker if I’d have done some research.

You’ll need to know what the market looks like, who your competitors are, and how much it will cost to get started.

So many mums I know all seem to be starting their own business ventures and while it’s great that these mums want to take control of their lives and make it work for them, I am always curious about what market research these mums do in order to start their own businesses.

It can seem like there is no shortage of ideas out there but the key might be in finding the right niche where you know your audience will be receptive to your product or service.

These are some more, ahemm…professional ways to market research:

  • Google Trends – This Google tool tells you whether the things people are searching the internet for are trending upwards or they’re on a downward spiral. If your idea’s on a downward spiral, it might be time to rethink
  • Social media analysis – Are people talking about your niche on social media? It’s one of the best places to get real time info about what people want
  • Surveys and polls – YouGov is a good place to get statistics to back up your plan
  • Focus groups – These can be as simple as asking your nursery group of mums their opinions about something. Thinking if selling baby products? This would be the perfect place to get some thoughts and ideas
  • Online forums – These can be really useful. If people are loving something, they won’t be looking to replace it. Look at what people are complaining about: then see if you can work a solution into your business.

And here are some, I think, equally useful market research tactics:

  • Ask friends and family – It’s easy to overlook how much useful info we can get from the people standing right next to us
  • Read reviews of products you’re interested in online – As with the forums, look in product reviews for complaints. More people complain about something than they do write glowing reviews, which is really handy for working out how we can do something better!
  • Facebook groups – See above. Look for pain points…then fix them!

Create a business plan to outline how you will accomplish these goals 

A business plan is a document that helps you to determine the goals for your company and get them on paper. It’s not just about numbers either, it includes marketing strategies as well.

You can use a simple free template like this one here for your business plan.

The best way to set goals is by breaking them down into smaller, more manageable steps. This will help you stay on track and ensure that you are regularly achieving your goal.

  • Figure out what you want – sounds crazy simple huh? It’s amazing how many of us really didn’t know :)
  • Write it down in a clear, concise sentence
  • Set a time frame for when you want to accomplish this goal by – Having a goal without a timeline is almost meaningless. Having a timeframe means you’ve got to get it done!
  • Make sure the goal is realistic and attainable – Yes, we’d all like to make a million in our first year, but it’s setting yourself up to fail. Be realistic and you’re far more likely to get there!

So there you’ve got a pretty concise and easy way to start an online business for free. The hardest part as they say, is starting!

And don’t forget to download my free workbook. It really does make life easier!


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