The $100 startup

The $100 startup

This is an archive of the Starter Story newsletter, which is read by 255K people every week.

In each issue, we share the biggest business ideas that are working today, along with case studies of founders who are making millions every month. Sign up today ➜


The $100 startup

Did you know that 63% of Americans say the lack of funding is the main reason for not starting a business?

In fact, if you google how much money you need to launch your own business, you’ll probably find lots of results saying you need tens of thousands of dollars.

I see why this might throw some people off.

And it may even be true if you’re planning on building an iPhone competitor or opening a McDonald’s franchise. But the truth is that you can start a successful business with $100 or less.

Lots of Internet businesses started with super low investments and grew quickly once they found product-market fit. Like this $480K/year business that started with literally $100.

If there’s something that most of the founders we interviewed have in common, is that they know how to make the most with very modest resources. That’s why you’ll find plenty more examples in our case studies database:

Want more examples? Check out this list with 30 businesses you can start with $1,000 or less.

--

Everybody loves freebies

It may seem a little contradictory, but giving away free stuff is a great way to grow your business.

The key: Don’t give away too much, and leave people hungry for more.

This strategy works because people are often reluctant to buy stuff from companies they don’t know, and by doing this you have an opportunity to:

#1. Start a relationship

Once someone gives you their email address, you can tell them about your mission, your previous experience and how can you help them.

#2. Show you can provide value

This is often the actual freebie. It can be a guide, a webinar or a template. Whatever it may be, it has to show that you know your stuff. And if the free sample is that good, paid stuff must be even better.

#3. Build trust

Once you gain a new customer it’s your time to shine. Deliver all your promises and start word-of-mouth and recommendations rolling.

Learn how this SEO guy mastered this strategy and reached $120K/year by offering freebies.

Read these other case studies of how to use free stuff to make more money:

--

Quick hitters

(1) This dude doubled revenue in 1 year. Job hunting related businesses are always hot. If you can help people find better jobs or companies find talent, you’ll make money.

Another example: this business reached $250K/year by going niche in the job space. A winner strategy.

(2) This Netflix for spreadsheets nerds reached $100K in sales. Teaching people new skills (especially if they can be used to make more money) is a money-making source that never dries.

Dive deeper and learn how this founder 3x’d revenue and makes over $400K teaching people how to make dog treats.

--

Thanks for reading!

Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story
Want to start your own business?

Hey! 👋I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.

We interview successful business owners and share the stories behind their business. By sharing these stories, we want to help you get started.

Interested in starting your own business? Join Starter Story Premium to get the greatest companion to starting and growing your business:

  • Connect + get advice from successful entrepreneurs
  • Step by step guides on how to start and grow
  • Exclusive and early access to the best case studies on the web
  • And much more!
Did you know that brands using Klaviyo average a 95x ROI?

Email, SMS, and more — Klaviyo brings your marketing all together, fueling growth without burning through time and resources.

Deliver more relevant email and text messages — powered by your data. Klaviyo helps you turn one-time buyers into repeat customers with all the power of an enterprise solution and none of the complexity.

Join Brumate, Beardbrand, and the 265,000 other businesses using Klaviyo to grow their online sales.

Try Klaviyo for free right now ➜