Small Business Trends Radio

How to Start a Business With No Money

Gary Schoeniger, How to Start a Business With No Money

In this inspiring episode of Small Business Trends Radio, Gary Schoeniger joins Host, Anita Campbell, to share his personal story on “how I started a business with absolutely no money — just a borrowed ladder and a battered old car.”

In 1987, Gary Schoeniger was broke and deep in debt. He had no cash. He wasn’t even sure he had any marketable skills. One thing he did know?

That he had no choice but to be a success. He was out of options.

So, one day he got into his 1972 Dodge with the banged-in door, borrowed a ladder that he strapped to the roof, and then went house to house offering to clean gutters.

From those lean and virtually hopeless beginnings, he eventually built the business into a multi-state, multimillion dollar construction management firm. But Gary says, along the way, he made every mistake in the book and would do a number of things differently if he could do it all over.

Three things Gary suggests are:

  • Hire more help – and work closely with your new employees so they learn to do the job well, instead of doing everything yourself. Learn to delegate the work.
  • Force yourself to study — finances so you can truly understand your costs and devise new ways of saving to increase your bottom line.
  • Spend more time on — marketing and sales to ensure that a steady stream of customers is always coming in. Hire help to free yourself up to do it – or hire someone else to do it. Just make sure it’s always being done.

Gary also speaks about the practical side of being a business owner. Gary says, “I lost a lot of jobs because my bids were too low.” Yes, you read that right. His bids were too low so his pricing needed some adjustment and Gary learned a valuable lesson from that experience.

About Gary Schoeniger

starting_from_scratch.gifGary is the founder of ESFB, a consulting firm dedicated to innovation, profitability and growth strategies for small business. His entrepreneurial seminars, education and training programs deliver life-changing strategic value to small businesses.

He is the author of “Starting from Scratch – How to Start a Business When You Don’t Have Money.”

Visit Gary on his website at Gary Schoeniger.

Recorded: April 11, 2006

Additional highlights of this show include the Today’s Trend segment, “Leaving the Elusive Dream of Easy Money Behind – and Bootstrapping Our Way to Success.”

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