Is debt-free funding even possible? It can be! And if you are diligent, you can choose funding opportunities that will minimize your risk and improve your chances of success. Debt-free funding lets you hit the ground running without obligations to anyone. Consider these ideas to get you “started” (pun intended):

Minimize business startup money.

Choose a business concept that demands little upfront cash, such as an online consulting business or a virtual assistant.

Or, plan a service-oriented businesses. A carpet-cleaning venture or a childcare facility, for example, demands a little upfront capital to get things going. One advantage is that costs are largely upfront and not on going.

Still other businesses are product-based, such as retail or manufacturing. Here, there will be early costs for inventory and infrastructure along with continuing inventory and logistics expenses.

Outsourcing saves time and money.

Recognize that you can’t do everything yourself. If, for example, you’re launching a bookkeeping business, your skills are in numbers and analysis, not logo design and marketing.

But, adding staff for these tasks adds to early costs. Consider outsourcing tasks to consultants on a job-by-job basis. This lets you cut back on expenses and reduce the need for space, staffing, and equipment.

Start slowly, start smart.

Stagger your startup to reduce expense. Break your new business into separate segments or product offerings and limit what you do to start out. You may find you limit your need for traditional sources of small business financing.

Go at it part-time until you’re confident you’ll make it. If you decide to launch your bookkeeping service, for instance, start by building a small base of clients to work with in addition to your full-time job. Once you develop a client base, cut back your day job, until you finally quit and make your business your full-time career.

Let’s make a deal.

Approach your current employer about contracting for them. Your boss may be willing to spin off a segment of his business to you, and buy back your services.

If you want to launch your own PR business, you strike up a deal with your employer to use some of their facilities during the startup phase. They could contract with you for services and have the convenience of you being on site. It’s a win-win for both parties as the employer saves the costs of having an employee on board.

Similarly, a new client might be willing to enter an arrangement, allowing you to work out of their office one or two days a week. Once you get the word out to contacts and colleagues that you’re planning your new venture, you’ll be surprised at the number of leads you can generate.

A novel approach – Save for it.

Start a savings plan now. Create a budget for the first 12 months and save as much money towards the budgeted costs as possible. This will help you with part or all of your business startup funding.

These are just a few of the alternatives to going into debt. Avoid the shackles of debt slavery and find real freedom in starting business debt free.