Starting A Zero Capital Business

Achieving financial freedom. That’s a dream which implanted by Robert Kiyosaki in his book “Rich Dad Poor Dad”, the book I read years ago. Although I disagree with his concept of financial freedom, because I think there will never be financial freedom unless it gained from massive exploitation of other’s resources. But what truly inspired me was when Kiyosaki said, business can be started even with zero capital .

In his book, Kiyosaki describes his story of managing a property business with zero capital. With the strength of his network, Kiyosaki can sell houses only by capitalize Down Payment from the buyer to apply for credit to the bank. Of course it’s not precisely zero capital, but Kiyosaki just want to illustrate that even a real estate property business can be started only with small amount of money.

In a very different scale, I try to apply a zero capital business in my own way. Coincidentally, one of my relatives was an agent of the Tarbawi – Islamic Magazine. With him, I started a business. At first, i took only 10 copies, then I introduced the magazine to some neighbors. Mr. Sudarman, my relative – magazine agent gave me consignment, so if the magazine did not sold out, it can be returned to him.Praise positive responses, 10 copies sold out. In an instance I took more magazines from Mr. Sudarman, so in that edition I managed to sell about 30 copies, with almost no capital.

Slowly I increased the number of my customers, even among them there was several resellers, who sell the magazine back to others. Each edition I could sell about 400 copies, but Mr. Sudarman, which is the magazine agent, was only able to sell 300 copies in every edition. With that condition, he then advised me to replace his place as an agent.

After becoming an agent, I was able to meet and interact with other agents, some of them was also an agent of other magazines. Then I began to offer other than Tarbawi magazines to my customers.

An increasing number of customers make up my cruising range. Improving range would make me have to have operational vehicle for delivering each of the magazines, because if i was late my customers would buy it from another seller.

At first when I only have few customers, I was relying on public transport to deliver all the magazines, but when my customers increasing, I need a motorcycle to deliver them. But buying a resale motorcycle was neither cheap in that time. Finally, based on some advice from a friend, I then ’signed up’ with an unemployed neighbor who have a motorcycle. We share the cruising area then, he got payment from the margin of each magazine which he was delivered.

Slowly but sure, my business grew up and I became an agent of some magazines. When my name was listed in each magazine as their agent, it increase the offering from other agent to become their member.

I proved that I can pioneering a business with a zero capital as the Kiyosaki’s style. Although in a much smaller scale, a business started with 10 copies on consignment, can slowly increase to about 1,500 copies per edition.

So, what about you, interested in trying? Or you also have stories to share?

-this journal was published in Kompasiana, 22 June 2011

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