sly : marketing

How to start a business in 90 days

How to start a business

I am starting my first business, and I have a strong feeling that I’m not prepared. I have been reading books, I have been reading blog posts and I have been talking to people about how to start a business. I have even talked to a lot of people about how to start a successful blog.

I have a lot of thoughts about how to start a business and how to name a business. The title is how to start a business in 90 days, and that’s because that’s exactly how long I’ll be planning how to start a business. I could have used a lot longer, but it ended up being 90 days.

Let me take you on a journey through all my thoughts on how to start a business. I’ve been dreaming about this for the past weeks, so this comes straight from the heart.

How to start a business with no money

I don’t have any savings. So,I asked meyself;Β how to start a business with no money? I didn’t have an answer. That’s why my first client made me the happiest man in the world. I need money from day one. I know that I should have started out with enough money to get me through the first 6 months, but I don’t have any. Now, I’ll need to hustle. But, fortunately I like to hustle, and I won’t give up, no matter what.


I have been looking for passion all my life. And, for some people it comes easy, for me it’s been a different journey. When I talk about how to start a business, it’s usually all about passion. I really love what I’m doing online, and I love to help people. Content marketing and inbound marketing is what it’s going to be all about, because that’s something I truly believe in.

It takes time

I’ll keep hustling to be successful and I will continue even if it takes me forever. I don’t expect to be earning hardly any money the first months, and I don’t care, as long as I understand that my customers are 100% satisfied (I won’t settle for less), and that I’ll get the money eventually. I know that this isn’t a good strategy, but I just want to focus on my customers and the content, and I believe that if I do a great job, they will pay me.

How to start a business with no testimonials

I have been marketing for a long time, but I haven’t been running my own business, so I actually don’t have any testimonials from my current work. That made me think. Should I contact former clients and partners from the college where I work? They could create a testimonial about how they perceive me and that they trust me and enjoyed working with me. It’s different, but by doing this, I’ll be adding social proof to the equation, and that’s very important. Nobody wants to be first.

I need to create a home

To me, when I’ve been dreaming about how to start a business, I have always end up thinking about blogging. And to me, blogging is like my home online. My blog is where I invite people to read more about me, and to read my content, and to build a relationship with me. I use my blog to create trust. I do a lot of things online, but I invite people to my home. No matter what happens, this is where I’m most comfortable.

I need to eliminate expenses

I have been asking myself; how to start a business with no money? I keep adding expenses all the time. I am focusing on the long term goals, so I’ve been buying things that I’m sure that I’ll be needing. I want to use the best tools available, and that’s why I ended up buying things like the Genesis Framework and Long Tail Pro.

Be Proud

When you are thinking about how to start a business, it’s important that you believe in who you are and what you are capable of doing. I don’t believe in miracles, but when it comes to how to start a business, I believe that luck comes to people who work hard.

This post could have been called, how to start a business when you have no luck at all, because that’s what it feels like to be me. I haven’t played the lotteri in twenty years, and that’s because I didn’t win – ever. And, whenever I carry an umbrella it stops raining, and if I don’t, it starts. That’s the story of my life. But, I’m certain that my business is going to be a success, and that’s because failure is not an option.

I am an introvert, not that I’m shy, but I like to spend time alone, and many times my energy is drained by being around other people. But, that doesn’t matter. I’ll keep telling people about my new business, and I’ll keep building my network. I have faith in what I am doing.

How to start a business without a business plan

Don’t get me wrong. I know how important a business plan is, and I have a feeling that I’m going to find out how to start a business without having the proper strategy. I have been doing a lot of thinking, and I have been writing, but there are so many things going on right now, I just don’t seem to be able to finish it. I have the plan inside my head, but I need to write it down. I want to be able to read it, and watch what I’m going to do next. It’s all about content, and how to hustle to get my clients found, and to make people proud of being customers of my clients. But that’s not enough. I need a goal, and so far, my goal has been to learn as much as possible and have as much fun as possible while learning. That’s not a sustainable strategy, or maybe it is?

I Need Help

I need accounting help. This post could have been called; how to start a business when you don’t like to talk about money? That’s me. I don’t like to talk about money. I don’t like to focus on money. I’m going to have a hard time sending my first invoice. Accounting is not the only help I need. I need a mentor to inspire me. And I need some fans to keep me motivated – failure is not an option.

How to start a business in 90 days? Let’s discuss.

55 responses to “How to start a business in 90 days”

  1. Keith says:


    Make sure you head over to and sign up for his emails (I may have already told you about it) this will help you along the way. It is geared for start up “SoloPreneurs” like you and I.

    Over and above that, don’t be afraid to get the tools you need to do your job. Try premium products, if they help you, buy them. I use things like Basecamp, Quickbooks Online, SEOmoz Tools. and more. Yes they cost me money, but they make me money too…..

    • Hey Keith,

      Thanks a lot. I’ll sign up for his emails right now, and I’ll take a closer look at the tools you mention as well. I have bought several premium products already, I have realized that when I am starting my business I only want to be using the best tools.

      Thanks a lot for the help.

  2. Jens, I’m so happy for you that you are taking the self-employed, entrepreneurial plunge. I started my business over 25 years ago, and things today are, as you can imagine, worlds away from where they were back then. But some basics remain the same, in terms of customer cultivation/relationships/experience, marketing (as you well know), planning, goal setting and achievement. Although the focus of my work is with entrepreneurs in early growth mode, I also work with start-ups. If you ever want to chat, or have a question, feel free to let me know. Although I won’t use the “pick my brain” phrase, haha, I’d be happy to share some thoughts and ideas with you. Cheers! Kaarina

    • Hi Kaarina,

      Wow, 25 years ago. That’s incredible. And I’m scared for starting one now, I guess even though I have a lot more experience now as I’m older, I also know how many things that can go wrong.

      Thanks a lot for the awesome support. I’ll definitively contact you with some of the questions I have. I’m not going to send all of them your way, that would be way too much work πŸ™‚

  3. Bill Dorman says:

    First of all, change the mindset; instead of focusing on what you haven’t won, always expect to win. It sounds crazy, but it really does work. I was in a golf tournament on Monday and left w/ a 31.5″ flat screen TV; 3 yrs ago I won a 42″ flat screen from the same tournament. A couple of things had to fall into place, but when they did, I expected to win. I’ll even be so bold as to say I knew I would win. Does it work every time? Nope, but often enough, I can assure you.

    I had a chance to hear Anne Beiler talk. She started a business with no business plan, under educated and under funded (ie, no money). Read her story and see if any of it resonates with you:

    I’m challenging you not to dwell on what you don’t have or perceived shortcomings, but expect to succeed and kick some serious butt. Focus on your strengths and the positives. Yes, it will take hard work but approach it with the right frame of mind.

    Good luck.

    • Hey Bill,

      I’ll do my best. Failure is not an option, and I keep working on the mindset. It’s a little scary to start my own business, but it’s like you say, if you are sure that you’re going to do an awesome job, that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

      I’ll head on over to Anne Beiler now, I’m sure I can learn a lot from her story.

      By the way, you’re even a better golfer than I imagined πŸ™‚

    • I want one of those TVs Bill:)

      • Ruth Zive says:

        Bill is 100% correct. You can will it to happen Jens. Believe in your success. Write down your goals and expect that they will be realized.

        And DEFINITELY hustle.

        When I started my business, I used a “10 before 10” rule. Contact 10 business prospects every day before 10:00. Just do it. It took about 3 months of relentless hustling, but then the business really started to flow! Now I can’t keep up!

        • The 10 before 10 rule sounds brilliant, and that’s something I’m going to start using. I have been thinking about contacting my network among the colleges and universities in Norway, and I should be able to get some new clients from that. But I definivively have to hustle to get enough clients during the first months πŸ™‚

          Thanks a lot for sharing your experience with me Ruth, this is so important to me.

    • Adrienne says:

      2 TV’s Bill! Dang man, you are a golfing fool. You need to rub some of that off on us! πŸ™‚

  4. Carolyn says:

    Jens, you are brave. I have nothing to offer you, I’ve never started a business before, but I’ve always admired those who do. You will have an advantage in being hungry. It will make you work harder. Those who have a cushion don’t work as hard.

    I know you’ll succeed, Jens. Believe in yourself as we all believe in you and you will do fine. Your recommendation is your writing on this blog. Anyone who sees this blog will realize they have uncovered a treasure.

    • Hi Carolyn,

      Thanks a lot. Being in a hurry is truly an advantage, and I feel that I get a lot done in very little time, because I’m hungry and really need to get it done.

      Thank you so much for all your support.

  5. Eddie Gear says:

    Jens great advice. Even though I took much longer than 90 days, I guess these are tips that should be followed. Good Move to Genesis and I am sure that you already love the design and your readers would love it as well.

    • Hi Eddie,

      I have to get a lot done during 90 days, and now I have just a little more than 30 days left. I keep hustling every single day in order to get things done.

      I love Genesis, and I’m so glad that I bought the developers license .

  6. Sergio Felix says:

    Hey Jens,

    I know what it is to get a business started with almost no money or even, zero money and I can tell you first hand, it is definitely NOT easy.

    I have a few recommendations for you:

    1. Don’t buy anything unless you absolutely needed NOW. (better use of available cash)
    2. If there’s a discount for buying for an extended period, go as long as you possibly can. (saves money long term)
    3. If there’s a product launching and you think you absolutely going to need it, then by all means, invest in it while you can get it for a lower price (no need to pay higher fees later)

    And that’s it. Basically I’m focusing on investing as smart as I can but I’m positive you already know most of this.

    You’re one smart, creative and hard working man and I’m pretty sure you’ll succeed at whatever you decide to do.

    Good luck and remember, if there’s anything I can help you out with, you know where to reach me.

    All the best Jens and good luck my friend, hope to hear soon again from that first client! πŸ˜‰


    • Jens P. Berget says:

      Hey Sergio,

      I really need to work on this. I keep buying things I feel that I need, even though I probably should test if I can manage without first. As you said, it’s important to keep my money and use it when I really need to. And I was just thinking about buying a brand new 27″ iMac πŸ™‚

      Thanks a lot for your support. I’ll probably contact you as soon as I understand where I’m heading πŸ™‚

  7. Mark says:

    The biggest lessons I learned in my first business 25+ years ago is business is all about counting money. Knowing where you are at all times – money in, money out, profit/ loss – knowing where you’re at financially at all times is the key to building a successful profitable business.

    Accounting is the most important function a business must have in place from day one Jens, so you need to start to ‘like’ discussing money : )

    • This is very valuable Mark, and it’s no doubt in my mind that I need to understand this and I really need to like focusing on money. I have to change my mindset, and I know that I’m going to get better at it. Thanks to you and all your support.

  8. Harleena Singh says:

    You can do IT Jens!

    Just a little push and determination is all you need, and all of us are right here for giving you that much needed PUSH!

    Set small achievable goals and aims, and you will be surprised how much you really will be able to do- without having to spend much πŸ™‚

    Though the monetary aspects can’t be neglected, but they aren’t all that important. And money does come in on it’s own- but give things time and keep the faith πŸ™‚

    I know some people don’t like to make a routine or time-table, and prefer working at their own pace. But if you do want to attain some targets or aim for things- its best to chalk out a routine and time yourself for doing various task- like applying for jobs, doing your writing work, family time, or other such things. It does work well if you do so.

    And yes- most importantly- it’s all within YOU and YOUR mind- so always remain positive about things, count your achievements and think about all that you have attained. This brings in more positivism or as they call the Law of Attraction!

    Wishing you the very best πŸ™‚

    • Hi Harleena,

      I am very excited about my new path in life, and I truly believe that this is the right thing to do. Thank you so much for the support Harleena, I need all the help I can get πŸ™‚

      I am working on changing my mindset, and finding out how I can get more interested in focusing on money as well.

  9. Ashvini says:

    Hi Jens,

    Congratulations. I am sure you are going to do great. Let me know if I can help you in any way πŸ™‚

  10. Loren says:

    Indeed these article will help future entrepreneurs out there. I really admire the way you write and very sound tips and guidelines. Thank you so much!

  11. john says:

    interesting, helpful post,you talked about passion, personally i think that if you are passionate about something then you put in all the effort, hard work and whats required, people see/feel your enthusiasm and then when the pennies come rolling in…its an added bonus…doing something you love is soooo different from something you have no feeling about

    • That’s what I’ve been thinking John. I am very passionate about it. I don’t have hardly any experience with running a business, but I’ll keep hustling and get the necessary experience that I neeed to make this into a success.

      Thanks a lot for your support and the comment.

  12. Adrienne says:

    Okay Jens, I agree with Bill. Change the mindset and the thinking my friend.

    You are passionate about this path you are taking whether you have planned for it or not. Just know in your gut that everything will fall into place and the clients are beating down your door. Know it with your every being and trust me, they will be knocking on your door. You’ll start getting referrals like crazy and you’ll look back on this and wonder why you ever had any of these thoughts.

    I love Ruth’s 10/10 plan Jens and I have no doubt you’ll hustle like crazy. Hope you’ll be able to keep up with it all.

    Best of luck to you Jens, I have faith in you.


    • Hi Adrienne,

      I’m working on the mindset πŸ™‚

      And I’m finding out how to run a business with no business experience at all. But I’m having an awesome time and I’m really looking forward to having my own business for the first time in my life. I’m going to use Ruth’s 10/10 plan.

      Thanks a lot for all your support Adrienne.

  13. Hey,

    Thanks a lot for the kind words πŸ™‚

  14. Becca says:

    You’ve done a great job Jen! It’s a little bit hard to figure out what business plan or strategies. Starting a business is a very time consuming process and it takes longer than 90 days the techniques you recommend may help in any ways.

  15. Alisha Benn says:

    Hi Jens –

    I truly believe that you wrote this article for me. I also have been working on starting my own business since the beginning of this year. I have NO idea what I am doing either, but I have been reading alot and trying to absorb as much information as possible. You mentioned that you have a “Can’t Lose Attitude”, and I realized that is the mindset that I need to have also. You have written a very valuable post, and also have received great advice and encouragement. You have successful turned me from a stranger into a consumer, and I will follow you on Twitter to see how your business is growing.

    Good Luck with the everything and I will see you at the top!

    Much success,

    Alisha Benn

    P.S. I highly recommend reading The Zen of Social Media Marketing by Shama Hyder Kabani and Launch by Michael Stelzner πŸ™‚

    • Hi Alisha,

      We need to stay in touch. Things are going great, but I’m a little scared as well. I feel comfortable that I’m following my passion, but I’m not a business man by nature, so I need to understand what I’m doing very fast πŸ™‚

      I’ll add the books you suggested to my wishlist on Amazon.

      Thanks a lot for your awesome comment, and happy Friday πŸ™‚

  16. Brankica says:

    Love it and congrats on the decision πŸ˜‰

    I got my first testimonials by offering all services 50% off in the first month I decided to start the service business. That made sure I get honest testimonials and at the same time I made some people happy, so they continued hiring me after that as well.

    • Hi Brankica,

      That’s interesting. At the moment, I got three fairly big Norwegian clients, so hopefully I can get a testimonial from them, and that will get me started.

      What I find difficult, is to get time to develop and launch my Norwegian blog. That’s going to be the blog for my business. I’ll do most of the business in Norway, and I’ll create a “hire me” page here on slymarketing as well, in order for other peopel to hire me. But I think that close to 100% of my business will come from the Norwegian market.

      Thanks a lot for all your help, and I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.

  17. Alex Adams says:

    Hi Jens,

    Great post. As you know I am in a similar position. I started a in the Autumn of last year and I am finding that keeping a close eye on the money is of paramount importance.

    Your passion will help keep you going mentally but getting the sales in is what puts the food on the table.

    The biggest lesson I have learned is to make sure you make it crystal clear what your payment terms are. Most people will pay on time but there are those who like to do things their way and you can spend valuable tome and energy chasing in the payments.

    I wish you every success with your new business.


    • Hey Alex,

      That’s great advice.

      I have started to focus on the money. But, right now, it’s a lot harder than I first thought. I want to keep focusing on what I’m good at, and making high quality content or marketing advice, and not focusing on the money. But I do understand how important that is, it’s just a lot harder to send the invoice than I thought πŸ™‚

  18. Lee says:

    I love these tips and even as a pro blogger – or at least a full-time one πŸ˜‰ Nice For Sharing WIth Us πŸ™‚ Thanks For Kind Words For Us πŸ˜‰

  19. Hajra says:

    Hey Jens,

    I don’t run a business and don’t know a penny about it; so why am I commenting? Because as a shrink I have seen people just break down after the first failure in their business and one of the key factors was they somehow let other’s decision distract them and they weren’t confident enough to believe in themselves and know that they will make it work. So, just believe in what you have to offer and yes, I will be harsh; there might be a sutmble, but just dust off and keep going. There is nothing more successful than a confident, determined person who is full of hope!

    • That’s very interesting Hajra, and I’m so glad that you are commenting. Your comments are always such a huge inspiration, and you have some very interesting thoughts. I also believe that it’s very important that we keep supporting people when they are starting out and struggling. To me, comments like yours have made such a huge difference and it’s the reason why I keep hustling.

      Thanks a lot Hajra.

  20. James says:

    thanks for sharing, its very useful and interesting…!

  21. Nicholle Olores says:

    Hi Jens, this is great and totally agree with you these. It helps a lot to build business more and to those who will start. Thanks!

  22. Warren says:

    Hey Jens, you’re right “Failure is NOT an option”!

    You’re on the right track, and I’m sure with the help of the blogging team (friends) you’ve got you’ll be on the fast track in no time. We’ve all got different skills and experiences to share, and I’m always happy to brainstorm ideas with you. Email me anytime.

    • Hey Warren,

      That’s awesome. I’ll email you as soon as I’ve got some questions.

      The problem right now is the language barrier, it’s actually the first time I set up a blog in Norwegian, and I feel that it’s a lot harder to drive traffic to a Norwegian site than to an English one. That’s mostly because many of the services I use are more or less for English sites only, and it’s a lot harder to build backlinks to a non-english site.

      • Warren says:

        I think in a case like that you should focus 80% of your link building efforts on other Norwegian sites that are online, and 20% on English sites for the added SEO boost you’ll want to get. Perhaps those could link to an English version of your site, or even a single English page?

        • Hey Warren,

          That’s very interesting. I haven’t thought about adding an English page to my Norwegian site. That’s awesome. It’s a great idea to focus my link building to this page.

          By the way, do you use any services for your link building?

  23. Lenia says:

    Hi Jens,
    I am very interested in what you say here as I am in the same position as you. I actually built my business plan and I think it is important because it is just an exercise to learn about how a company works. We learn thinking and so we reduce the possibilities of failure. This plan don’t have to be a long term business plan because we have to be flexible and change things during the journey. So I built it just for one year. This is something presented in the business book Rework. I don’t know if you have already read it. I am interested in the books you mention you read. Are there any books you would recommend to me?
    I agree with you about the accounting. I need that help too. On the other hand I want to learn accountings by myself because it is very important to know how things work. Accounting provides financial education according to the book rich dad poor dad.
    About the mentor you mention, have you find one? I have no idea about the benefits we can take from a mentor and as you mention, I don’t like focus on money either but it is an issue!
    I would appreciate if you have advise me some tips!
    Thank you in advanced and have a great day!
    p.s. I have recently renewed my blog. I would appreciate if you have a look on that and tell me your opinion.

    • Hi Lenia,

      We need to stick together. I still haven’t created my business plan. I know that I should, but I have been working with so many different projects, and I have several new clients. I didn’t want to tell them that I was busy, right now I just want to start building my business brick by brick. But I really need to start thinking about a business plan.

      When it comes to mentors, I have many. They might not consider themselves as my mentor, but I keep reading their stuff and asking them questions and they are really brilliant. You should visit the blogs of people like John Falchetto and Ameena Falchetto, they are brilliant. I listen to them a lot when it comes to business advice.

      I have been on a 3-hour course on accounting, to learn about taxes and things that matter when you start a business. It was a free course, and I learned a lot from it.

      When it comes to books, I haven’t read any recently about starting a business, the books I’ve read are mostly about marketing and what to keep focusing on. I’ll need to take a closer look at Rework… I’ve read Rich Dad Poor Dad, and I learned a lot from that one.

      Thanks a lot Lenia. I hope you’re having an awesome weekend. I’ll be over to take a look at your blog in a few minutes πŸ™‚

      • Lenia says:

        Yes, that is true Jens! I think we can share our experience and help its other. I understand very well your issue. If you already have customers it is reasonable that you focus on them and try to answer to their needs. In my opinion the business plan is just an exercise that helps us understand better some terms such as the cash flow, the revenues- expenses table etc. It is also a good opportunity to learn our market, identify some needs and build some services with a detailed way. In Rework, the authors have a revolutionary opinion about the business plan. If you wish you can find a summary of Rework in my blog Your Life Your Choices.
        Thank you very much for giving me your advice. I will definitely visit the blog of John Falchetto and Ameena Falchetto.
        I have also read Rich dad Poor dad! It is exactly that book that underline the importance of financial intelligence πŸ˜‰
        Thank you for your answer and for the Like you need in my Facebook Fan Page πŸ™‚
        I appreciate that.
        Have a great week.

  24. Larry A says:

    Hi Jens,

    Every business starts out as a great idea which is either a unique concept or which you believe could be done better or differently than others – if you know how you’re going to achieve this and give great service, that’s what your clients will love about your business!

    By giving excellent service and if you pricing is right, people will tell others about you and you will find yourself getting a lot of referrals, without advertising – this will be valued business for you!

    I believe you will do it! Don’t give up!
    Good Luck!

  25. Sandy Johnson says:

    I came across your blog searching on google.

    I think one of the fundamental things to launch a business is to over the fear of failure, its this precise reason that so many good ideas never come to the market.

    One of the tools that I recommend is to gather a group of trusted friends and over come this fear by discussing what is the worst thing that can happen if the business doesn’t work. (will you loose all your savings? will you loose your house?) Only after you have put the worst case scenario on paper is when you can move forward.

  26. Mohamed Medhat says:

    Hi Jens,
    it a great topic .. I think u talk about me not u πŸ™‚
    I’m in the same position as u but I’m at the middle east. I’m trying to build my startup since a year ago. we have a different market here and I should u focus on money and ur passion makes me interested to see what u will do. good luck jens wish u achieve your goals

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe: rss | email | twitter | +