CEO Insights

How to Find Money for Setting Up Your First Startup


You’ve spent years dreaming of this idea. You’ve done conducted countless hours of research about the industry and innovations you’d like to make. You’ve looked at every single competitor and figured out what you’ll do to change the game and send people running to your company. Now you just have to find all the money required to make it happen.

Starting a business is expensive, but you need to spend money to make money. It’s a matter of determining how much you need and figuring out the most appropriate avenues to get it from, even if you need to use a combination of methods to fund your dreams.

Through Loans
Loans seem to be the most obvious answer for funding a startup, but getting a loan is likely much more difficult than a first time entrepreneur may expect. Getting a second loan with a lender who has already had a pleasant experience working with you is a lot easier than breaking the ice. Many lenders are hesitant to loan startup capital to an entrepreneur because there is no financial history to consider.

Without a summary of transactions and profits, the lender cannot determine the level of risk involved. If you have outstanding credit and a substantial documented income, you might be able to secure a personal loan for your startup. Just be aware that obtaining a business loan might not be possible at the very beginning – put that idea on the backburner for when you need expansion capital after you’ve been open for a while.

With Investors
Investors exist within every single industry. As long as you have a comprehensive business plan, a thorough budget, and a map for your future, an investor will be willing to entertain you. Be sure that you can pitch confidently and that you have an answer for every important question regarding how much things cost, how much you’ll make, and how you intend to pay the investor back.

One of the biggest advantages to working with a private investor that you won’t get with a standard business loan is the opportunity for mentorship. If you manage to secure an investor who has experience in your industry, he or she might be able to afford you with wisdom and suggestions that will help you succeed. At the end of the day, that investor wants to make money with you. Take their great advice.

Self Funding
Self funding seems like the most difficult way to go about getting your startup off the ground, but it does come with distinct advantages. If you have a low overhead startup, like a web based business or a solo operation, self funding typically won’t be exorbitantly expensive. Since you won’t have creditors or lenders on your back, you might even find a certain peace of mind comes from knowing your money and your business both belong to you.

Some people pull out their retirement funding early, or sell their properties to fund their startups. It’s a bold move, and it doesn’t always work. Before you take drastic measures, make sure you can actually afford those moves.

There’s always the option of generating additional income to offset the costs of your startup. Simple things, like freelancing or picking up gig jobs, can help you bring in enough to make ends meet. You can earn extra money through the sharing economy by renting out storage space in your home or office with relatively little effort on your part.

Most new entrepreneurs use a combination of methods to fund their startups. As long as you’re detailed with your budget, avoid taking more than you need, and thorough with your bookkeeping, you can use as many methods as you need. Just be sure to pay everyone back on time.


Sarah Kearns is a hard working mother of three daughters. She is a part of the team behind Parkhound - a place where you can find cheap parking spots. She loves cooking, reading history books and writing about green living.


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