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7 Places to Find Startup Money

Think you've exhausted all your money-raising options? Think again. Here are seven alternative ways to fund your home based business.
October 24, 2005

While the old saying "It takes money to make money" has some bearing on starting a home based business, how much money it's going to take depends on the kind of business you're starting. But before thinking about how to fund your home business, you have to determine how much you need--and that may not be as much as you thought.

For example, the startup costs for some home businesses--like cleaning services, daily money management and pet sitting--are quite low, costing in the hundreds of dollars to launch. Other businesses--like medical transcription, private investigating and mobile pet grooming--will cost $10,000 or more. And neither of these estimates includes living expenses, which you'll need to take into account when calculating your startup costs if you don't already have a job to cover those costs.

The most common sources of startup funds are tapping into your own piggy bank, retirement funds, insurance policies, employee severance package, a loan from a family member or friend, credit cards or a home equity loan. If you've already considered or drawn from those sources but still need additional funds, here are some other types of wells you might be able to draw from:

First, think about assets or resources you own or are entitled to, such as:

Second, you may be able to tap into:

Finally, you may be able to line up prepaid work so that your customers can help finance your startup. For example, you can:

When it comes to funding your home based startup, thinking creatively could help you achieve your financial goals.

Authors and career coaches Paul and Sarah Edwards are's "Homebased Business" columnists. Their latest book is The Best Home Businesses for People 50+. Contact them at