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In the Money?

Financing your startup can be tricky. Learn the steps this entrepreneur took to polish his image for investors.

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This story appears in the May 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Last month, we learned of Scott Duffy's travels--both on the road and inside himself--as he made his way to his destination: launching Self Storage Capital Group in Santa Monica, California. Like Duffy, most entrepreneurs start out feeling enthusiastic about their business idea; however, actually financing that startup can have a stalling effect for those unable to secure the necessary capital. This month, Duffy, 34, explains how he did it and shares some valuable lessons he learned along the way.

For the type of business deals Duffy wants to do, he'll need a large amount of money and will eventually approach investors for it. But before that can happen, he has to get his own house in order, as he puts it. Since sophisticated investors would check Duffy's financial background to see whether he has good credit and if he pays the bills on time, he spent the year before he left Fox Sports' Internet division focusing on his credit, ensuring it would be exceptional.

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