Personal savings. The truth is most startups are funded with personal savings. Before you make a big withdrawal, however, I recommend that you have at least a year’s worth of fixed living expenses (like your mortgage and insurance needs) set aside. When you’re starting your own shop, you may have to forgo a salary for a few months, even a year, until you gain traction and income starts flowing.
Start part-time. If you need a steady source of income to meet your financial obligations (and keep your family covered by health insurance) start the business as a part-time venture. Don’t quit the day job until the part-time business has a steady flow of customers and profits.
Start the business from home. You can start your business for much less money if you don’t have to foot the bill for office space and utilities for an out-of-the-home office. While you may not want to advertise the fact that you work from home, you will have plenty of company. Many people work out of there home today.
Friends and family. If you’ll go this route, be clear about the terms and put everything in writing, so no bad blood arises.
Banks and credit unions. Banks are not always easy to crack when it comes to small business lending. It goes without saying that you’ll need a firm business plan and a squeaky-clean credit record to get approved. Your first stop should be a bank that’s familiar with you or your industry, or one that’s known for having a soft spot for small-business lending.
Small Business Administration (SBA)-guaranteed loans; check the “Local Resources” page on the agency’s website (Sba.gov). SBA-guaranteed bank loans tend to demand a lower down payment, and monthly payments may be more manageable.