88 Ways to get Money Without Going to the Bank

So, the bank declined your request for a business loan. Did they ask, Do you have any “marketable collateral”? When you indicated that you only had business assets, did they respond, “I am sorry, but we do not finance businesses unless they have been a success for at least two years.” Are you frustrated and wonder what to do next? Do not surrender! There are many different ways to get money for your business using creativity, innovation, and finesse. These 88 techniques are simple, realistic, and logical. Some require no capital! They will help you learn how to creatively think about solving any financing problem. The main point is not to try all 88 approaches but to open your eyes to the many opportunities available to you to engage in different ways of thinking about money. These ways do not require you to go to the bank. It is not necessary to prove you do not need the money or you have lots of marketable collateral. Only 14% of new businesses obtain the capital to start their business from a bank. Yet, most people focus all their efforts on this unlikely source. Use these 88 ways to either start a business, buy a business, or expand a business. After you achieve success, you will find that obtaining bank financing is a whole lot easier than it is today. This list is not all inclusive. Get together with friends, professional advisors, and other business people to brainstorm creative ways to raise money. Motivated people can work out creative and innovative solutions to the problems in the world of finance. If you try one approach and it fails, try another. A solution to your capital problems exists. You must go find it!


1. LANDLORD FINANCING – Your landlord is an excellent source of capital. The landlord may be willing to pay for some or all of your leasehold improvements. If he does, he will add the cost to the rent and amortize it over the life of the lease.

An individual with little capital wanted to open a restaurant. He found a landlord who provided the leasehold improvements, a walk-in cooler, and the kitchen equipment. This landlord agreed to start the rent payments in six months. Yes, this individual paid a higher than normal rent. However, he preserved his capital and was able to afford the higher payments in six months when his restaurant was a success.

If the landlord really likes your business, he or she might invest in your company for a share of the business. Landlords are excellent prospects for private investors.

2. DEALER’S OUTLET – Sometimes a retail dealer will allow the use of their facilities for businesses with complementary services and/or services needed by the dealership. These may be for repair, rental, maintenance, or add-on services. For example, some used car dealers provide facilities and customer referrals for auto repair businesses. The dealership likes the convenience this arrangement provides its customers. In addition, the dealership may even receive a lower rate for its work or a referral fee.

3. LEASE SPACE AT YOUR COMPETITOR’S – Sometimes, a competitor will allow you to operate out of their facilities. Some examples are recording studios, hair stylists, photographers, and artists.

4. TENANT PARTNERSHIPS – Get together all the necessary subcontractors for your business under one roof and share facilities, equipment, and certain services. Each remains a separate business.

The approach works very well with creative talent. An advertising agency uses this approach by having a printer, copywriter, and public relations expert split the cost of an office suite. This approach provides greater convenience for the client and you. It may enhance the exchange of creative ideas between tenants. It will definitely present more opportunities for referrals and cross-selling of services.

5. RENT A SUITE – If you need facilities on a part-time basis, consider renting an office suite. These suites may be rented by the hour, day, week, or month. Often, they provide a range of other office services and equipment on a fee basis. Some examples of fee based services are: name on the door, telephone answering, conference room use and secretarial services.

6. EQUITY SHARING – You can get investors to put up part of the down payment for the real estate required for your business. After a specified time, the investors are bought out or the property is sold and the profits split. In a variation of this idea, the investors purchase the real estate in their name and lease the property to the business giving it an option to purchase.

This is an ideal way to get angels to invest in a project requiring real estate. The investor receives a real estate secured transaction with a tenant. The business gets the building and the use of the property it desires. This approach has the added advantage that there are significantly more real estate investors than there are business investors. Therefore, your chance of finding this money is better.

7. HOME BASED BUSINESS – You can work out of the home. Many service businesses start in a private residence. Matter of fact, almost 35 million people now work at home. Some experts predict that by the year 2010 50% of service providers will work out of their home. This approach gives you a competitive advantage of lower overhead. It allows you to save your capital for the critical issues. You should wait until your sales level justify outside quarters before leasing office space.

8. LEASE/PURCHASE FACILITIES – Some real estate sellers will allow you to lease with an option to purchase your facilities. Always explore this potential. You must remember that your primary goal is to obtain a successful business. A business investment should achieve a return of at least 25% on your capital. Since real estate deals usually generate returns substantially less than 25%, your business should be first priority. Save your capital for it. You should consider purchasing real estate when you have excess capital or you need to have long-term control of a special use property. Leasing with an option to purchase puts you in control and preserves capital.

9. SUBLEASE – Want to buy a building? Sublease part of it with several months of lease payments paid in advance. This would reduce your capital need to purchase the building. You should consider subleasing the parking lot to other businesses with different operating hours. Is your restaurant or club open at night only? Sublet it during the day to a dance studio, karate class, or as a rehearsal hall.

10. MOBILE RETAIL STORE – You can create a mobile retail store without a fixed location. This may allow you to take your merchandise to your customers. This approach has achieved great success when selling to the construction industry and food sales. One business sold clothes to farmers and farm hands off a truck. The truck would always be at a location the same day and time each week. This allowed the business to operate out of numerous locations. It sold those clothes on a weekly installment plan and customers would come by each week to make their payments and purchase new items. Since the cash down at the time of purchase was equal to the cost of the goods sold, this venture was very profitable. Also, the majority of the owner’s capital went into inventory to be sold rather than fixed assets.

11. SHOWS – You can eliminate the capital needed for facilities by selling at trade shows, consumer product shows, fashion shows, bridal shows, etc. An excellent example of cooperation in a show is all the companies that exhibit in bridal shows.

12. FLEA MARKETS – You can test the demand for your consumer product while significantly reduce your capital requirements by selling at flea markets. These have little overhead and may have large crowds of buyers. Since these facilities are usually open limited hours, you are not paying for an empty store.

13. MAIL ORDER CATALOGUES – Many mail order catalogues are constantly on the look out for new complementary products to go in their catalogue. Sometimes, they will even produce the ads at no cost to you and do market testing via selected advertising. Selling through catalogues may eliminate the need for retail facilities.

14. NETWORK MARKETING – Get others to sell your product. This eliminates the money necessary to maintain retail facilities. This involves people buying your product and reselling it door-to-door or at parties.

15. DISTRIBUTORSHIPS/WHOLESALING – You can eliminate your need for facilities by granting distributorships or retail sales agreements. In addition, you can sell wholesale to other businesses in order to eliminate the need for you to maintain retail facilities.


16. EQUIPMENT PURCHASES – Buy equipment and fixtures at auctions, foreclosure sales, garage sales, and from classified ads. A manufacturing business buys all of its equipment for expansion used. The company has hired an excellent maintenance/repair person. They cost justify this expense by spending 75% below new retail for the equipment necessary to operate their business.

17. RENT/LEASE – You can rent anything you need for your business from equipment to furniture on a monthly basis. This will preserve start-up capital until you can be sure of your success. Be sure to ask if the payments may be applied to the purchase price in the future.

18. TIMESHARING – Many businesses rent out their facilities and equipment when not in use by the owner. This is a common practice with computer equipment and heavy machinery.

19. SUBCONTRACTORS – Let someone else make it, package it, deliver it and sell it. This approach may be less profitable because each subcontractor has additional profit built in the contract. However, it requires only a small amount of capital to get started. Also, it is probably cheaper until the sales volume is sufficient to start to see some economies of scale savings.

20. SUBCONTRACT FROM/TO COMPETITORS – Getting money, products, or services from your competitors is difficult. However, it is possible to find a mutual benefit. This is likely to be true when the competitor lacks the skill, equipment, or personnel to meet their commitments. You can do subcontracting work with them to the benefit of all. This approach may get you the use of the necessary equipment to perform the job and/or your competitor actually performs the work. This is very common in the construction and consulting industries.


21. CONCESSION SALES – Renting or selling space to other vendors in your store is an excellent source of obtaining inventory to sell. You can collect a commission for handling the sale in addition to the fee for the space. All without you having any capital invested in the inventory.

Grocery stores have used this technique to provide bakeries, flower shops, gift shops, cafes, and meat markets within the store. Today, book stores use this technique to provide coffee shops, art work, and gifts to their customers.

22. MANUFACTURER’S OUTLET – Often manufacturers are looking for an inexpensive way to get their product into new markets. If you can help them achieve this goal, they may supply credit terms for your inventory purchases from them.

This is a common practice in equipment sales and service businesses. Some examples are landscape equipment, jet skis, fork lifts, and other types of equipment. One business utilized this method to obtain all the inventory needed to start the business. The manufacturer allowed them six months before they had to start making monthly payments on the original purchase that was financed over an additional six months.

23. MINIMIZE INVENTORY – You should order in economical quantities. If your ordering cost is low and the response time is short, you should keep enough inventory to maintain the required selection plus a margin of safety. Manufacturers should schedule production to minimize floor inventory. Use inventory purchasing models to reduce the capital needed to support inventory. Although having inventory on hand does have value, you must make sure that the cost to carry does not exceed that value.

24. PRIVATE FLOOR PLANNING – Private investors take title to durable goods for sale at your business. This has been used very successfully by auto dealers and dealers of baseball cards. The investors invest in an asset purchased below wholesale which can turn a substantial profit in a short period of time. This reduces investor risk and provides the business with the necessary inventory to sell.

25. DEPOSITS – Get deposits whenever possible. Preferably, the deposits should equal your out-of-pocket expense of purchasing the item. This will dramatically reduce your need for inventory capital.

26. INVENTORY PURCHASES – Buy seconds if quality is not that important. Try to purchase inventory through bankruptcy sales, close-out sales, and/or excess inventory sales.


27. BARTER – Think about what you would purchase with the money and consider bartering for it. Businesses may barter for goods and services or may even barter for the use of another business?s facilities during the off hours. Some examples of this technique are comedy clubs, photographers, night clubs, late night coffee shops, day care centers, and private parties. Many communities have active barter associations. They have developed formal trading agreements that provide additional resources to business.

A restaurant owner once bartered with a musician to provide guitar background music during the weekend evening hours. The owner gave ?free? meals to the musician and his family.

28. PREPAID CONTRACTS – The customer prepays for goods or services. The most common use of this technique is in selling prepaid maintenance contracts. However, any thing may be pre-sold. This is especially true when the service or good is critical to the purchaser’s success or significant discounting is available.

Concert promoters, event coordinators, amusement parks, museums, professional sports teams, and others use this technique to generate the necessary cash to pay the expenses required to provide the goods or services.

29. USE CASH FLOW FOR DOWN PAYMENT – Sometimes, sellers are willing to wait for part or all of the down payment. Try to structure the deal so that future business cash flow will provide the balance of the down payment

A motel purchaser paid over $160,000 for a property with only $1,000 in cash. The seller gave the purchaser a year to come up with another $15,000 and financed the remaining $145,000. The motel generated the additional $15,000 needed.

30. DEFER PAYING BILLS – You may be able to delay paying bills to generate the cash you need. Although this may cause problems with suppliers, it may not. If the business has been paying faster than the industry norms, consider this option. Many businesses pride themselves on allowing their customers plenty of time to pay and they pay when they receive the invoice. This practice is an inefficient use of capital.

A purchaser of a manufacturer discovered that they collected bills in 75 days and paid invoices in 45 days. After acquiring the business, he worked hard to collect bills in the industry norm of 60 days. Also, the company began to pay its bills within that same industry norm. These two changes “freed up” $180,000 in capital that was used to pay off the loan for acquiring the business. Thus, he got the business for “free.”

31. TRADE CREDIT – Ask your suppliers for more credit. Meet with them and explain how much business they can expect. Seek longer and more flexible terms. Explain your situation prior to the cash flow crisis. This builds credibility. If your business is substantial to them, they may even provide all the inventory financing you need.

A business’s inventory was financed by its supplier because the owner agreed to make all of the purchases from that supplier.

32. CUSTOMER FINANCING – You should try to use your customer’s money. Offer a membership with special privileges and/or activities. Sell discount cards. All sorts of businesses used this approach including restaurants, movies, clubs, grocery stores, consumer goods, and office products.

33. ADVANCE PAYMENT – Ask for the money before shipment. If you provide a substantial price discount you may get it. This works well with small manufacturers who make goods important to their clients. They may be willing to pay up front to achieve an excellent price and a reliable supply.

Have you ever purchased traveler’s checks? You paid for the services and goods in advance and may have paid a fee to do so. This technique works more often than you would think.

34. ADVERTISING – You can raise capital by renting advertising and display space at your business or on your building. This may be very attractive when many people see your location daily. If your business has trucks or vans, consider selling advertising on them just as the local transit authority does on its buses.

35. RENT OUT YOUR BUSINESS – When not at use in your business, you should consider renting out your facilities and equipment. This is a common practice with computer equipment and heavy equipment. Other examples can be found in restaurants, clubs, and office suites.

36. PREPAID SUBSCRIPTIONS – Get advance subscriptions to print small quantities. Use this approach to test customer acceptance and provide financing in stages. Think of all the businesses using this approach: Book-of-the-Month, Fruit-of-the-Month, CD-of-the-Month, Beer-of-the-Month, etc.

37. DIRECT MAIL – Anything can be sold via direct mail. The critical ingredients are the quality of the list and the quality of the brochure. Otherwise, this approach can be very expensive per response. Many books are pre-sold using this technique. This provides all of the capital necessary to print and deliver the book. Private schools also use this method to pre-sell enrollments.

38. COUPONS – You can sell coupons for any good or service. They make excellent gifts and can be used to even out your seasonal fluctuations in cash flow. The funds raised can be used to purchase the goods or services to be provided.

39. IMPROVE COLLECTIONS – Many firms do a poor job of collecting. Thus, they need significant extra capital because of their inefficiency. You should: bill customers quickly, develop well-defined collection procedures, establish late penalties, and contact past due accounts by telephone immediately.

40. SUBSTITUTES – Consider a substitute plan for the business. Look for another way to do what you want with less money. For example, buy a portable cart instead of opening a storefront. These are frequently successful in malls, downtown areas at lunch, and wherever large crowds gather.

41. INDUCEMENTS – You might offer free delivery, installation, service, or gifts to get your customers to pay in advance. People love the idea of getting something “free.”

42. SELL OFF ASSETS – If you are not using it, consider selling it. If you do not want to impact you customers, you can sell to: employees, friends, or to people outside your market area. If you are using it, consider a sale and leaseback. Do not forget you can sell rights to trademarks, patents, copyrights, and territorial rights.

43. FREE ADVICE – Many businesses spend a fortune on all kinds of services that they could have received for free. Examples are suppliers, trade associations, SBA, SBDC, SCORE, manufacturers, and MBA candidates.

44. PURCHASE ORDER FINANCING – If you have the ability to perform a purchase order and the buyer has a strong history of paying on time, you can get money to produce and deliver the product. Many commercial finance companies, commercial factoring companies, and banks also provide this type of financing

45. MARGINS – Businesses can significantly increase cash flow by increasing gross margins. This is accomplished by increasing prices and/or reducing direct costs. Remember the challenge is not to sell; the challenge is to profitably sell in sufficient volume. Most small businesses do a poor job of pricing in a manner that maximizes profitability. You should make sure that you price at the level that maximizes revenue, not demand.

46. DISCOUNTING – A business can raise discounts to accelerate cash flow in the short term. However, this usually reduces long-term cash flow due to its reduction in profitability unless the presence of discounts stimulates additional sales. Try to take advantage of all significant discounts presented to you whenever possible. The economic rewards are usually greater than the additional cost of capital. Weigh the two considerations carefully.

47. CHECK PROCESSING – Open all mail immediately and deposit checks the same day. This will speed up your collections. If you will have a large volume of payments by mail, you should consider using remote lock-box collections in order to speed up collections.

48. C.O.D. ORDERS – You should use this type of order for new customers. It speeds up the collection process and helps to control credit risks.

49. COOPERATIVES – Groups of companies get together to buy in larger quantities in order to get better prices from suppliers. These efforts can be applied to such areas as marketing, advertising, printings, mailings, etc.

50. NOTE PAYABLES – You can ask vendors to delay repayment and term out payables. This may partially transfer them to a long-term debt and provide the additional working capital necessary to support an increase in activity.

51. INTERNS – Reduce employee cost by using college interns. This is a cheap source of well-educated labor.

52. FACTOR RECEIVABLES – Your receivables can be sold at a discount to a factoring firm that specializes in this type of business. Most of the time your customer will pay the factoring firm direct. You must be sure the practice is acceptable in your industry. Some firms will look for other suppliers due to a fear that the use of factoring indicates that your firm is unsafe.

53. DISCOUNT NOTES – If your business holds a secured IOU, consider discounting it for cash. Certain firms buy these IOUs as an investment.

54. INCUBATORS – Many universities and government agencies are sponsoring incubators for small businesses. This consists of putting a number of small businesses under one roof and providing services to support these businesses. These services may be free or at a reduced rate.


55. PAWN BROKERS – Business and personal assets can be pawned for cash. Almost every town has a pawnshop in business just for that purpose. Do not forget!

56. USE THE CREDIT OF OTHERS – Get a friend or business acquaintance to use their credit to purchase the equipment and/or inventory necessary for your business. You can pay him for the goods plus a share of the profits, after you collect from your customer.

Remember that angels sometimes let you borrow their credit or assets to use in your business. Many businesses start with bank loans secured by the assets of friends or relatives.

57. FUTURE COMMITMENTS – If you can obtain letters of intent from established businesses, it may help you raise capital. If you can convince others that you have the ability to perform, these letters of intent may increase your credibility.

58. STAGED FINANCING – In this approach, the business seeks capital for each stage of its development. However, do not raise just enough for a few months’ operations. This approach can be successful when major milestones are achieved. Investors prefer this type of financing because it reduces investor risk as nobody gets too deep into the deal without concrete evidence of success.

For example, initially raise the capital necessary to develop the prototype and determine its customer acceptance and feasibility. Then, raise the capital necessary to manufacture the product and achieve $1,000,000 in sales. Next, seek the capital necessary to grow to $10,000,000. After achieving that level, you seek the additional capital necessary for additional growth.

59. CREDIT UNIONS/THRIFTS – Although credit unions/thrifts do not make business loans, they do make many secured and unsecured loans to their members. Before you quit your job, consider this source for loans, especially if you need under $25,000 or you have equity in your home.

60. CREDIT CARDS – Credit cards are a good source for under $25,000 in capital. Their cash advance privileges make getting small amounts of capital convenient and easy. Turn in all your applications simultaneously and truthfully disclose. Remember that it is usually easier to get two $5,000 credit cards, than it is one $10,000 card.

Although the cost of money should be a factor in your business decisions, the availability of capital is critically important. For smaller amounts, the higher interest rates are not significant in absolute dollars. Its additional cost is only approximately $5 per month for each $1,000 outstanding.

61. PYRAMID YOUR CREDIT – This technique increases your credit rating and borrowing power. Deposit money into an account, borrow against the account and repay the loan. Deposit a larger amount and repeat the process. This can continue until you have maximized your borrowing power. Next, seek smaller loans on an unsecured basis. The more credit you have obtained and repaid; the easier it is to get loans.

62. SELL BONDS – It is possible to sell bonds to family and friends in order to raise the capital needed for your business. This approach provides a firm repayment plan for the bond purchaser. Should your business be successful and the bonds repaid, you should find it dramatically easier to use the same method in the future.


63. SELLER FINANCING – Most sellers of businesses provide financing of the purchase. This financing is often up to 80% of the sales price and occasionally as high as 90%. Sometimes, sellers provide this financing at lower interest and closing costs. It is almost always easier to arrange than bank financing. In addition, it is sometimes possible to combine seller financing with bank financing in a way that minimizes your cash out-of-pocket. Because the business has an established history, it is usually easier to obtain bank financing to purchase a business than it is to start-up a business. The critical factor is often the purchase price. Many businesses are sold at an inflated price. You must be very careful in performing your due diligence and analysis for the potential purchase.

64. LEVERAGED BUYOUT – Use the same financing tactics as the big boys, use the business?s assets to secure the loans that are used to pay the seller. You can arrange the financing of these assets before you buy the business. You may even sell off assets after the purchase to repay the loan.

65. ASSUME LIABILITIES – Get the seller to accept your offer to assume certain existing liabilities as part of the purchase price. This lets the business repay the liabilities while you only need to provide the seller’s cash requirement.

66. BROKER’S COMMISSION – Have the business broker leave in part or all of his commission as a liability to be paid by you over a period of time. Commercial business brokers are a good source to find business opportunities and financing. However, remember that he is usually working for and paid by the seller. Do not excessively rely on him. You should verify everything, especially the value of the business compared to its purchase price.

67. SELLER ASSUMES THE RECEIVABLES – Arrange for the seller to keep the receivables and reduce the price. If they are as good as he claims, this may be possible. A variation of this idea is to give the seller the proceeds from these receivables after they are collected. You do the record-keeping and he helps in the collection process. You should allow him access to the records until all receivables are collected.

68. NEGOTIATE WITH EXISTING CREDITORS – They may be willing to accept less than 100% in order to expedite collection. This is especially true when the previous owner was a slow payer or having financial difficulty.

69. ESCROW DOWN PAYMENT – It may be possible to get the down payment check held by an attorney while certain conditions are being met. This may allow time to sell off assets to provide the cash down payment.

70. LEASE/PURCHASE – Some sellers will allow you to lease the business with an option to buy. This is more likely to occur when the previous owner/manager is no longer available to operate the business. He may be deceased or ill. The existing owner may not have the interest or ability to run the business. Therefore, they will consider a lease with an option to purchase in order to facilitate the sale of the business.

71. OTHER INTERESTED BUYERS – Ask the seller for other interested parties who are also short on capital. Contact them about pooling resources. They are interested and may be susceptible to forming a partnership.

72. EMPLOYEES – Consider selling to an ESOP. The employees of the business may be interested in joining with you to purchase the business. They have a stake in the success of the business and this approach may have substantial tax advantages for a properly structured deal. It is possible for the interest income from any financing provided by a bank or the seller to be considered “tax free.” This would lower interest costs significantly.

73. SELLER BORROWINGS – After you have negotiated the price get the seller to borrow the money needed for the purchase secured by the business assets. Create a side agreement for you to assume the liability. This gets the seller his cash and you your financing. The seller will want certain legal assurances as to repayment.


74. JOINT VENTURE – Other companies may be interested in joining with you to start or purchase a business. Sometimes, this is true when the product or service is very important to that company. Look to suppliers, customers, competitors, and companies in similar industries for potential sources for this approach.

74. ROYALTIES – Only about 20% of businesses succeed. Inventors should consider collecting up front fees and royalties for their ideas. The odds of them making money are greater in this approach than they are in managing a business. This is particularly true when sold to companies already equipped to manufacture and sell the product. You should try to get as much money as possible up-front. If part of the money is to be paid on sales volume, you should make sure that there is a minimum volume requirement in the agreement.

75. LICENSING – You can license other companies to manufacture, package, distribute, service, market, and/or sell your product. You can collect a fee up front and/or royalties for these licensing agreements. You should try to get as much money as possible up-front. If part of the money is to be paid on sales volume, you should make sure that there is a minimum volume requirement in the agreement.

76. FRANCHISING – All you need do in order to franchise is to set up one prototype, develop systems for its operation, document the operating systems in a manual, and develop a training program. Although there will be legal and marketing expenses, you may get these back through franchise fees, royalties, store opening fees, sales of supplies, and the selling of territories. Franchising is profitable and has a high rate of success. However, it abounds in red tape. You should see a franchise attorney for advice in this area.

77. MANAGEMENT COMPANY – Can’t get money to start or expand your business. Form a management company to manage an association of service providers. You get the clients, bill and collect the revenues, and pay the members. This has been done for such groups as building maintenance staff, aerospace engineers, and consultants.

78. NEWSLETTERS/SEMINARS – Sell your personal expertise in the form of a subscription to a newsletter or charge for a seminar. This is a form of up-front financing.

79. FACILITIES MANAGEMENT – Contract with another company to manage their facility or part of their operations for a fee less than they are now paying. Cafeterias and lunch counters are just a couple of examples.

80. TEACH – Create a clinic or school to teach about your product or service. Examples are: a computer class taught by an internet provider, a wine appreciation class taught by an importer, or a cooking school run by a restaurant.

81. RESTRUCTURE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS – Accountants often prepare financial statements for only one audience, the IRS. The Generally Accepted Accounting Principles allow the use of certain rules to prepare statements for other audiences. If your IRS statements do not adequately reflect your business, get your accountant to prepare another set in accordance with GAAP.

82. SELL THE TOYS – It is time to sell the fancy cars, boats, planes, and other personal toys. When your business is successful, you can buy them again.

83. INTERNET – You can look for business opportunities and money on the Internet. It is growing rapidly and may have exactly what you are seeking.

84. NEWSPAPER – You can look for business opportunities and money in the classified section of your local newspaper. This is a major resource to locate interested sellers.

85. GRANTS – In spite of what you are told in infomercials, grants to individuals to start for-profit businesses are extremely rare. There are some small business research grants available. However, the odds of obtaining these grants are long. Should your business be capable of supplying services desperately needed by local or state government, it may be possible to obtain grants from government agencies.

86. STATE/LOCAL ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE – Most state/local governments have money available for loans and/or grants. These funds are reserved for companies that create good paying jobs in their community. They may have a proof of significant job creation requirement or a requirement that your business be located in a designated “enterprise zone.” Be sure to check with your government officials for details.

87. DEFENSE TRANSITION – If an existing business has been impacted by the reduction in federal government defense spending, it may be able to get special loans to aide in the commercialization of its products or services. See the Small Business Development Center for details.

88. MODIFY YOUR LIFESTYLE – A significant reduction in your living expenses may be necessary to ensure the survival of your business. Although this list focuses on the business, your present and future financial success is largely determined by your personal commitment.

A husband and wife wanted to purchase a business. They knew that in order to succeed the business would require their total commitment. They decided to lease out their home for two years and move into a small apartment over the business. They would be close to the business and they would reduce their personal cash needs by $1,000 per month. Their plan was to move back into the home in two years. After two years, they sold their home for $100,000 and purchased a new home for $350,000 cash. They had achieved more than their dreams!

UPDATE: 92 Creative Ways to get Money Without Going to the Bank