3 answers

If I want to start my own business after college, what is the best way to get the upfront costs to start a business?

Updated Sealy, Texas

I am interested in starting my own business but do not think I will have the money to start my own business right after college. #business #business-development

3 answers

G. Mark’s Answer


First, do research. The idea is to find a problem to solve that's worth solving. Address a need. The secret of capitalism is that no one is forced to do anything. Someone does something useful and nice for someone else, and that person voluntarily gives them something in return. So if you can find a problem that people will find valuable enough to pay you, write a Business Plan.

A Business Plan is a document that essentially states what the problem you're solving is, why it's important, why now is the right time, who will be interested in it (your market).

Then it will state how you intend to solve this problem or meet this need. Why this solution is a good one. What your plans are as far as timeline and milestones. What you will need in resources. Who will work with you on this project. What will your financial needs be along a timeline. And finally -- and this is important -- what contingencies are there for each step that may fail.

Start out general and add more and more details as you study, research and learn more. Consult people in those areas you will enter. When you're convinced you've done due diligence and have all the information people will need, look for help. This would be in the form of consultation, personnel and financing. This is where you get the upfront costs. Your BP needs to have information to convince family, friends, angel investors and Venture Capitalists that what you're planning is a good idea and that you've done your homework enough to get them to risk their effort, time and money.

Then you show this to potential collaborators and investors. As they ask questions, make sure you find the answers. Keep trying. Even if you fail, you will learn tremendously AND have quite an adventure. Remember that over 85 percent of startups fail to even break even. So don't be discouraged if you fail at first.

Chris’s Answer


Hi Jared,

To start my business I needed to raise $140,000 in cash and $1,000,000 in debt. The best advice, is have a great business model, the ability to execute and a very clear plan as to what you will do with the money, when your investors will get their money back and how. Be sure the numbers are perfect.

Once you have that, friends and family can be a good resource. Unfortunately, my friends and family had no money. I joined industry groups and began meeting as many people as I could and telling them what I needed. Eventually I met the right investors. Industry groups can be a powerful key to networking for you.

Chris recommends the following next steps:

  • Create a business model. Let a mentor read and proof it.
  • Join an industry group and network your socks off!

Christopher’s Answer

Updated Columbia, South Carolina

Create a business plan to start to help sell your vision to your investors.

Possible avenues to help you get started financially:

1. Family Members or friends

2. Explore local equity investment groups or angel investor opportunities

3. Loan might be tough to get (with reasonable interest rate)but maybe could get family member to co-sign for.

Christopher recommends the following next steps:

  • Create a business plan