Starting a Business in 2012? Follow These 7 Financial Guidelines For Entrepreneurial Success

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1. Do plan to start with your own money, not someone else's.

"Unless you win a business plan contest or inventors’ competition, for the most part there's no such thing as finding a grant to start a business," says Melinda Emerson, author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months: A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works. "The money to start your business will come from your right or left pocket. In fact, there are three pools of money you should have before your start a business: an emergency savings account, enough budget to go from 12 to 24 months without a paycheck, and the first year of operating capital to run your business,” she says.

Thinking of buying a franchise? "There are some franchises that provide funding," Emerson notes. "But 20 percent to 30 percent of the loan must come from your resources."

1. Do plan to start with your own money, not someone else’s.

“Unless you win a…

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