By Hayes Knight – 1 March 2010

The money that got you this far has either run out or is about to. You have borrowed from everyone you can with a relatively clean conscience and a straight face, plus a few others that were a bit borderline.

But you know you will need more, much more, to achieve your goals. And, in your most wildly optimistic moments, you may even be starting to daydream about getting some money out of this yourself, if only to get your mortgage down to something less terrifying.

The good news

No matter what watch they wear or car they drive, you are not the only entrepreneur with their financial arse hanging out of their trousers. Financing your first startup is like putting your bank balance into a nosedive then hoping you have the nerve to hold on long enough and pull up in time.

You will probably be more in debt than you have ever been; then, if you’re lucky, you might start to break even. Possibly, there might even be an opportunity to get filthy rich.

“There are three things you can do with profits when you get them,” says Mike Atkinson, business improvement senior manager at specialist accountants Hayes Knight. “One, reinvest to grow; two, reduce debt to stabilise; three, take it home. Businesses tend to pass through these stages in that order. The trick is to know what stage you’re in.”

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