On average, 68 percent of start-up financing comes directly from the pocket of the business owner [source: Consumer Reports]. Even if you don't have a lot of liquid assets in checking accounts, savings accounts or money market accounts, there are other ways to leverage your assets to finance a new business.
The first way is to sell high-price items that you simply don't need. Auction off grandma's jewelry and antiques, sell the car and lease a new one or downsize to a smaller home.
If you own your home, then consider a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit. Be very careful, though. With a home equity loan, you'll need to make additional monthly payments on top of your mortgage. And if you fail to make those payments, the bank could take your house.
Many people don't realize that they can borrow money from their 401(k) or IRA savings accounts. With a 401(k), you can usually borrow up to $50,000 of your savings as long as it's paid back, with interest, in less than five years [source: Smart Money]. With IRAs, you can borrow a chunk of money, interest free, for a period of 60 days.
Be warned, though, if you don't pay back these loans in time, you'll be charged income tax plus a 10 percent early withdrawal fee [source: Entrepreneur].
If you have a whole life insurance policy, you can also borrow up to 90 percent of the cash value of your account at a relatively low interest rate.