I recently come up with this option for starting a four-strand crowned plait paracord fob, which I was really pleased with. All the lanyards/fobs I have seen elsewhere seem to start with an overhand knot (simple, but not very neat) or with a bead (I guess to keep the two legs of the starting loop together).
Completed fob, with Matthew Walker (MW) start, four-strand crowned plait, and footrope knot to finish.
MW start (alt view).
After tying a MW in the longer piece of cord, insert the shorter section through the bottom part of the knot.
Underside view, showing shorter length of cord passing straight through bottom part of MW knot (using a small screwdriver, fid, or similar tool can make opening up the knot easier). You're now ready to start the crown plait.
Hope this is of interest, and hope the pictures make sense.