The response has obviously been overwhelming. Its taken a lot of time, but I have gone through every post. More than 1,400 of them.
As is usually the case with any blog post, the vast majority of people don’t actually read the post before they write a response. So the vast majority were dismissed because they did not quality under the required terms. Of those that did meet the requirements, I gave priority to those that were already operating. My feeling is that if a business is profitable, or close to it, they are more likely to know how to use the capital to their advantage than a startup would be. There is more certainty in how they would use the funding and the results that could be gained from the investment. After all, the idea is to try to help businesses grow and add employees.
As of this morning, I had requested more information from 12 businesses. Of those, we have setup visits to see their operations for 2 of them. We are in the process of further evaluating another 5, and after receiving information from the other 5, we have decided not to pursue an investment.
If all goes well, the 2 will be funded in less than 2 weeks, start to finish. The other 5 will hopefully end up in visits and funding as well. Of the 7, the amounts requested range from about $20k to more than $100k. As we finalize the deals, either to completion or to a determination that we walk away, I will post more information.
I also continue to welcome posts with your business ideas. This process has worked well. I have to admit that there were ideas that were new to me, but posters educated me on competitors and issues for those businesses. Others weren’t as interesting, but posters added more information that made the idea make more sense. I want to keep this going as long as we can. If you keep on posting, I will continue to review them. For as many as I can, where I think I can ask a question or comment that adds value, I will do so.
As a reminder for those of you who actually do read the posts, here are the rules once again:
1. It can be an existing business or a start up.
2. It can not be a business that generates any revenue from advertising. Why? Because I want this to be a business where you sell something and get paid for it. Thats the only way to get and stay profitable in such a short period of time.
3. It MUST BE CASH FLOW BREAK EVEN within 60 days
4. It must be profitable within 90 days.
5. Funding will be on a monthly basis. If you dont make your numbers, the funding stops.
6. You must demonstrate as part of your plan that you sell your product or service for more than what it costs you to produce, fully encumbered.
7. Everyone must work. The organization is completely flat. There are no employees reporting to managers. There is the founder/owners and everyone else.
8. You must post your business plan on my blog, or you can post it on slideshare.com, scribd.com or google docs, all completely public for anyone to see and/or download.
9. I make no promises that if your business is profitable, that I will invest more money. Once you get the initial funding you are on your own.
10. I will make no promises that I will be available to offer help. If I want to, I will. If not, I wont.
11. If you do get money, it goes into a bank that I specify, and I have the ability to watch the funds flow and the opportunity to require that I cosign any outflows.
12. In your business plan, make sure to specify how much equity I will receive or how I will get a return on my money.
13. No mult-level marketing programs.
And one new rule.
14. If you contact me separately, whether via email or the contact form on the blog, your request WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED. It must be posted on this blog for all to see and comment on.
Good Luck !