Does your business need Cash Flow? Check out this business…

As a Business Consultant, one of the biggest challenges that I have when working with my clients is getting them access to capital.  Sure there are plenty of banks and loan programs available but not many of them are willing to take a chance on a start-up or small business.  The risk is magnified if you don’t have great credit or collateral to leverage against your business idea.

While networking at the Black Enterprise Entrepreneur’s Conference, I had the pleasure of meeting some representatives from The Cash Flow.  They seemed like nice guys but my interest was immediately piqued when I learned of their business concept.  They are working to build a network of young entrepreneurs on their website AND they are giving some of these business owners access to the things they need most – capital and information.

Yes, I was like you… What’s the catch?  What business can really go around giving away $10,000 just based on an idea?  They are using the power of their personal network and their online community to build up funds to help assist other business owners.  The Cash Flow was the sponsor of the BE Elevator Pitch contest and it seems that they have plans to launch a national tour.  Business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs will have an opportunity, much like Shay Atkins, Owner of Just Turkey and BE’s Elevator Pitch contest winner, to submit their pitch and have a chance to receive $10,000 to make their business idea a reality. 

I’m sure your wheels are already turning.  What could your business do with $10,000?  How would $10,000 make your idea a reality?  You know I’m all about doing the work so my advice to you… go to The Cash Flow , create an online profile then start thinking about how your business could use $10,000 so that you will be ready for the contest when it comes to a city near you. 

Where street smarts meets book smarts...

Visit them online and create a profile at http://thecashflow.com

Make a new friend on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/thecashflow

Follow them on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/the_cashflow

Don’t forget about MySpace – http://www.myspace.com/the_cashflow

Watch video clips at http://www.youtube.com/thecashflowdotcom

By the way…. take a minute to leave a comment and share your business idea with me.  You never know whose reading… the Cash Flow isn’t the only company giving away money for great ideas 🙂

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Make your business idea a reality (Part 1)

You have a great business idea but how do you make it a reality?  Follow these ten steps to get started.

  1. Play the name game.  What is it that you plan to do?  Who are you going to be doing it for?  What are some names that your competitors are using?  Is there a web domain version that name available?  These are some questions that you should ask as your begin to brainstorm about your business idea.  It is important that the name of your business offer some insight into what your business is about.  You also want to be careful not to “steal” a name that is currently trademarked or copyrighted by a competitor.  Performing a simple Google search should be good research tool.  Enter different keywords in your search and see what happens.  Once you narrow it down to a couple of options, go to a domain-hosting site like GoDaddy to see if a version of that name is available.  In today’s business environment, it is necessary for your business to have some online presences whether it is a blog, informative website or sales site.
  2. Let’s think about the big idea!  I hope that by this point you have an idea of what you want to do and how you want to do it.  But, what is interesting about this idea to you?  What resources will you need to get this business up and running?  How much is it going to cost you?  How long will it take to become operational?  Who will you need to help you get started and to keep it running?  From the outside looking in, it seems like you have come up with a great idea but now you have to start thinking about how that idea is going to translate into the real world.  Don’t be afraid to bounce your idea off a few people.  Some of my clients have confessed that they were afraid to share their business idea with others before they were afraid that someone would steal it.  That is always a possibility whether it is merely a figment of your imagination or if you have invested millions of dollars into it.  However, no one will ever be able to do it (your business) the way you will.  In order to make a profit, your business cannot operate in a bubble.   There will always be competition. 

Take the next few days to work on these two steps and come back next Tuesday for more information.  Building a successful business doesn’t happen overnight.  Thinking through these steps, one at a time, will help you to be more focused and hopefully more successful.

Are you a business owner?  Give yourself a shout out by leaving a comment below.  Give us your business name and the idea behind it…