An ISP of their own (was RE: [rescue] Being jobless)

N.Miller vraptor at
Thu Jul 31 17:21:47 CDT 2003

On Thursday, July 31, 2003, at 02:11 PM, Phil Stracchino wrote:

> My wife and I are actually working on a plan that we think we may be
> able to make fly.  We have our business plan pretty much figured out,
> and the technology problems are just about resolved, though we're still
> looking at some details there.  What's left is the economics, the
> initial target market, and seed capital.  We may well be able to get it
> off the ground on a small-business grant from one of the
> disabled-business-opportunity programs.

This is free advice, so take it for what it's worth...

The SO and I have been trying to get some funding for the
cell phone store--we need, really, <$50K.  From all the
folks we've been talking to (small town banks and people
familiar with the SBA), what we've been hearing is that if
you want less than $150K, you won't get it unless you are
personally guaranteeing it (i.e. you are in a low debt
situation and/or have real property equity to back the

Now, you and I know this doesn't make a lick of sense--
there's about a thousand different small businesses you
could start that would take less than $10K and be successful,
but apparently they don't want to hear it.  I can only
guess they don't think the ROI is good enough.

Other tidbits: I'd advise against going through the big banks
(BofA, etc), as rumor on the street is that they are not doing
much by way of small businesses.  You are more likely to be suc-
cessful with a "keep the money local" place.

And, I can't stress this enough, don't put all your eggs in
one basket.  It's hard to spread yourself around to do it,
but shop that puppy *all over*.  And tell the banks that you
are doing so.  A lot of places drag their feet on decisions
and paperwork, but it you make it clear that you have lots
of options (and, if accurate, interest), they will be more
attentive to you.

If you have a SCORE or Small Business Development agency in
your area, use their services--they can really help with the
business plan if you are applying for an SBA loan.  The fact
that the other partner in your company is female will also

One thing about SCORE, shop for a good advisor.  A lot of
them have never worked in small business--they only know
big business, so some of them tend not to be very flexible
in their thinking.

If you are having trouble with the economics and the financial
prediction aspect of it, look around for an account who also
does small business consulting--again, do some shopping.  If
you make it clear that you are trying to find someone to help
you learn the money end and will continue with their services,
you should get some reasonable help.

In business, money is not made by one person working alone.
Money is made by finding a team of people that help each other.
The trouble for us geeks is this is counter to everything we
see in the majority of corporate settings--because we never
get to see the core group of people who start a successful
corporation working their mojo and developing their teams.

Feel free to shoot me an email off-list if you want some
references, URLs, etc.


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