Introducing the Social Business Rating System, a.k.a. SBRS score, for small businesses and startups!

You may have noticed that there is now a unique score given to each Raise (business fundraising profile) on 40billion.com. This is the SBRS score, where SBRS stands for Social Business Rating System™. It is a proprietary system developed exclusively by 40billion.com to rate businesses based on criteria that really matter for success, not traditional credit scores.

SBRS generates a score for each Raise based on 17 or more criteria, including business-related success measures, entrepreneur profile, peer ratings, and reviews. It is a novel approach to rating businesses that does not exist anywhere else.

The SBRS score helps funders and entrepreneurs to compare business ventures and assess their potential likelihood of success. 850 is the highest possible SBRS score, and scores are updated weekly (not monthly like traditional credit scores).

What can entrepreneurs, small businesses, and startups do to increase their SBRS scores? Start by editing and updating your Raise, editing and updating your personal profile, and increasing your fundraising and social networking activity on the site.

Here are just a few things that may influence your business’ SBRS score and which you can control:

  • % of Raise profile completed — when starting a Raise, be sure to fill in the profile completely and honestly.
  • % of personal profile completed — be sure to fill in your personal profile completely and honestly.
  • # of recommendations received
  • Amount of funding raised
  • # of connections in your social network
  • # of invitations sent to people you know
  • # of followers — i.e., people following your Raise
  • # of Raises you’ve started or participated in
  • # of company updates added to your Raise

So, what is your SBRS score? If it’s currently below 550, then we believe you’ve got some work to do in order to increase your likelihood of success! Start with the tips above, and your SBRS score will grow along with your business over time.

Advertisements

Recommend your favorite entrepreneurs and funders

We recently launched a new feature for giving and receiving recommendations in your social network on 40billion.com. Just click the  “Recommend” button near the top of anyone’s personal profile page in order to give them a recommendation. You must be connected to that person first.

Here’s how it works in a nutshell:

  • User can recommend a contact on 40billion.com with one click;
  • # of recommendations received is displayed on the contact’s personal profile page;
  • Any user can view the list of recommenders.

Get people you know to recommend you today! Your friends, family, customers, clients, classmates and others may recommend you if you ask them to, especially if it’s as easy as clicking one button.

Recommendations can add credibility and make you stand out from all the rest.

Grow your social network to over 100 people fast

40billion.com is the social funding network for entrepreneurs and people who support entrepreneurs. Whether you’re starting a business, running a business, funding a business, supporting someone you know who has started a business, or providing services to business owners, this is where you want to be!

It all starts with your social network of friends, relatives, co-workers, classmates, and other people you know. Use your social network to help you raise funding for a business, support businesses seeking funding and resources, and even acquire customers. Your personal profile page is where you can connect with people in your social network and grow your network.

We recommend building a network of at least 100 people. To add people to your network, find people already on 40billion, invite people to join, import your contacts from your email (e.g., Gmail, Yahoo Mail, AOL, or Outlook), and post to your Facebook page.

The more connections you have in your network, the more you’ll be able to accomplish… and the more fun it will be!

Use our Startup Guides to get your business up-and-running fast

Now you can access our five Startup Guides, and you can download the MP3 audio files and the quick-start templates to help get your business going fast.

Visit http://www.40billion.com/startupguides/ to get these quick and easy Startup Guides today.

In these Startup Guides, you’ll discover useful tips for:

  • Funding your business in 4 ways
  • Writing a business plan in 13 easy steps
  • Forming a company or incorporating
  • Managing your cash flow… so you don’t run out of money
  • Protecting your ideas and intellectual property

Go to http://www.40billion.com/startupguides/, or just click “Startup Guides” from the home page of 40billion.com!

Introducing direct payments

Now, when you raise money through gifts/contributions on 40billion.com, the payments go directly to your PayPal account (minus applicable PayPal fees), or funders can mail checks directly to your business’ address.

There is no longer a minimum required for you to raise, no waiting period before funds are disbursed, and no fee charged by 40billion.com for this service. That’s right: No minimum, no waiting, no fee!

Start a new Raise now (or edit your current Raise), and invite people you know to make direct payments to help fund your business.

http://www.40billion.com/raise_main.asp

5 tips for approaching friends and family about your business

At 40billion.com, we provide online tools to help small-business and startup entrepreneurs increase access to funding and resources by leveraging their social networks, including friends and family. Here are 5 tips that we give to entrepreneurs to help them approach friends and relatives about their business:

1.  ASK FOR ADVICE & REFERRALS, NOT HANDOUTS

When you approach friends and family about your business, just share your idea in a conversational manner, and ask them for their advice, feedback, or referral. People are usually glad to give you their point-of-view if they think their advice or feedback may be helpful. And, if they really believe in you, they will either offer to help or they’ll be willing to refer you to someone who can help.

2.  FORMALIZE A LOAN OR DISCOUNT

Businesses often get started with a loan from the entrepreneur’s friend or relative, but it can be difficult to manage the relationship, especially if the loan is not formalized with a written agreement. Create a formal loan agreement with details of the loan, including what is owed, when payments are due, and any consequences for missing payments. Even if you’ve promised a discount to your friend or relative in exchange for a loan or referral, put it in writing and provide a discount coupon that can be redeemed. This may significantly reduce the risk of ruining your personal relationship over business.

3.  GIVE A PRESENTATION

Are you serious about your business? Then give a business plan presentation to your friends and family, and show them. This is your chance to display your professionalism and passion, while getting free advice and feedback from people you know. The result could get you closer to the funding, resources, and customers you need to get your business up and running.

4.  POST ON SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES

Add a description of your business to social networking websites, such as Facebook and LinkedIn. This easily allows your friends and family to read about what you’re doing and spread the word to other people they know. So, instead of you going to them, they will come to you and ask about your new business.

5.  KEEP IN TOUCH

Be sure to thank your friends and family who supported you or helped you spread the word. Then, be sure to keep the lines of communication open by sending them regular company updates to let them know that their support has been put to good use, and you’re achieving those milestones that you set in your business plan. These communications will go a long way toward maintaining good relationships with your friends-and-family supporters, and they will be more likely to support you again as customers, investors, advisors and advocates.