How to Promote Your Raise to Over 10,000 Potential Funders Automatically

Upgrade to a “Promoted Raise” to extend your reach to a broader audience of potential funders and investors. Let us promote your raise (i.e., fundraising project for your business) to amplify your fundraising project with targeting options to reach likely funders who may be interested in funding your project.

We’ll promote your Raise automatically to over 10,000 followers on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, on our blog, and via individual emails to members with similar interests (using our Funding Probability tool). We don’t promote using pay-per-click or search engine optimization, but instead utilize social media impressions and email marketing which produce more affordable, proven results.

A Promoted Raise is promoted daily (at least once per day) to followers on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, on our blog, and via individual emails to members with similar interests. 40Billion has over 10,000 followers and over 200,000 members who are potential funders for each project. At this time, you can select either 1 day, 7 days, 14 days, or 28 days for your promotion period. Your Raise will be promoted every day including weekends during the promotion period. The service fee for a Promoted Raise starts at only $10.

To upgrade your Raise to a Promoted Raise, please follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to My Account at http://www.40billion.com/my-account.asp now;
  2. Click PROMOTE next to your Raise (you must have created a Raise already, so start a Raise first);
  3. Use the dropdown box to select the number of days (from 1 to 28);
  4. Click CONTINUE;
  5. Click PAY NOW, and complete your transaction;
  6. We will start promoting your Raise on the next business day.

 

 

Is the “American dream” dead?

Is the idea of achieving the “American dream” a dying fantasy that is becoming impossible for more and more people? Yes, unfortunately, it is true. There is no doubt that the economy is suffering, and suffering with it is the American dream.

Entrepreneurs can’t afford to start businesses, families can’t afford to buy homes, and students can’t afford to go to college. Banks don’t seem to care, and the government seems to be paralyzed from the waist down.

But the fact is you don’t need a bank loan in order to build and grow a successful business, just like you don’t need an Ivy League college degree in order to be a successful entrepreneur and businessperson (though, it can help). We have to help ourselves and save our own economy, our own businesses, our American dream.

Raise money. Build dreams. 40Billion.com … Let’s start here!

40Billion.com logo

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.

Want to know which of your friends are most likely to invest in your business (or someone else’s business)?

Ever wondered which of your friends is most likely to invest in your business? Want to know which potential funders you should pursue and invite to participate in your Raise?

Use our amazing new Funding Probability BETA feature to find out the likelihood that each of your contacts will fund your Raise (or even someone else’s Raise).  Just click the “Invite Your Friends” button at the top of any Raise to find out more and make your social network start working for you!

 Add contacts to your network and find out which ones are most likely to fund your business.

How To Use Social Networking To Raise Money For Your Business

40Billion.com Launches Free Social Networking Tools for Small Business Entrepreneurs and Startups Seeking Loans and Resources

By Cornelius Colin McNab, 40Billion.com

Looking for funding to start a new business? Need to raise startup capital, but don’t know where to go? Well, you may already know hundreds or thousands of potential financing sources that you interact with every day. This article exposes five simple steps to raise funding by leveraging your social network online.

It is estimated that half of small business entrepreneurs raise money through friends and family to fund the first phase of their startups, but it is often difficult to manage these relationships. With Internet social networking, it can be much easier to raise money while maintaining your relationships. So what steps should you take to raise funding for your business through friends and family? How can you increase your access to capital and resources by leveraging your social network? 

  1. Upload Your Business Plan
    A recent poll of 140 people found that a good business plan is the #1 most important factor in deciding whether to fund a friend’s or relative’s business. One of the best things you can do as an entrepreneur to increase your chances of raising money is to turn your idea into a business plan, and make your business plan accessible to people you know. Some services allow you to upload a document and share it on various social networking websites quickly and easily. However, be careful not to upload any confidential information or intellectual property that you don’t want publicly known.

  2. Create A Social Funding Profile For Your Business
    After you’ve written a compelling business plan, you need to make sections of it available to your potential funders. Create a business profile online that people you know can easily access on the Web. The profile should provide insight into your vision and plan for the business, how much funding you need and why, and what you have to offer in return – e.g., rewards and discounts on products or services you sell.

    In the last three years, social funding websites, such as 40Billion.com® (http://www.40billion.com), have launched that allow you to create your own profile page and use it to raise money for your business. You can even make your profile private in order to limit access only to invited people you know and trust, not strangers.

  3. Invite Your Friends And Build Your Network
    After you’ve created your business fundraising profile, broadcast it to people you know. Invite your friends, family, community members, neighbors, and others in your social network to view your business profile, contribute towards your funding target, and spread the word. Post a link to your profile on any online social networking websites that your friends are on, such as Facebook® and LinkedIn®, or simply invite all of your friends to join you on the social funding website if it has built-in social networking tools. The more people you share your profile with, the better your chances of raising the financing you need.

    For example, imagine you need to raise $40,000, and you invite 40 friends to contribute $100 each in support of your startup. You may even propose to reward them with a free trial or discount when your business is up-and-running. Each of your 40 friends invites 40 more friends to contribute. Together, 40 x 40 = 1,600 people helping to raise money for your business. If just one out of every four contributes $100, then you’ll easily reach your target.

  4. Use Automated Payment Methods To Collect Funds
    Now that you have potentially thousands of people interested in funding your business, how do you make it easy for them to send you money and for you to track all of the transactions? There are online payment processing services, such as PayPal®, that facilitate fundraising by handling the transactions as donations or payments for goods and services. These online payment processors enable the funders to transfer funds from their bank accounts or credit cards to the entrepreneur, while making it easier for the entrepreneur to keep track of all the transactions in one place.

  5. Keep Your Promises And Keep In Touch
    After you get funded, what then? Be sure to thank your friends and family who believed in you and supported your venture. Distribute any rewards that you had promised to your funders, and be sure to keep the lines of communication open by sending them regular updates to let them know how their support has helped you fulfill the “American dream.” A great benefit of social networking sites is that it’s easier than ever to send messages and stay in touch with friends. These communications will go a long way in helping you maintain good personal and professional relationships, and your friends will be more likely to support you again in the future as funders and even as customers. 

About 40Billion.com
40Billion.com is the first micro-funding platform that facilitates American small business capital fundraising through gifts and loans from an entrepreneur’s network of friends and family online. 40Billion.com’s scalable platform helps entrepreneurs raise funding more affordably through friends and family than through banks or other traditional financial institutions. Using proprietary online tools, entrepreneurs build social networks – including friends, relatives, colleagues, customers, and other contacts – and use these connections to raise capital through small business loans and gifts. Entrepreneurs create fundraising profiles and invite their connections to offer funding in exchange for discounts or potential returns. 40Billion.com, Inc. is headquartered in Atlanta, GA. For more information, visit http://www.40Billion.com.

Cornelius Colin McNab is the founder and chief executive of 40Billion.com, a micro-funding site that facilitates business capital fundraising through social networking online. Cornelius earned a bachelors degree from Yale University and a masters degree in business administration from the Sloan School at MIT.

Copyright 2010, 40Billion.com Inc. All rights reserved.

Grab a widget! Add a custom widget on your website or blog for easier access to your business fundraising profile.

It’s easier than ever before to share and access Raises (business fundraising profiles) all over the Web. Just add a 40billion widget to your own website or blog. Simply copy the embed code and paste it into your website’s code wherever you want the widget to appear.
 
You can grab a widget for any Raise that you have access to on 40billion.com. Just click “Widgets” at the bottom of the page.
 
Want to try out an example? Visit our sample Raise and then click the Widgets link at the bottom of the page. Copy the code in the box for the widget that you want to use, and paste the code into your website or blog.
It’s just as simple as adding a YouTube video to your website or blog, and it’s FREE.
 

Want to learn more about 40billion.com and get tips for raising capital through people you know? Sign up for our upcoming webinar and see live demos.

Please join us for an exclusive live product demonstration of the 40billion.com business micro-funding platform. This intimate webinar and demonstration occurs weekly on Thursdays at either 2-3pm or 7-8pm Eastern Time. Reserve your seat for an upcoming webinar below.

40billion.com is the micro-funding platform that helps entrepreneurs raise capital quickly, easily, and affordably through social networking so they can start and grow successful businesses.

The #1 reason why many small businesses fail is lack of adequate funding and access to resources. 40billion.com enables friends, family, and others to form networks, in which they can raise money for businesses, support and invest in businesses, and find resources to build successful businesses.

This live demonstration will share with you all that 40billion.com has to offer and allow you to ask questions of our expert presenters.

Register for a session now by clicking a date below:

Thu, Sep 30, 2010 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT

Thu, Oct 7, 2010 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM EDT

Thu, Oct 14, 2010 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT

Thu, Oct 21, 2010 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM EDT

Once registered you will receive an email confirming your registration
with information you need to join the Webinar.

To your success,

The 40billion Team

New funding option launched: Commercial Paper short-term business loans for operating expenses

We’ve launched a new, innovative, and exciting addition to our business fundraising platform… Commercial Paper! Commercial Paper is ideal for existing businesses seeking short-term loans of $5,000 up to $1,000,000 for operating expenses or working capital.

Now, 40billion.com offers 3 alternative ways to raise funding for your small business: gifts & donations, private direct loans, and commercial paper short-term loans. Check it out, and start a Raise at http://www.40billion.com/raise_start.asp now.

Raise business capital from the people you know on 40billion.com

To your success,

-The 40billion Team

COMING SOON: Short-term working capital loans, a.k.a. “commercial paper”

Short term business loans coming soon to 40billion.com

We’re busy developing an innovative new product to facilitate short-term “commercial paper” loans for operating expenses. This will be available as a new funding type and a great potential solution to the short-term liquidity problems of millions of existing small businesses in America.

What is commercial paper (CP)?  CP is an unsecured Promissory Note with a fixed maturity of 1 to 270 days. Think of CP as an IOU (i.e., “I owe you”), lasting from a day to nine months. It is issued to investors who have temporary idle cash and want to earn a decent return, perhaps even while helping out a friend/family member’s business with short-term liquidity (i.e., cash) needs to cover operating expenses or current assets.

  • By law, CP can be used to fund operating expenses or current assets only (e.g., buying inventory, making payroll, or other short-term cash needs). It is not used for financing fixed assets such as land, buildings or machinery, which are long-term assets.
  • CP is a quick, easy, and cost-effective way of raising working capital and can be a lower-cost alternative to a Line-Of-Credit (LOC) with a bank.
  • CP has been around since the 19th century and is typically used by big corporations to raise quick and low-cost working capital.

But we’re creating a 21st century version, and never before has CP been offered as a solution for small businesses in the way that we’ll unveil in just a few weeks.  Here’s a clue: It’s like Facebook and eBay for microfinance. Got it?  Stay tuned, and check out 40billion.com for more info and the big launch date!

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.

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.

40billion.com Launches New Features to Help Small Businesses Find Funding

Innovative Tools Help Small Businesses Access Loans and Resources by Networking Online

ATLANTA, GeorgiaJuly 28, 2009 – 40billion.com (http://www.40billion.com) launched new features to enable small business entrepreneurs to raise capital and access startup resources through friends, family, and others in their communities and social networks.

Most small businesses startups fail due to lack of adequate funding and resources, and there is a $40 billion gap in seed funding. By combining innovative tools with the power of the Internet, 40billion.com aims to bridge the gap and enable millions more small businesses to succeed.

About half of all new businesses seek financing from the entrepreneur’s friends and family, but it can be difficult to communicate business ideas and to manage funding relationships with many people. 40billion.com simplifies everything by enabling entrepreneurs to create business plan profiles and launch fundraising drives that are viewable anywhere via the Internet. And it is free to sign up and get started.

Entrepreneurs can broadcast their business ideas and funding requests to friends and family, even post them on popular social networking websites, and the service allows many people to make loans or gift contributions ($25 up to $10,000) in support of a business, while easily tracking and receiving notifications online.

Furthermore, lenders and borrowers may download a promissory note template, which they can use to formalize business loans in a more professional manner. Loan interest rates are negotiated between the lenders and borrowers, and 40billion.com emails notifications when funding offers are received and reminders when payments are due.

As an incentive, entrepreneurs may offer product discounts and freebies in exchange for low- or no-interest funding and other much-needed resources. Soon, for added confidence, those providing the funding will be able to track how the entrepreneur spends the funds that are raised.

There are additional features available exclusively for members, including the ability to schedule online business plan presentations, an open database of service providers, a job board for posting and browsing startup jobs, and a discussion forum (a.k.a., The Elevator) where everyone can share ideas and tips about what works and what does not. Members can even follow a company as it progresses, by signing up to receive alerts whenever the entrepreneur posts company updates.

Advantages over banks and other lending websites

  • No credit score required: raise money for a business, while keeping personal finances and credit score private.
  • Private profiles: protect ideas and limit viewing to invited participants only.
  • $99,000 maximum: raise more funding than many other sites allow.
  • Gift contributions: provide an additional funding option, besides loans.
  • Targeted business network: leverage other entrepreneurs and lenders with similar interests to raise funding, find service providers, post jobs, and acquire customers.
  • Spending tracker: lenders track how the funding is spent by the entrepreneur, in order to increase peace-of-mind, transparency, and accountability.

 

Advantages over conventional friends-and-family loans

  • One-to-many: manage and track hundreds of relationships, transactions and communications at the same time; no need to make a hundred individual loan payments every month.
  • Email reminders: get reminders automatically when payments are due, and get notifications when new company updates, transactions, or offers are posted.
  • Public profiles: expand access to funding and resources by connecting with thousands of people who visit 40billion.com every month.
  • Targeted business network: leverage other entrepreneurs and lenders with similar interests to raise funding, find service providers, post jobs, and acquire customers.
  • Spending tracker: lenders track how the funding is spent by the entrepreneur, in order to increase peace-of-mind, transparency, and accountability.

 

About 40billion.com
40billion.com helps entrepreneurs raise funding for new businesses through friends and family rather than through traditional financial institutions. Using the Internet-based service, entrepreneurs connect with their social network – friends, family, friends of family, colleagues, and others in their communities – to raise capital. 40billion.com’s scalable platform facilitates the funding requests and transactions to make it easier for an entrepreneur to manage many funding relationships. 40billion.com is patent pending. For more information, visit http://www.40billion.com.

THE ELEVATOR discussion forums for entrepreneurs

40billion has just launched THE ELEVATOR business forums, where you can blog, post articles, and get advice/tips for entrepreneurs and funders.

THE ELEVATOR currently has 6 levels:

1. Business Basics

2. Funding Forum

3. Legal Lounge

4. Marketing Maze

5. Product Pipeline

6. Support Space

Visit www.40billion.com/elevator to start posting and reading today. New content is added daily, but feel free to add your own!

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