Wednesday, February 24, 2010

500 Benjamins or Bust, a last attempt to save a small business

Got an interesting email from a small business called Drinks over Dearborn.

Basically a guy trying to get 500 people to prepay for product at $100 each giving him $50,000 he needs right now. And if he doesn't get the 500 people, no one ends up paying anything. Reminded me of Andrew Mason's The Point.

I'm not endorsing this one way or another exactly. I have been a customer of the store once before and was pretty happy that the owner there, Kyle, introduced me to a bourbon I had never tried before and really enjoyed and ended up purchasing. He let me sample a few and gave me an education on bourbon and scotch.

But it looks like they have cash flow problems, and this was a way to solve it that I hadn't quite seen before. A very transparent note about the state of their business and a plea to basically prepay for products that you haven't yet picked out.

Also, reminded me a little of the Spreedly Kickstart. A very open an honest request of visitors to fund the future of the business by contributing a larger amount of money now than you normally would. Seemed to work out for them and give them some money to work with to build more of their product.

There's a lot of businesses out there that struggle with cash flow especially right out the gate. Some have to shut down. Some think hard enough though and forgo a little pride to come up with ways to use honesty to help fund their businesses.

I haven't yet decided to commit my money or not. I'm leaning on doing it since the place after all has been more helpful in finding stuff I like than many other places.

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