In a post yesterday I promised news of a couple of contests. Here is the first of those items.

By way of background, I’ve never met a startup or fledgling home based business owner who would not like some expert help with their business. On the other hand, I’ve met plenty who are wary of seeking help, for various reasons, including a sometimes self-defeating sense of self-reliance, wondering who will actually understand our business idea, and being wary of spending our hard-earned on advice or assistance that might not be very helpful after all.

What if there were a way for people just getting a business started to:

  • tap into some expert help
  • be confident that the people providing it were knowledgeable people and genuinely wanted to help, and
  • not have to think about the price tag?

Right now, there is such an opportunity, thanks to a great initiative by the bloggers at b5media’s Business Channel, where I was an active blogger until a few days ago.

b5 business jumpstart logIt’s the Business Channel Jump Start Your Business Contest, which kicked off this week. With the total value of the prizes estimated conservatively as being over $2,000, this is a contest worth entering or telling your friends about. And to be very clear about eligibility, I should mention that your business (or your friend’s business) does not have to be home-based.

What you have to do

Basically, you need to deliver a basic business plan. Stated formally, the requirement is:

To enter, send us your abbreviated business plan for your new or fledgling business with the following information:

  1. What’s your business idea?
  2. Who is on your business team – in other words, who is going to make this idea work?
  3. When did you start your business? Or when do you plan to start your business? What is your time frame for success?
  4. Why is this business going to be a success?
  5. Why should we pick you as the winner?

Your abbreviated business plan should be no longer than 1,000 words

Not too demanding? Probably a stretch for anyone who has not done a business plan before and even for some who have. But a good stretch to have. In fact, given how few business owners actually have a business plan, just the process of preparing and submitting your plan will give you a key resource.

A veritable cornucopia of prizes

The Grand Prize winner receives the Prize Pack including:

  • A subscription to Entrepreneur magazine, courtesy of Entrepreneur.com
  • A Web Developer host package for one year (consists of 5 domains, 600 subdomains and 200 host external domains; 300 GB web space 3,000 monthly transfer volume and 50 ftp accounts; 4,000 email accounts and 2 GB mailbox space; $475 of vouchers to get you started with Microsoft adCenter, Google AdWords, Yahoo Search marketing and Citisearch; 10 free blogs and more), courtesy of 1and1.com
  • A Private Jet billing package for one year (up to 500 clients, unlimited invoicing and customer support), courtesy of Freshbooks.com
  • A b5media tee shirt, courtesy of b5 media
  • Your choice of a taxgirl organic tee or long sleeve tee and $25 gift card to amazon.com, courtesy of taxgirl.com
  • Wireless mouse, wireless keyboard and keyboard riser, courtesy of InterviewChatter.com
  • A twelve month subscription to the Sales Leadership Zone, a place where sales leaders and small business owners can find everything they need to increase sales and drive business, courtesy of thesalespractitioners.com
  • A copy of Phil Gerbyshak’s book, 10 Ways to Make it Great, courtesy of SlackerManager.com
  • $50 in Pecunix Digital Gold Currency, courtesy of digitalmoneyworld.com
  • Jason Alba’s new book, “I’m on LinkedIn…Now What???”, courtesy of LinkedIntelligence.com
    and over $1000 of free business advice (in the form of email, phone or Skype) from our experts to get you started!

There is also a prize package for the first and second runners-up. See the contest page for details.

For more detail on the process, prizes, disclaimers, judging, who the experts are who are providing service, go to the contest page at Kelly Phillips Erb’s Taxgirl site.

I’m glad to be one of the sponsors. 🙂

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