Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Clients,
We’re applying for an opportunity to receive a $100,000 grant from Chase. This grant would allow our business to grow and serve other small businesses who sell their products and services to the federal government, but we need your help. Visit Mission Main Street Grants® at MissionMainStreetGrants.com to cast a vote for our business. We need 250 votes to be eligible.
The Mission Main Street Grants program is designed to benefit small businesses. Together with Premier Sponsor, LinkedIn, Chase is committed to helping small businesses and local communities grow. Read our story below to see how we are helping small businesses.
As part of the program, you have the opportunity to vote for your favorite small business.
You can make a difference for the future of Left Brain Professionals! Voting is open from May 4-June 19, so now is the time to cast your vote and spread the word about this opportunity to your friends and family. Your vote counts! Thank you in advance for your continued support.
Robert E. Jones
Tell us about your business and what makes it unique. Please provide a general description of your product, customers, competitive landscape and overall performance.
As a small business owner, I am chasing the American entrepreneurial dream. We are a small business serving other small businesses (who are chasing their American dreams) in communities across America with our mission of helping them be more successful. Our goal of connecting small business owners with added opportunity of government contract business, is to fuel the economic engine of this country through the small business owners who hire, train and inspire people on every Main Street.
Our service is helping companies navigate the complex world of federal acquisition through government contract and accounting compliance. Government contractors are bound by commercial and government rules and regulations which complicate the procurement process. We provide expertise to identify and implement the necessary systems and procedures for regulatory compliance (running a government contract business) so the owners can focus on the delivery and technical aspects of their product or service. Our service is consulting and training – guiding them through the process, not simply outsourcing the process for them. We teach them to fish rather than feed them a fish per day. By helping them succeed, we achieve our own success and bring jobs to the local economy through federal acquisitions.
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur? Describe both your greatest achievements and biggest challenges.
Born and raised in WV, I experienced economic challenges first-hand – in my immediate family, community, and state. I knew achieving my dreams of business ownership and professional speaking engagements would take hard work. I was raised to believe that I could do or be anything I wanted. My passion to help others is strong and evidenced in the volunteer opportunities I pursue. One mentor told me that I could follow my passion as a career to experience health, happiness, and prosperity doing something I really love. As a business consultant for government contractors, I share my business expertise and help others chase their dreams.
To be a respected expert in my field, I knew I needed education, experience, and exposure to a number of challenges. Since delivering newspapers at age 12, I have worked every day to achieve my goals from graduating college, completing 3 professional certifications, and winning 3 national awards in my profession. With the opportunity to work in small and large businesses across industries, I experienced nearly every facet and function of business management. As a small business owner, I know the struggles and fears, and the deep satisfaction and joy that comes with success.
How is your business involved with the community you serve? Examples include: giving back to the community, sourcing locally and/or contributing to economic development via hiring.
I consider my community involvement as both a business owner and an individual, as my personal integrity requires me to act the same regardless of the situation. I personally volunteered at numerous events and organizations over the past 20 years. As a business owner living in an urban community, I am surrounded by small businesses every day and consciously reminded of the fact that where I spend my money matters. The crossover identity with my small business means those dollars are mine to spend with the same mindset of returning those dollars to small businesses in my local community and communities across America. All of our web design, IT consulting, graphic design, and marketing consulting services have been procured locally from small businesses.
On a professional level, I give back to my community through volunteer activities with the National Contract Management Association. As a local chapter member and leader, national working group member, and speaker at events, all of my time is volunteered. I continue to volunteer with local organizations such as LGBT pride events and my neighborhood civic association so that I know I am part of my local community, no matter where my work takes me.
What would a $100,000 grant mean to your business and how will you utilize the funds? Please be as specific as possible.
$100,000 would be the single largest investment in my business and would allow me to focus on growth without financial stress. The grant would allow implementation of the next phase of training (government regulatory requirements) to small business government contractors.
$100,000 of capital would allow me to design, develop, market, and deliver the training to small business owners across America through printed materials, webinars, and in-person sessions. Marketing efforts include industry trade shows and conferences, direct marketing, and partnerships with small business organizations.
Specifically, $100,000 would be spent as follows:
- Hire local part-time marketing assistant to perform daily/weekly marketing tasks – $20,000
- Hire local part-time administrative assistant so I can focus on delivery of services – $20,000
- Buy professional graphic design and marketing support services to incorporate small business training program – $7,500
- Buy professional website design and social media services to update content and implement webinar services – $7,500
- Offer free webinars to small businesses on government contracting topics (webinar service, toll-free numbers, and materials) – $7,500
- Conferences and trade shows (entrance fees and materials for 4-6 major shows or conferences) – $12,500
- In-person training seminars (venues, equipment, and materials) – $25,000
What are your short-term (1-2 years) and long-term growth plans for the business? How will this grant contribute to your plan?
My short-term growth plan is to build a client base to support 1,500 billable hours in 1 year and 3,000 billable hours in 2 years. In a small business where the first professionals would be responsible for research, content creation, and business development, 1,000 billable hours per professional is a full-time job. In the world of consultancy where you often work 2-3 hours for every billable hour, this is the equivalent of going from 1 employee to 4 or 5 employees .
My long-term growth plan is to build a business recognized as the leader in small business government contracts and accounting. My 5-year vision is 5 professional employees and my 10-year vision is 15 professional employees. This represents reasonable growth that can be handled and absorbed by existing professionals as we remain focused on meeting customer needs and maintaining profitability.
This grant would provide the capital investment in one year to get the training and marketing in place to identify and communicate with small business government contractors. I believe with the marketing, visibility, leads, and opportunities already in place, one year of focused efforts with strong financial backing will result in resounding success.