Go back to previous topic
Forum nameOkay Activist Archives
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=22&topic_id=25013&mesg_id=25120
Posted by M2, Wed Mar-28-01 09:38 AM
This sort of Communal, Wholistic, Utpoic thing is not me...and I wasn't even going to post here...for fear of bringing in my negativity about "self sufficient communities". SO I figured I'd stay away from ideology and give some organizational advice...I figure I'm a consultant...it's what I do so...

-The first thing ya'll need to do is to conduct a DETAILED DETAILED DETAILED analysis of the financial needs of your organization over the next 5-10 years. You have to take into account changes in the economy, changes in your own personal situations, the needs of the school, etc.

-You'll also need to plan your growth in stages, E.g. We need this much to launch, we'll do this next, then this, then this.

-Starting a business in order to fund the school REALLY worries me. Stating a business is a serious undertaking unto itself and it can take a few years before you're profitable AND are in a position to divert profits away from growing the business and put it somewhere else.

You also need to think about the Profit Margins, and HOW you are going to support yourself while you're running this business. NEVER start a business and depend on it for your primary income at the same time.

-For funding, I advice you to start this as community based Venture Fund. You solicit investors, donations, etc.....and use the money initially to invest in the community....aside from this, you will need to do a ton of traditional investing in stocks, bonds, real estate and what not. That is how foundations and private colleges generate funds......you want to build a base of investments that is always generating money and doesn't require a lot of time to manage.

You will also use this money to start businesses, and the school will be one of your ventures. Starting the school and business this way is less risky, because you already have a revenue producing organization and you'll be financially secure.

Funding is going to be your biggest problem, so I'd advise all of you to learn as much about business as you can. You'll also need to recognize that by going the Venture Fund route, that some people will only get involved if they can make a profit. That's ok, as long as you generate the $ you need to get this thing going.

About the Amish, I don't see you starting an agrarian society in the inner city. So I wouldn't use that model, you are going to have to use a "Business" model where you provide a service/product to society at large to generate funds..and then focus the profits in your community. You'll have a larger economic base that way.

When you teach Blacks to start businesses, I'd encourage them to get as big as they can and to sell to as many people as they can. IMHO, too many Black Business focus on just being Black businesses and do themselves a disservice. The biggest problem facing small Black owned Business is that they're too small. I read in Black Enterprise that 50% of all Black Small Businesses make less then 10k/year in revenues.

When the U.S. Business Press says "Small Business" they aren't talking about Mom & Pops...they mean business in large areas that generate between 1-10 million or even as high as 100 million. Overall, a range of 500k to 25 mil is a good rule. Since the people who own this companies, will have a high net worth since they're the only owner (or one of few owners) banks and what not want their business. So remember that when you think about a Hair Salon fitting in that category....the banks and what not aren't all that concerned with those kinds of businesses.

Just something to think about.

Other then that, I think you need a Lawyer, An Accountant and a Financial Advisor, preferably one who is a whiz at arranging financing.

The ideas for how to run this thing, curriculum and what not will always be there. But right now, I think you need to figure out how much money you need in real numbers and get into the nuts and bolts of financing it.

My 0.02