With a 20+ years executive background in international business, marketing, and advertising for many of the Fortune 500 global consumer goods corporations, Ralf is now - since 2002 - one of the two principals and the CEO of Multiple Funding Solutions, Inc., a privately held and Florida based business financing company, servicing new and established small businesses within the B2B sector on a national level.
Multiple Funding Solutions, Inc. specializes in Accounts Receivable Financing and Purchase Order Funding and - via a broad network of financing partners - also provides access to other creative business financing solutions, all of them geared towards the acceleration of a company`s cash flow and ultimate growth.
Together with his wife - and current business partner Flor - Ralf is the 2006 co-recipient of the American Cash Flow Association`s President Award for outstanding industry contribution and representation.
In 2003, after only 10 months in business he already qualified to become a member of their Million Dollar Club.
Today, Ralf is President of ACFA’s national Internet chapter (the “i-chapter”), Vice President of the local ACFA Chapter of the Palm Beaches, and ACFA’s first Master Consultant for Marketing.
He is the published author of the book “Marketing Magic – The Bigger Bang for the Smaller Budget”, and the developer of “The Marketing Resource Kit” for Consultants and Micro-Factors.
He is also a popular speaker at the annual Cash Flow convention (about 3,000 - 4,000 attendees each year) and a frequent writer for the ACF Journal with a circulation of 18,000 and growing.
Since early 2006, Ralf became one of the co-founders and instructors of The MircroFactor Academy, where interested investors-to-be are trained and taught how to run their own micro-factoring business.
He also teaches classes on alternative business financing, is a marketing instructor for a local SBA sponsored Business Development Center in South Florida, and serves on the Board of Directors of a local transportation and construction company in South Florida.
For the past three years in a row Ralf has received the "You made the Difference" award from a local Micro-loan lender for his outstanding contributions to their small business incubation and development programs.
There`s nothing wrong with selling crap and making a fortune from it.
Craig, you tend to have a decent take on things and share some interesting thoughts. This really wasn`t one of them. What a strange sentiment from the lips (or rather "quill") of a philosopher. Aren`t philosophers supposed to uphold ethics rather than mocking them? Sorry, I know it`s off topic....
Some of my all-time favorites:
If you keep doing what you`ve done, you`ll keep getting what you`ve got - unknown
If you always sail close to the shore, you`ll never discover new territories - unknown
Don`t treat every problem like a nail just because all you have is a hammer - unknown
The greatest wisdom comes from those experiments that fail - unknown
Winning the race isn`t hard. You only need to make sure that no one comes in ahead of you. - unknown
It doesn`t matter so much what you do. What matters is how you do it. - unknown (I think I might have actually made that one up myself... but it doesn`t matter. It always reminds me of two things I consider to be most important: integrity and thriving on excellence)
One of the first things I would do is review how protected you are (utility patent? design patent?) and how easy or difficult it would be for anyone (particularly larger organizations with deep pockets) to copy your idea and run with it, before you have all your ducks in a row. You may want to review this with a patent lawyer.
If there`s a risk that you strike the motherlode with you invention and you`re not protected, there`s a very high risk that someone will try to beat you to it. In that case I would play it very close to my chest and avoid publicity by all means, until you`re ready to hit the market.
If no one can touch you, then the more free publicity you can get early on, the better.
Marketuing yourself vs licensing agreements: I guess that will depend what your ultimate goals are and what you financing options look like.
Best of luck & success,
It sounds like you have a great program and are doing something very valuable for the community. Unfortunhately, I have a feeling you`re on the wrong track for raising money. VCs do not invest in non-profits, so there will be no VC money available to you.
However, you should try for a government grant (if what you do supports local or regional objectives). Such grants would be free money you won`t have to pay back. Be careful though: many people promise to be able to "write a grant" (application) for you, but want to be paid for it. Don`t pay anyone, unless at the back end for a successfully received grant. Never upfront, and never "just for the writing".
You may also try to find some philanthropists, who have a reputation of donating money to worthy causes in your area. You might check with your local Chamber of Commerce or perhaps the S.C.O.R.E. group in your area. Perhaps even a local banker can point you in the right direction.
Good luck & Best wishes,
Try to locate S.C.O.R.E. (Service Corps Of Retired Executives) in your area. They will be happy to guide you. They can tell you what kind of insurance you need, where to register, and many more valuable things. Their basic function is to help small businesses get of the ground, and their services are free.
As a personal thought, I would always consider to register such a business as either an S-corporation or - perhaps even better - as an LLC. Both legal entities will protect you personally from certain liabilities, which is very important. Generally, both forms provide the same tax benefits, but an LLC involves less paperwork.
For your business and as a sole employee, I would probably go with an LLC, but please consult with a professional CPA or lawyer. I`m neither, so this is only my opinion.
Good luck & lots of success,