Sharing your small business ideas by submitting them to SME Pals' ideas database could help a lot of entrepreneurs get their start.
Not only that, but by submitting an idea, complete with a business plan startup pack, you can make money.
SME Pals offers three ways to share ideas, and this article will highlight each one, and provide information, guidance and resources to help you get started.
Regardless of whether you are submitting a paid idea, one for attribution, or an anonymous submission, the process is the same:
- Go to our small business ideas page
- Click "I've got a great idea to share"
- Provide a title and short description (no more than 800 characters), plus some info about yourself
SME Pals will confirm receipt of your email automatically, and contact you within 2 working days if we decide to use your idea.
You can skip ahead to each of the three submission types by choosing the one you want:
1. Paid submission
We decided to discontinue paid business ideas because we want to encourage free sharing of ideas. If there is a demand for in-depth, well-planned ideas, we'll revisit this again.
In order to make money from your idea, you will need to complete a startup pack.
A startup pack includes research to help people better understand the target audience, niche industry, and startup and operating costs, along with any specific challenges.
In essence, the startup pack you provide should go a long way to providing a good business plan for anyone thinking of trying out the idea - it must save them time and effort in doing a lot of the work they would otherwise have to do before getting started.
How paid submissions work
A startup pack is, in essence, a business plan. You will need to do comprehensive research in order to complete one.
The information you submit is then:
- posted to SME Pals as a standalone post (with attribution)
- added to our ideas database
- bundled into a startup pack template (depending on the relevant enterprise type - i.e. blog, subscription, etc) and converted into a downloadable PDF document for purchase
Once we have accepted and published your submission, we create an account on SME Pals so you can fill out your profile and payment information.
We will pay out 30% of the revenue generated from the sale of your startup pack.
Payments will be made, via PayPal, on a quarterly basis - provided you have attained the minimum payment threshold of $50.
How to create a startup pack
Here is a template for the information we require in order to accept a paid submission. You should keep the information you provide in the same document structure as outlined here, and copy and paste it into the body of the email you send to us:
Idea: One line summary of the idea
Quick summary: Unique and original summary. Sell the idea. 2 - 3 paragraphs.
Full summary with introduction and motivation: Motivate the reader. Explain why it is a good time to start. What advantages are there? 7 - 10 paragraphs.
Business type: Select one of our primary models - Blog/media, community, subscription, professional, utility/service, affiliate, ecommerce, other.
Difficulty: Give a rating from 1 - 10. 10 being the hardest. Based on competition levels, skills required, and costs involved.
Startup costs: Make sure you account for all the costs when providing an estimate.
Operating costs: Make sure you account for all the costs when providing an estimate.
Estimate monthly earnings: Do this last, once all the other research is complete, and you have enough information to make an informed estimate.
Requirements: What is needed? A Website? Employees? A vehicle?
SEO keywords: Research the market using keyword research and a keyword tool like Google AdWords. Comprehensive. List 80 or so primary keywords and phrases with their traffic volumes, CPC, and competition levels. (Learn more about keyword research)
Skills & recommended reading: Find and recommend relevant articles on SME Pals. Only recommend other resources if there is nothing on that subject matter on SME Pals.
Competitors: Do a complete competitor analysis. List at least 10 direct competitors with pertinent information about them.
Market analysis: How big is the market? Is it growing? How much competition is there? What distinguishes this idea?
Profit & loss: Analyze expenses and earnings. Talk about revenue streams and monetization. Talk about cash flow.
Bonus: Use this section to offer really valuable stuff, like 10 blog post headlines to get started, or unique insights or tips that readers may not otherwise discover.
Paid submission FAQs
Do I have to pay to submit a paid idea? No! It's free.
Will you accept all paid submissions? No! We reserve the right to publish whatever we think is suitable. If your submissions is almost right, we'll contact you and request that you make improvements before we accept it.
What can I do to improve my chances of being accepted? We want original ideas, with plenty of valuable research to help readers succeed. That is our main criteria.
However, we will always favor people who are active and involved in our community. We recommend you:
- Sign up for our newsletter
- Connect with us and share on social media
- Comment and be active on SME Pals
- Regularly contribute paid, attributed, and anonymous ideas
Basically, we want to work with people who are interested and engaged with our community and the SME industry. People who will become regular contributors.
What type of ideas can I submit? We have a focus on topics that are appropriate for small or home based startups. Although, if your suggestion is good, and you have done the requisite work, there is no reason we won't accept any idea.
2. Attribution submission
Submitting with attribution is exactly the same as submitting a paid startup idea, except that it doesn't require quite as much in-depth research.
Follow the instructions and submission template above to get started. You might want to check out a sample idea entitled Celebrity gossip blogger for rising stars to get a feel for the type of information you need to provide.
Note that while you still need to do research in each area of the business plan, as a rule, look to provide about 10 - 15% of a paid submission. So, for example, you would only need to submit say 5 - 10 keywords, instead of 80.
But remember, the better your research and content, the more likely we are to accept your submission and the more likely you are to gain fans and followers.
Don't forget to include a sentence or two about yourself for the attribution (including a link to your blog or website).
3. Anonymous submission
An anonymous submission is the quickest and easiest way to share some inspiration.
Take a look at the information presented on our startup ideas landing page to get a feel for what we want.
All you need are:
Original summary of 2 - 3 paragraphs
Estimated monthly earnings
You won't get an attribution for anonymous ideas, but we will definitely remember someone who contributes to our community on a regular basis, and give your paid and attributed submissions our full attention.
If you have any queries or concerns regarding submissions, don't hesitate to contact us.