1000 new companies. With four employees each. It’s a hefty goal, for sure. But it’s doable. Every day we’re getting closer to reaching it. And as a champion for small business and entrepreneurs in your community, with the help of 1000 Four, you can do it too.
We can partner with all kinds of organizations to provide 1000 Four, our virtual hub for small business owners and entrepreneurs, to a community. Including economic development agencies, chambers of commerce, SBDCs, colleges and universities as well as other incubators and accelerators.
It’s not easy to start a business, keep it going, and make it grow. But, despite all the challenges, your community is filled with people who can do it.
Unfortunately, most communities are falling short in their efforts to help. The results? Untapped potential. Missed opportunities. Money (and jobs) left on the table. It doesn’t need to be this way.
What if you could…
- Create 10% more new businesses
- Help 10% more stay in business
- Grow them by 10% more
What would results like that be worth to your community?
We know what it looks like in our community. Since we started 1000 Four, we’ve seen the economic benefits of creating new businesses spread through our entire community. We see businesses created that leverage the strengths of our citizens and existing industries. We see new ventures with strong ties to our community, who are less likely to leave and more likely to give back when they ‘they make it.’
1000 Four Story
1000 Four is a simple but powerfully unique concept. Developed to challenge how our community typically pursued economic development and supported small business and entrepreneurs.
We grew weary of frequent meetings. Led by entrenched government and business leaders. Touting top-down, big-ticket and recruiting-based approaches. A sentiment probably best summarized at one such meeting when someone said: “…if we could just recruit four, one thousand people companies, our region would be set.” And other leaders in the room shook their heads in knowing agreement.
And to be honest, perhaps, we’re guilty of this top-down mindset in some ways too. In the past, we attempted to identify which companies in our community would succeed and focused our programs around them.
And predictably, we weren’t able to do it much better than anybody else. That is to say, not that well. Because it’s hard. Even the most successful accelerators fail 85-90% of the time.
Turn “Top-Down” Over
We became convinced of a better way to lift up a community (instead of wishing for four huge companies to swoosh in and save the day).
The answer was to build from the ground up. To put our community on a different path towards 4000 new jobs. By creating 1000 new businesses with four employees each.
And if we could, it would be pretty amazing in terms of impact on a community. Imagine the ripple effects of 1000 new business owners (give or take) on a community.
But we also knew that it wouldn’t be easy. Because no matter how hard we tried, or the owners tried, or investors tried, most were going to fail. It’s a cold, hard fact of life in starting small businesses and being an entrepreneur.
So, if we can’t be as effective as we want at picking more winners, we can change the scale of the game by making more companies with a chance to succeed.
The 1000 Four Method
And so that’s what we set out to do: create the conditions, tools and support structure necessary to help create and grow 1000 new four-person businesses in our community.
We knew we weren’t going to be able to following the same playbook others were using. In a sense, we needed to turn the “top-down” funnel upside down and focus on empowering more small businesses and entrepreneurs.
So we developed the 1000 Four Method, to guide our own efforts along the way.
- Stop Picking Winners and Losers: Encourage and invest in ALL the people who have interest in small business and entrepreneurship. Not just the ones you think have the best chance to succeed. Because chances are you don’t really know.
- Get out of the way: Create opportunities for people to connect (in person or online) but don’t try to manage those connections. The magic that’s possible from those interactions is why people will succeed and come back or log in. Don’t interfere. You’ll probably just mess it up.
- Change or die: The tools and information you provide to people needs to keep up with the way they want to use and consume it. Stay current and change as necessary. Or be irrelevant.
- Serve more people: Make small business & entrepreneurship more accessible to as many as possible. However necessary. Density + Serendipity = Success.
It’s simple. More small businesses + entrepreneurs in your community = more chance of success.
We challenge the notion that investing in small business and entrepreneurship can’t deliver economic benefits that rival more traditional top down approaches.
We argue it doesn’t need to be that way. With the right conditions, training and support, your community can empower more people than ever before to create their own opportunities.
We realize that other communities suffer from a disproportionate amount of their resources being devoted to a top-down mindset too.
1000 Four is a community. Not a classroom.
A thriving peer-to-peer support network
Real interactions with other entrepreneurs and small business owners on everything from getting started and staying focused and motivated to hiring staff or selling your business.
Featuring ‘YBS-Your Business Snapshot’ – our proven approach to starting, testing and growing any kind of business. Stay on track by taking periodic assessments of the most crucial aspects of your business.
Unlimited Access. 24/7/365
No matter the day, time or place: a busy entrepreneur or small business owner can benefit from spending a few minutes in the 1000 Four online community.
Open to everyone
When you sign up your community for 1000 Four, anyone in your community will be able to participate. No previous experience necessary. Just a desire to get started.
Hear it from our small business owners and entrepreneurs
I was able to get honest criticism and feedback by being surrounding by entrepreneurs and business owners who can understand the struggles I was going through. I would never have been able to reach my goal without 1000 Four.Nate Tschohl
If you’re wondering why you should join, I can give you the answer, it is about the networkTracy Link
After just one year with 1000 Four, our revenue has increased by 315% quarter over quarter. We’re hoping it’ll increase to 400% for the final quarter of this year.Erik Olson
1000 Four in your community
Is 1000 Four a good ﬁt for your community? It is if you think there’s opportunity to reach more people in your community with an interest in small business and entrepreneurship. And help them get started. And help more get traction and survive. And help more grow into their full potential. We think your community is worth the investment.
We’ve turned the top-down development funnel upside down, creating an online, community-focused platform that encourages, motivates, trains and connects everyone who wants to pursue small business and entrepreneurship.
Our experience shows that this wide and deep approach to giving everybody a chance to succeed is critical to grow the local and regional economy.
So why wait any longer? It’s easy to connect your community to ours, made up of other business owners, entrepreneurs and thought leaders.
You can join other 1000 Four community partners including the City of Virginia Beach, Suffolk Economic Development, Launchpad: The Greater Williamsburg’s Incubator, Starting Block in Portsmouth, Franklin Business Center, and Lighthouse Labs in Richmond.
Hear it from our champions
As the director of the Launchpad, creating quality content that our businesses can learn from was the most challenging and time-consuming aspect of my job. 1000Four is the perfect solution to my challenge.Tim Ryan
The 1000 Four program [is] demonstrating our goal to provide information to help grow businesses and at the same time build trust within the business community.Larry Lombardi
As a business, it has anything you might need. If it’s 2 a.m. and you have a question while you are up late working on your business, you can access it right there, on-demand.Bria Robinett