An Entrepreneur Shares His New Business Ideas

Sections of this topic

    Entrepreneur Brian Cox

    I Want to Start a New BusinessA Real Case Story

    As told by Brian Cox

    Im about to share some of my business ideas with you, and I would like to hear your comments and feedback.

    I want to help people with their budgets and 1040EZ forms. This is the reason why: I know that some individuals (my target customers) need a quick loan during the Holiday Season.

    My future customers may think along these lines:

    Because I live paycheck to paycheck, how will I get quick money for Holiday gifts? I know Im going to get fleeced, but Ill probably just get a tax refund anticipation loan because thats the quickest and easiest way to get cash.

    What they may not know is that they have other options! I want to offer my customers information to help them consider those other options. With help, they can work toward savings goals and spending goals both can be planned ahead of time. I want to help my customers with their financial planning, to avoid becoming unsuspecting victims of predatory lending businesses and get them out of the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck.

    Solutions Offered by This New Business

    Working with our customers can give them more money in their pockets, which can mean:

    1.) achieving home ownership – if they desire, and

    2.) More money is spent on valuable, durable goods.

    In the big picture, these add up to a more robust economy in their community. This is the message that I want people to become aware of, and the brand that I want to create.

    Business Startup

    Being a military veteran with only some experience in finance means that I have very little experience in the small business arena. However, I am greatly benefitting from the coursework I am now completing in the program. I was personally taught how to generate a business concept, a marketing plan, and a five-year financial projections forecast by this program. I encourage all qualified veterans to apply and take that course!

    Summary of the New Business Concept

    I want to do marketing research for the business described above – a two-page newsletter generated from a mail merge file. The newsletter will be generated from a mail merge and have specific financial results for low-income individuals through a subscription service. The concept is to compete with H&R block and refund anticipation loan-oriented businesses by putting people on a financial goal track monthly and submitting their 1040EZ.

    More Detail – New Business Concept and Challenges

    I know that two valuable services within that product basket are:

    1. Customized email campaigns, using content through mediums such as blogs for marketing.
    2. Create a physical newsletter and include a table that brings in meaningful, accurate data for individuals’ spending and savings patterns. The newsletter could be printed front and back on a regular printer

    Boots on the GroundMarketing

    If anyone who makes a low income and has few assets is interested in receiving the service, please email me at You are the people that I want to serve!

    As a business, I may try to earn revenue from advertising. I would prefer to not charge anything by setting this up as a nonprofit organization or as a project sponsored by a nonprofit. This makes funding easier, as donors receive a tax benefit based on an IRS-recognized charitable gift.

    More About the Concept

    Currently, I need a form that I can embed in a mobile WordPress website. I am thinking of using a blog website and a donate button to gain support for the concept. I am thinking of making that part of a crowdfunding campaign. If I could charge enough for advertising via mobile and newsletter, I would offer the 1040EZ filing and customized financial report for free to individual consumers.

    The risk is that customers will not be interested in signing up for a paid or free subscription. The lifeblood of this concept is the acceptance of low-income families who need this help being offered. Those concerned about data will be guaranteed confidentiality on my part throughout this process.

    I hope I have adequately communicated the strategy that I am trying to implement.

    Topics to Consider to Move Forward

    I am interested in getting feedback about personal consumer and financial topics (529 plan, IRA, Savings plans, financial products) with a form to establish contact information and comments capability, personalized email campaign from contacts generated at the blog, use of YouTube infomercials, crowdfunding to validate the product and make capital investments in printing equipment and software, deliver automated free or low-cost financial plan and tax product with two touch points of mobile and physical to many low-income consumers, gain major advertising revenue from business customers after establishing brand and presence in the market ($10.30 per issue per 1000 subscribers is competitive; different price point for mobile ads based on impressions or cost per click).

    The number of tax returns electronically filed in my community and the high number of tax preparation services that offer these ‘refund anticipation loans’ suggests a need for my services; the questions are:

    How do I get the word out to people that I have a reasonable and accessible alternative?

    What is the minimum viable product delivered to the largest target audience?

    Are you interested in helping low-income people avoid predatory lenders and unfair tax refund anticipation loans? Please contact me:  Brian Cox – email:

    Thank you, I appreciate your feedback!

    About Brian Cox:

    I served in the U.S. Militarys Operation Iraqi Freedom and now I am in the boots2business program at Syracuse University. Read more about me on I need to talk to potential customers to find out what the product should look like and if they can view it online. Some low-income people don’t have internet service so I wanted to include the two touch points. You can email your feedback to me at:

    About Boots to Business:

    From Service to Startup is a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)-sponsored, worldwide program offered as a component of the Department of Defenses (DoD) redesigned Transition Assistance Program (TAP) renamed Transition GPS.

    Boots to Business is offered by the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University (SU) and operated by SUs Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), in partnership with SBA resource partners.

    Boots to Business is a three-step training program developed to introduce and train transitioning service members to business ownership. Boots to Business helps ensure that every transitioning service member has access to a standardized entrepreneurship training track and small business resources in their local communities.

    After completing Boots to Business participants will have the tools and knowledge they need to identify a business opportunity, draft a business plan, connect with local small business resources, and launch their small business.

    There are no registration fees or tuition for any portion of the Boots to Business entrepreneurship training track. All service members will receive textbooks and resources necessary to complete the program.