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What is Alternative Commerce?

Alternative commerce is our vision for a better way to do business.

We support and serve small business owners. We know what it is like to own and operate a small business and the challenges that come up. We wanted to provide a place where people can build small business, get things done and continually move their business forward.

We know that the majority of small business owners are resource poor. That is that they don’t have time, money and the people to get all of the things they need done to help grow their business.

And at the same time, they face external challenges as well like regulation, innovation and competition. And worse than that, they often don’t know where to actually go to get the help that they need.

This is something we aim to change.

To thrive in small business means to develop knowledge, to be able to attract talent, build a strong team and to actually have the time to run the business. To use the old adage, it’s having the time to work ON the business not only IN it.

This means that the primary goal within small business is to get the job done. What job? Well, all of them.  Our aim is to connect small business owners with trusted professionals to simplify getting the work done.

Think of us like the old-style Yellow Pages but for bringing small business into the modern, digital age.

Knowing that cash is often a barrier, we have developed a way for small business owners to do business using Alternative Commerce.

What does this mean? We use Alternative Commerce as it is an inclusive term that covers:

  • Alternative Finance
  • Alternative Lending
  • Alternative Capital
  • Leveraging investments made by other people
  • Business owners doing business together

Commerce is basically an exchange of goods between businesses.

What makes it Alternative? It is just that it is out of the mainstream and looks at using Other Peoples Resources, things that they have already invested in to create a shortcut to success.

We challenge you to think outside of the box.

To make sure we are all on the same page, let’s just unpack these terms quickly:

Alternative Finance is a broad term that means access to financial channels, processes and instruments that are outside of the traditional financial system which are the banks and known capital markets.

Alternative Lending is a way of accessing finance without having to go through a traditional bank. This might include things like Invoice Financing, Equipment Financing, P2P Loans, Private Loans and R&D Advance Funding and using Non-Bank Lenders.

Alternative Capital looks at solutions that fall outside the realms of traditional lending and has options like mezzanine, preferred equity, specialist security, debt/equity funding and Business Innovation and Investment Funding through Migration.

It is right here that we want to point out that there are other alternatives to getting access to the resources you need to grow without selling equity. You have other assets that you can use, such as your revenue, that you can leverage to improve cash flow and fund an ability to grow.

For small business owners we provide a better, smarter way to connect with professionals to get the work done using a variety of different options for payment and for making your cash go further using Quotes.

For professionals, our platform helps you to grow your business by providing quality leads from prospective clients who are looking for personalised, one on one help.

Service professionals can also unlock a new asset by investing time in people, their ideas and in supporting small business from a broad range of different industries.

We want to show people how to get access to a source of capital for growth, beyond just the known traditional path of loan or equity funding.

The Stats

Just to give you an idea about an overview from the Australian perspective, the Australian Chamber of Commerce found that:

10% of Australian SME’s – so 200,000 businesses, have difficulty in accessing capital to fund expansion.

14.2% of small businesses said that a lack of finance is an obstacle to growth and development.

This is something that we want to change! We want to expand the funding options available to all small business owners everywhere.

Small Businesses are the backbone of the economy. They create jobs and support the lifestyles of their owners and build communities.

SME’s have extraordinary difficulty in accessing capital to expand operations, invest into R&D and undertake any type of innovation.  We believe that these issues come up because of a perceived risk and lack of liquidity in trying to realise any investment in there.

Although funding options such as venture capital and angel funding are on the table, the reality is that this can be time consuming and be quite expensive, and it is not guaranteed.

Let’s not even talk about banks – statistics show that 37% of loan rejections were due to lack of collateral and 40% of these rejected were for amounts of less than $100,000. That shows just how much small business is restricted as a result of their lack of access to cash.

Rather than have service professionals simply exchange their time for an hourly rate, we would love to see them invest their expertise into these ideas and instead leverage up their time for an investment in a small business.

We want to provide a way for business to be done differently.

But before you jump into the funding, ask yourself this one question:

Why do you need the funding?

The most common response is that the money will be used to purchase a new asset that will support the business, or it will go into developing a capability in the business that will enable it to grow.

When we dig deeper into this response, it is interesting to hear how people assume that only cash will get them access to what they need.

Rather we aim to challenge that thinking and instead ask a few questions:

  • What skills and resources do you have that you could exchange for something that you need?
  • Does someone else already have the resources that you need?

Imagine if you had access to unlimited funding, how would that change your approach to business?

The Type of Opportunities

How do you start challenging your point of view on where to get funding from?

Co-Founder

Do you have a new idea for a business and have well developed skills in one area? You know that business needs a mix of skills and experience if it is going to launch. So how can you bring strength into the business without cash?

You might choose to bring on a co-founder who has the skills you need to round out your team.

While you can always hire on for a role, you need money to do that. Then it is just a job to the employee or contractor. They may not have the passion and incentive to really get the job done.

Whereas – if you find a co-founder that is just as committed to the vision as you are, together you can produce some exceptional results. A co-founder is someone who will take a share in the equity of the business based upon the vision for the future.

Connecting skills with an idea brings people together and a new business to life. Look for a co-founder, or become a co-founder, using the sixty:forty platform.

Equity

This is about the exchange of ownership equity for services performed or for bringing in strong relationships to the business to enable it to grow into the future. For an existing company, there are strict capital raising requirements by the various regulatory bodies (for example, ASIC or the SEC).

Exchange skills or assets for equity and create a win-win outcome, while building an alternative investment portfolio.

Barter

With Barter No Cash is No problem. Barter is the exchange of goods and services without using money. Barter will allow you to exchange your products, services, time and talent instead of trading cash. Why is this useful? Because you make a markup on your products, so you are then acquiring the exchanged goods at your COST.

It can sometimes be hard to find the two sides to make a deal but that is made easier on our platform.

No Cash, No Problem. Pay for things you need at cost. Exchange goods and services between each other without using money.

Mentor

A Mentor is a not a coach or trainer. Mentoring is a way of transforming people. This is a two-way relationship that grows where you share knowledge and expertise, networks and can work on development of a solid set of soft skills that will take you far in both business and life.

A mentor is someone who can give you a head start towards real success strategies – because they’ve done it before. They will provide guidance and advice to provide alternative perspectives, while focusing on moving forward and making progress.

Whether you are looking for a single session or a long-term one on one arrangement, you can find that on the sixty:forty platform.

Mentorship is a two-way relationship to build resilience, career and life skills and to share thoughts and insights that seek to challenge you to be the best you can be.

Joint Venture

A joint venture is generally a formal arrangement or separate business entity that is created by two or more parties, generally characterised by shared ownership, shared returns and risk – along with shared management. It is generally built for the long term and is a more formal arrangement than a strategic partnership.

Because there may be equity involved in a Joint Venture through the establishment of a new entity, you will need to have a stronger agreement in place and we will seek to guide you through the common questions in building your draft Letter of Intent, to help you build a strong relationship.

Joint Ventures are a formal, shared relationships for business expansion, development of new products or new markets all to achieve the long-term goal.

Strategic Partnership

A strategic partnership is where two separate parties come together to pursue a win-win arrangement, while keeping their own businesses separate. This collaboration may be only for a single project or have a long-term view. It is relatively informal and can be easily established once the objectives of the venture have been set out and agreed to.

Strategic Partnerships are informal relationship that seeks to leverage assets invested by both people to use as a lever for growth in both businesses.

Joint Ventures and Strategic Partnerships are a powerful growth lever that can be used in your business. Both seek to capitalise on the sunk cost of customer acquisition by one business and use it to the benefit of both businesses by coming up with new opportunities. You can choose to do this in a number of ways and there is no set format so you are limited only by your imagination on how to put a deal together.

Quote

If you are spending your cash, then you want to know that you are getting best value for your money (this doesn’t mean the cheapest, the focus here is on value). The sixty:forty Quote function will allow you to put your Job out to the sixty:forty community to find who you need, quickly.

The Quote opportunity asks you a lot of questions about what it is that you are looking for so that we can help you build a better brief for your provider.

A Brief is simply instructions and information that enables the provider to see clearly what it is that you are after so that they can give you a quote that enables you to more easily compare their services and decreases the likelihood of unexpected extras popping up or multiple phone calls or emails to provide extra info.

sixty:forty Quotes provide a better, smarter way to connect you with professionals so that you can get your project done well.

Delayed/Staged Payment Terms

This is an arrangement where you agree with the Provider to get the work done however you can pay for that work over stages linked to the project milestones or using an alternative time frame outside the Providers ordinary terms of doing business.

Develop a formal arrangement for a structured and deferred payment plan to manage the cash while business milestones are being achieved.

Special Offers

Special Offers are members only deals that our Providers have created which are available to achieve an outcome for your business. These offers will save you literally hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, for these packaged offers that will help get you on your way. You can access these from each members profile and in the Hub. As sixty:forty grows so will the different types of special offers that our members will put up.

Looking for a special offer? Save with pre-packaged service offers from our professionals.

Crypto

Cryptocurrency is also included however this isn’t so much as an opportunity, as it is a payment option for any of these. When you select this, it just means that any provider who has said that they will accept crypto as a form of payment will be showing up against the opportunities that you selected.

Easily find professionals who will accept crypto in payment for services. That way you can transact in your preferred currency.

Using sixty:forty to Create an Opportunity

Creating an opportunity is basically setting the brief of what it is that you want to achieve with your offer.

So, what it is that you are looking for and why you are looking for it are central tenants of pretty much all of the opportunity options.

We have much more coming as well to help you map out the best deal and formalise the agreement. This is only the beginning.

We give entrepreneurs and small business owners a way to access this alternative funding.

For service providers to unhook from time-based returns and to leverage their professional skills into a project that becomes a long-term asset producing a return.

And to provide angel and professional investors with access to new ideas and investible small businesses.

So, if you want to join a network of likeminded people, willing to venture outside the box then sign up today.

The more members we bring on, the more opportunities you’ll get access to. Register now for our beta platform that will bring small business opportunity to life.

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We want to create a world where people successfully start, build, manage and grow their small business in a way that leads to a meaningful and prosperous life for themselves and families, their team and the wider community.

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