There is so much information here on Idea Cafe! I love reading the profiles of others who are in the same or similar businesses or circumstances... it's very encouraging to read their advice and experiences. The references Idea Cafe provides are also helpful when it comes to taxes, legalities of home businesses and just about any other issue that you might face. Unlike most other small business organizations, Idea Cafe isn't stuffy or limited to "big" small businesses. Idea Cafe really speaks to those of us who have home-based businesses and don't necessarily want to take over the world in a day!
Gasterville Natural Pet Care & Nutrition
Kathryn Gaster Allen • Cleveland, OH
I like the fact that Idea Cafe's how to's are written by those who actually did what they're talking about, instead of just journalists reporting on what they observe as outsiders trying to look in. Idea Cafe's how to's are not just theory, they are about getting it done (for real).
The Stewart Group
Gary Stewart • Allentown, PA
Idea Cafe keeps my mind oiled with new ideas.
Maximum Change Coaching and Consulting
Philip Foster • Murfreesboro, TN
Idea Cafe's got the only Maitre D' on the planet who is warm and fuzzy! (See sign-in link.) Seriously, I like the upbeat info, the news and clues, and the celebratory way in which business owners are headlined. Francie Ward, the CEO, is a fun professional. No, those two words are NOT mutually exclusive. Bottom line: I strive for fun, and intellectual exercise, but meaning is important, too. If it's not of help to someone, I'm not doing it.
Eva R. Marienchild
Eva R. Marienchild • St. Augustine, FL
I use Idea Cafe to connect with like-minded, creative individuals courageous enough to be in business for themselves. I am inspired by entrepreneurs and business owners who take an idea and make it a business. Business owners are the people who give wings to ideas and making things better for everyone. I want to play more with people who are standing on their own ____ (fill in the blanks: merit, feet, independence, terms, beliefs, etc.).
Lynn Scheurell • San Diego, CA
The stories in Idea Cafe gave me the strength to separate from my old 9-5 job. I can't say enough about Idea Cafe. Whenever I felt depressed working at my old job, I'd simply click on over to this awesome website. I'd read the profiles and pop on over to Idea Cafe's CyberSchmooz message boards to find other brave souls who had the desire to work for themselves. I tried to make my former job work for me, but it never did. I simply don't have the personality to work for someone else. Idea Cafe showed me real people who think like I do. I also really love the articles on marketing and business plans. I even read an article on S- Corp vs. LLC that helped me decide on the right business vehicle for Wedding Chicago. Idea Cafe offers really valuable resources for business owners of all kinds. There were times when I thought I'd be stuck in that job for the rest of my life. Idea Cafe gave me the hope that helped me see the dim light at the end of the tunnel.
Wedding Chicago, Inc.
Alison Lonesome Rodriguez • Chicago, IL
I often drop by Idea Cafe and have been since I came across the website years ago. I enjoy reading comments and often help others in CyberSchmooz. But most of all, I come back as it feels like home sometimes-- just a place to go when I feel like free surfing the web. The web is full of so many sites, but Idea Cafe stays the same with the same people... it's nice. It's a family in many ways.
Pure Vacations Limited
Wesley J. Baker • Whitstable, Kent
I love the atmosphere of Idea Cafe. It is bright and cheerful with all of the colors. After a day of looking at black and white documents all day, it is pleasing to log on and see something interesting. The content is tremendous. I have yet to go through all of the areas and may never but I will continue to try.
The Law Office of H. Todd Whatley
Todd Whatley • Benton, AR
I really enjoy the part about business taxes, and tips on setting up your business. I like reading the profiles of others in business. And Idea Cafe's Pre-Pink Slip Action Plan: Or Seven Steps to Take While You've Still Got a Job. from Idea Cafe CEO Francie Ward. That is great. You don't know how many times I have wanted to just not work my "paid" job and only do THIS job. But I know I have to be realistic and take clear steps toward a clear goal without being too emotional about it.
Watson-Knobel Publishing Company
Stephanie Watson • Huntsville, AL
Idea Cafe has really helped to boost my confidence. I've been coming to this website for about 5-6 years. I get so much information and like to read about other businesses. It helps me with ideas on how to run my biz. Each step of starting my business was researched on Idea Cafe. Thanks a million!
Debora Evans • Jacksonville, FL
Idea Cafe is just what the name implies. It is full of ideas. I go to it at least once a week when I am traveling just to stay on top of things and see what other people are thinking. It's like a great big business blog full of informative and useful information that I use regularly. It's always right there on my computer. It's perfect for when I'm alone in a hotel room at midnight working on something due the next day. I can always find useful information by logging on to Idea Cafe.
The Common Sense Guy
Bud Bilanich • Denver, CO
The plethora of information on Idea Cafe is invaluable. The tax info alone has been a lifeline for me as well as all the funding and financing advice. I also love the profiles of other biz owners. Very encouraging and informative. Although, I haven't won a grant yet, I love that they are available and possible. Because I can contact another biz owner and visit other members' sites, I have found more information than I ever would have on my own. Overall the advice at at Idea Cafe is tangible rather than a lot of fluff. I have recommended this site to so many people that I've actually lost count.
Write The Vision Publishing
Patrice Turner • Dolton, IL
Idea Cafe has become my little "vacation spot"... It's relaxing to browse the content and I feel like I'm in the company of those who actually understand me... being a "little business" person in a world of all these humongous biz-things!
JA Kessler Design
Jud Kessler • Bronx, NY
Reading people's experiences and concerns helps us shape our product. It's like the perfect focus group for us; all of these divergent models and ideas, and yet the same obstacles. It's exciting to see people flourish, and it's exciting to see people share--as a community, we can compete fairly and honestly.
Utopa Holdings, LLC.
John Wyman • Los Angeles, CA
I love the idea of a community of small business owners coming together. In a very real way, the owner doesn't have any peers at work. We cannot share many things with our employees -- many of our concerns are confidental, or just plain boring to them. So I have a community of other business owners that I can tap into when I need ideas, a boost of confidence, or information.
Martella Gastel • White Oak, PA
I actually first came across Idea Cafe as a student in high school - by the way I'm now 25. I was featured on the website and got one of those cool Idea Cafe t-shirts. What I have found in business is that there are small businesses and then "small" businesses. Companies like mine (gross sales under $100,000) are often left out of everything - financing, seminars, contracts, etc. I had so many questions about business technicalities that I could not get answers to - other business owners didn't know or didn't want to take the time out to explain the answers. That is why Idea Cafe's services are extremely resourceful and should be taken advantage of. I know of no other place with such a mass of pertinent information for "small businesses."
(Editor's Note: You can read about Percy winning Idea Cafe's Pilot Grant and what he was able to accomplish after winning it; just click to the Small Biz Grant Center from the navigation bar.)
Percy Marchand • New Orleans, LA
Idea Cafe offers you so many different business ideas! Had we known about this site when we first got our domain name we would have saved hundreds of dollars. The advice they offer is what you need when you're just starting out -- and most important they are small business owners like you are. You don't have to worry about spending your money and getting nothing for it in return.
Barbara Schug • Las Vegas, NV
Idea Cafe is a great place to incubate and get feedback on ideas. Also to connect with other business owners and find out what those in my industry as well as others are up to. Always finding new info here.
Allan Fried: Business Coach
allan fried • New York, NY
I use Idea Cafe to locate Grant opportunities and as a source of networking. I also grew tired of only seeing victory stories like Oprah. I wanted to know that I was not the only aspiring entrepeneur with new business troubles.
Noir Couture Apparel Company
Willie Dean • Houston, TX
The thing most small businesses lack is a broad knowledge base on the many different facets of running your own business. You will invariably forget something or just as likely have no idea how to go about other things. Idea Cafe is like having an experienced mentor there to guide you on your way.
So Cal Espresso
Lance & Ratana Berg • Vista, CA
I just found IdeaCafe.com site today, but already it has helped me to begin to clarify some of my goals and dreams.
Match Book Art Web Design and Graphics
Bonnie Oberster • El Cajon, CA
Idea Cafe is an i-catalyst for ideas.
Holistic Marketing Cooperative
Diana Trott • Kansas City, MO
I'm just sorry I didn't find this sooner! Idea Cafe has all the bases covered. It's a real resource for any type of small or solo business. So many websites that say they offer help for small biz owners are really just sales pages, or pitches from internet marketers. Small business is a large category. Idea Cafe seems to focus on the real needs of the real small business - not one with 100 employees - which the SBA still considers to be small. I could not think of a subject that would be relevant to the growth of a small business that is not covered here in some way. And, isn't owning our own business supposed to be fun? Idea Cafe keeps it that way, lest we forget that we didn't get ourselves a glorified job, but a way to play, use our creativity, and get paid to do it. It's also really important to know that other entrepreneurs are experiencing the same challenges and successes you are, and that you can share your problems and get an answer from someone that's been there. You guys did a great job putting this site together. Keep it growing.
Janis Pettit • Wake Forest, NC
I just visit Idea Cafe to see the pretty colors. No, seriously, I love the wealth of information and seeing other businesses who have been successful.
4 Great Hosting
Verlie Wynne • Port Angeles, WA
I use Idea Cafe for just that -- "ideas". I love reading what others are doing with their businesses and the unique ideas. I find myself thinking I NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT!!!
Beverly Jenkins • Atlanta, GA
I use Idea Cafe to find marketing ideas for my business. It's one thing to be good at what you do, but quite another to plan and manage a business... that's the help I get from Idea Cafe.
Art Guy Design LLC
Dana Ball • Scottsdale, AZ
I found out about Idea Cafe through the SBA (Small Business Administration) after I'd received the SBA's SCORE Hero Award for 2005. I think it's great that Idea Cafe has stepped up to provide such a warm, genuine community where small business owners can support each other and learn from each other's struggles and successes.
Jennifer Loomis Photography
Jennifer Loomis • Seattle, WA
I actually look forward to receiving Idea Cafe's newsletters. I find them to be extremely informative. I get a chance to keep up with any changes that affect small businesses. I've been able to take advantage of the business planning sections and I'm always interested in ways to finance my business especially since I looking to open a "brick and mortar" site. What I will say is anyone who doesn't take advantage of the information you provide on this site is probably not really serious about having their own business.
Keeping Secrets Too!
Claudette Grimes • Lithonia, GA
This site has been an encouragement to me and has given me some absolutely wonderful insight and tips to use to establish myself as a small business.
Arts FromThe Heart
Dawnelle Pagan • Vancouver, WA
When I first learned of Idea Cafe it was in a business class at Longview College, Lees Summit MO. This site has given me a lot of encouragement. What was just a dream to me is now a reality. Quite a bit is due to the ideas in Idea Cafe.
Stanley Hood • Grandview, MO
Idea Cafe actually helps me in focusing on the job. I have the opportunity to see what others are doing in their businesses to keep things going. I reach out to Idea Cafe for inspiration and motivation. Its just a nice place to go when you need a break, reality check or peace of mind.
Risk Mitigation Northwest
Evan Rush • Bellingham, WA
I have visited Idea Cafe all year, and it has helped me keep my eye on the prize and that was to have a well working and vibrant business. With all the advice and help here, no one can fail unless they don't try.
Kathy Youngman • Land of Lakes, FL
I love to use Idea Cafe to reach like-minded people to don't take life too seriously but are serious about their success and well-being.
Portraits in Determination
Linda Furiate • Columbia, MD
I find a wealth of information on Idea Cafe. I always love to read the Biz Profiles. I always learn so much from people who have "been there, done that". Nothing is as valuable as the voice of experience.
I also explore Idea Cafe's CyberSchmooz to connect with other people. It's always good to be able to share ideas with people who are facing the same issues. We get to bounce ideas off one another which quite often lead to a better approach than any one person could develop. It's always a great benefit to hear how other people perceive issues.
Innovative Web Services
Bill Baldwin • Manchester, CT
I use Idea Cafe to learn from others about running a business and to exchange ideas.
Prairie Wind Log Works, LLC
Sheila Anderson • Marion, KS
Well, I have been checking daily in order to win the Idea Cafe tee-shirt... I have (I hope) helped others, and they have helped me with advice, ideas, and a place to show my products on line. Because of Idea Cafe I have been published in one e-zine and am about to be published on a web site. I love that because it is a creative outlet for me. I have received one order for my products and several inquiries, but I am more interested in the creative possibilities on the Idea Cafe.
Clay Gullett • Apple Valley, CA
I sneak in here and read the many posts in the forums to gather new ideas and just unwind. Mostly, I enjoy the 'helping' feeling I get when I'm visiting Idea Cafe.
Bearded Dragons and other Creatures
Vickie Dachiu • Honey Brook, PA
I use Idea Cafe as a resource and sounding board for ideas. I let my clients know the valuable resources the Internet offers and Idea Cafe is top of the list.
Mark Jensen • Omaha, NE
I enjoy reading about others' endeavors and successes here at Idea Cafe.
Andrea M. Pixley, Virtual Assistant
Andrea M. Pixley • Portales, NM
I like to read what others in my situation are going through.
Innovative Professional Systems
Rebecca Aman • Pensacola, FL
At Idea Cafe I get encouragement from the profiles. I find support at Cybershmooz and I learn from the experts at Coffee Talk. I'm profiting, in more ways than one, at the Biz Grant Center and so much more!
Lori Allen Digital Photography and more
Lori Allen • Sebree, KY
I come to Idea Cafe to help me with motivation, marketing, financing, networking and even organizing. I've found others that are trying to accomplish the same thing with their business and knowing that someone else feels the same way reassures me.
A Grande Occasion
Jeniffer Walker • Mexico Beach, FL
I use Idea Cafe to help me find free or low cost ways to market my business.
One Awesome Concierge
Julia Johnson • Vallejo, CA
I enjoy all the wonderful articles and success stories. It is an inspiration and motivation to see so many people succeeding in doing what they choose to do. I find new things all the time that help and encourage me.
Beth Kalish • Wauconda, IL
I just joined Idea Cafe, and I know that other people just love it! I like the fact that it is fun and funky (not to mention your colorful navigation bar!). I'm looking forward to hearing about everyone else's businesses and experiences.
Cindy Engquist • Annandale, VA
I get ideas here for advertising and marketing my business. Others have given me some great advice here at Idea Cafe.
Diane Waltman • Reading, PA
I like to see if other folks are experiencing similar problems. I also like to look for ideas on how to market the web site.
Betsy Jones • Cambridge, MA
It is really nice to know that I am not the only one out there struggling through. Idea Cafe gives me hope and great expectations.
The Edit Artist, Inc.
Shawna Millard • Federal Way, WA
I came across the Idea Cafe site quite by accident. I was amazed by the absolute plethora of information including, tools, forms, tips, ideas etc. A lot my initial research was done on this site. I continue to use Idea Cafe for marketing and advertising tips, tax information and most importantly -- MOTIVATION. The profiles of other self-employeds are a source of inspiration.
Atisor Business Solutions
Anne Marie Davidson-Sampson • Los Angeles, CA
I'm brand new to Idea Cafe, so I am on a steep learning curve as to what I can both obtain and contribute to it - but simply being part of a group of people with similar aims, ambitions, problems and highs & lows in small business - especially when one lives as far away from the business hubs in my country - will be of immense help to me.
Jaccy Thomas • Whitsundays, QL
I love the humor! I work at home by myself. When my cats start actually answering me, I know it's time for a break, Idea Cafe is a great place to take a guilt free (I'm learning something!) break.
Beth McRorie • Charlotte, NC
Idea Cafe is a wealth of knowledge and ideas for the small business person yet offers not only advice but great ideas and paths to others that can assist in not only setting up a business but to make it a sucess.
Idaho gift distributors
David Pegram • Boise, ID
I love this site. I stumbled upon it by accident. Idea Cafe covers every topic imaginable for professionals as well as the new entrepreneur. I love networking, sharing, mentoring and this site offers all of that.
Letter Quality Typing and Transcription
Mary Wilson • Goldsboro, NC
I use the site for ideas I haven't thought of, and to learn how people have used common ideas to make uncommon progress. Idea Cafe makes me feel like I have a support group even though I am working from home. Inspring almost...
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga With Tonya Makowski
Tonya Makowski • Pacifica, CA
Marketing ideas. I come to Idea Cafe for breaks from being solo. Forms (love the forms!) And networking with other business owners -- some of them and I have become reciprocal clients.
Lise Schleicher • Northbrook, IL
With all the fantastic information that I have always been looking for , I can now relax and put Idea Cafe to my use. Thank you for such a great web-site. I only wish I knew of you earlier.
Stokes Dock Co
Shane Stokes • Osage Beach, MO
Sometimes on a stressed out day or on one of those breaks when I should be doing all the paperwork on my desk but I just don't feel like it, I'll log in and go to Idea Cafe, I love reading the profiles and receiving the positive energy that so many of these small business founders express. It boosts my hopes and my dreams. Reminds me on days I don't think I'll make it that I CAN! Love this site! :)
Marie Weaver • El Dorado, AR
The no nonsense, regular talk approach is inviting. Chatting with other professionals in similar positions is rewarding, in so much as you sometimes get bogged down in the minutia, and one conversation sometimes has lightbulbs going off in your head. Also the info. about taxes and other biz related topics is good to filter.
L.C. Hood Hospitality
Donald O'Donoghue • Westport, CT
I like to see what the other businesses are doing and I like that there are folks here who I can ask questions. I'm always looking for new ideas and new opportunities.
Arts and Crafts By Lori
Lori Kataski-Schmitt • Kalamazoo, MI
I monitor Idea Cafe's boards to get real life experiences and to learn about other's obstacles. Of course, the articles are always timely and useful. (I reference IdeaCafe in my seminars 'Internet for Small Business' for SBA's SCORE, our community college's Small Business center, Mountain MicroEnterprise Group, Chamber of Commerce... all gratis of course)
MaxPatch Ink Supplies
Phil McKinney • Sparks, NV
I read the posts in Idea Cafe's Cyberschmooze to get and give advice and also warn myself "Better not do that!" Idea Cafe's like a "Dutch Uncle" -- a person who tells you the absolute truth, even when you do not want to hear it.
Elizabeth Webster Goddard Enterprises
Elizabeth Webster Goddard • Edmonton, Alberta,
Seeing the other comments that people share gives me a boost. I think most though, the solid biz information that is served up. Cyberschmooz is the best place I've found on the net to connect with other people who've "been there, done that" in biz. I came from a zero background in biz & I'm surviving - thanks Idea Cafe!
Design by Kiltz Internet Solutions LLC
Chris Kiltz • Grants Pass, OR
When I first came into Idea Cafe, I felt so understood and welcome. Like stepping into a room full of your best friends at Christmas.
E-Z Way Products, Inc.
Millie Null • Glasgow, KY
I use Idea Cafe to enhance my services. I ask other owners, what services they would like to see in their business attorney. And what things they like and dislike about dealing with attorney's in general. Some things I can fix in my office, some things I cannot, but at least I have an idea.
The Wright Firm
Shahara Wright • Houston, TE
Idea Cafe is the best small biz site on the web. I love every tidbit of information. Truly a great resource for small business owners such as myself.
MJVA - Michelle Jamison VA & Associates
Michelle Jamison • Keswick, ON
I like the fun attitude here. There is so much important and valuable information right here at Idea Cafe, but it's all presented in a light hearted way. That's how I am... serious and important doesn't mean dry and boring. I actually remember better if i had fun learning it. As they say: "people don't really remember you so much as how you made them feel." I feel great here. I also like the networking and grant abilities. It's nice to have all these resources available.
New Eyes Illusions
Cat Johnston • Aloha, OR
I love reading how other people are succeeding. Being able to do this at Idea Cafe definitely keeps me motivated.
Debbie George • Suffolk, VI
I like to click around the site and see what people are talking about and reading about. It's a good resource for me because, in my line of work, I need to keep my finger on the pulse of what real small business people are concerned about (as opposed to what the pundits are saying).
Wahmpreneur Publishing, Inc.
Dawn Rivers Baker • Sidney, NY
I use the Idea Cafe for information that I can use to enhance my students' learning experiences, and of course for my own education as well. The Idea Cafe helps keep entrepreneurism FUN, instead of TERRIFYING!
Alaska Inventors & Entrepreneurs Associa
Pamela Middaugh • Anchorage, AL
I get very real very solid information here. I like to read the question and answers. Most of the questions can apply to my business and most people ask what I have not thought of yet. I feel connected here at Idea Cafe.
Mia DonVito • Dunmore, PA
I like the marketing tips, and hearing stories from other people out there in the trenches.
The Glass Moose
Julie Doneux • Eagan, MI
Idea Cafe's a great resource for information and ideas. It definitely gets my business mind juices going!
Louise Polis • Wynnewood, PA
I like to read advice from others because I believe we're always learning new ways to approach problems. I also like to connect with fellow biz owners just so I don't feel too solo at times! I like the humorous touches that keep me from taking myself (& my biz) too seriously.
AD-RITR Creative Services
Brenda Kruse • Sunny Southwest, NM
I've made a couple contacts with potential customers for new product lines at Idea Cafe.
Judy Sims • Phoenix, AZ
Idea Cafe is a great resource to get answers to your common questions and concerns. There is a wealth of information about the SBA, grants, loans and all financial questions. There are resources to help with ecommerce, mailers, and customer communications. There is also help with marketing and sales and websites. It is easy to spend hours on Idea Cafe to learn how to better your business and it's all free!
Allen Custom Building and Remodeling
Craig Allen • Carmichael, CA
I get strength from the encourging words from the other members and the great ideas. Idea Cafe is a wonderful place to listen and learn.
Garden of Earthly Delites
Mary Clanton • Quitman, TX
Idea Cafe has been an inspiration for me for a while now, while I worked to bring my dream of my own business to life.
Tracy Woods • Grand Island, NY
I'm venturing into starting another company and Idea Cafe helped me get a start with financing and a business plan.
Freddy Doty • Houston, TE
IdeaCafe.com gives me a chance to see what people are thinking and doing when it comes to business and especially new business owners who have little experience. It also helps when I give advice in the forums, because I get to exercise the old brain with something besides finding other unique ideas to market the Coaching center. I leave the forums however, knowing that the decisions made to open the center are on target and needed. My sanity level remains high and my focus becomes clearer. Also, Idea Cafe is one of the few sites, with active participation. That speaks well for your efforts.
Small Business Coaching Group
Gary Clark • Colorado Springs, CO
I'm new to Idea Cafe, but all the colors are really neat and I plan to be back OFTEN!
Arras Interpretation And Translation Ser
Isela Arras • Lexington, KY
Idea Cafe has helped with so much. It is an invaluable source for resources on the entrepreneur's menu. Idea Cafe has helped me in my decision making process with information on what legalities should be considered for a new business. It has also helped me with my business plan, which nobody should go without in business. As well as helping me with information on grants and sources of financing.
VC Virtual Creations
Stacey Baillie • Moose Jaw, SK
I love to get on and browse to see that what I am going through is NOT unique. Everybody goes through the hard times and the good times. It's as good as the office water cooler. Because really, you need the adult opinions and advice and experience.
Purple Forest Childcare
Danielle Bailey • Camden, SC
I visit Idea Cafe daily to help with every business dilemma thinkable. Especially business financing.
Stolen Moments Aromatherapy
Felisa Ware • Detroit, MI
I use Idea Cafe for new ideas and contacts. I value the open and frank discussion of ideas and honesty in developing business relationships that Idea Cafe's CyberSchmooz offers.
Rogers Service Group
Herbert Rogers Sr • Sylacauga, AL
I use Idea Cafe to help me locate funds that can be available to help me with my business.
S & S Custom Cut Lumber
Paul Sills • Fort Wayne, IN
Love the newsletter for tips and ideas... check into CyberSchoomz for interesting gems of advice (and inspiration!!)...and love the fun way of how Idea Cafe presents issues on small biz -- the philosophy that having a small business should be fun and be enjoyed permeates through the site!
Christine Chen • Singapore, SI
Idea Cafe is full of useful information that's well-organized and easy to find. I've downloaded great forms and outlines, formatted press releases, and used several of the links. The more I see, the more I like. I have received many e-mails from other Idea Cafe Regulars sharing their stories and products and asking for business advice. It's a great community. My profile is even featured in Stephanie Chandler's new book on starting a business, and she found me on Idea Cafe!
Pilates with Lynda
Lynda G. Lippin • Providenciales, Turks/Caicos Islands
Idea Cafe gives me a place to go and feel like I am not alone in my struggles. It keeps me motivated and excited about owning my own business! I enjoy reading about other peoples businesses and have found the printable business forms to be very useful!
Nature's Goodness Health Food Market
Stewart Kara • Cuyahoga Falls, OH
I come to Idea Cafe every single day. I like to see what people are saying and get advice on different areas. I love this place!
Angela Rozewski • Redmond, OR
It's very refreshing realizing that you're not alone in the small business world... that there are other people who have made the same mistakes as you or who have to file the endless reams of paperwork like you do.
Network Therapists, Inc.
Matthew Snoddy • Lexington, KY
At Idea Cafe, I like reading the different articles from work@home moms. Your expressive way of writing, with an appetite of humor and fun puts a smile on my face. You help me stay motivated even in times when my business is running as smoothly as I'd like. Thanks.
By "D" Inspiration Gift Shop
Melinda J. • Miami, FL
The Idea Cafe website has so many wonderful things. You can't find business information this clear anywhere else.
daC7 Enterprises, Inc.
Daria Carter • Ecorse, MI
When I am stressed or simply need a break from mundane tasks, I like to drop by Idea Cafe to read about what other business owners have to say. I often relate to the stories/ comments I read.
TC Equestrian Co.
Teresa Cuneo • Laguna Hills, CA
I cruise the Idea Cafe site from time to time (at my leisure, whatever that is) to read articles that will inspire me or benefit my business. It's a fun and useful place to poke around.
Of the Earth
Maggie Hanus • Manor, TX
IdeaCafe.com gives me a channel to voice my stress.
Vicky Fung • Hong Kong, HO
I love Idea Cafe's Profiles to get me pumped up again and to see other people's sucesses.
Pepper Grove Candle Co
Lisa Cambridge • Indianapolis, IN
I have spent hours searching on the net for business grants or some sort of useful information tailored more to women. I've finally found it! This is the only site I've actually found worth bookmarking. It has the finance info, and support for each other.
Robin Church • Ft. Wright, KE
Idea Cafe keeps us grounded... we aren't the only ones who struggle so it's uplifting and inspiring to read news at this resource. Also , most of the offerings are geared to help businesses like ours succeed so its a great place to look for most everything.
Amulet Development Corp./eCriteria
Camille Jacks • Culver City, CA
I have been a member for just a few months but i have used Idea Cafe to review strategies. This site keeps me level headed. I always know I can come by and get a new idea, or just take some time away and read a while..
Photo Designs, Inc
Bill Barbosa • Palm Beach, FL
I use Idea Cafe for tips and information. It's a very informative site with a lot of the down to earth kind of help that you can't always find elsewhere. Also for stress relief, ideas, a much needed laugh sometimes, empathy, keeping a perspective on life and working.......
Quilling by Kim
Kim Kollert • Long Beach, CA
Oh, I've been bumming off Idea Cafe's business forms for a long time now. Last thing I want to do is pay a lawyer a lot of money for boiler plate forms I could buy at Staples. :-) But when a need arises, I need that form fast. This place was the best place to get things quickly. Over time, I've come to read the forums a bit more, and have learned some things from them. Who knows what I'll find that is useful here, maybe even today.
CarpeDiem Business Internet Systems
Thomas Carpe • Baltimore, MA
I use Idea Cafe for information on funding sources, connecting with other business owners and learning from my peers. Cumulatively we all have a tremendous amount of experience. I had to learn things the hard way as I didn't have a mentor or coach in starting my two businesses. My hope is that I can share my knowledge with other women to help them in areas where I have expertise.
Blue Jean Media, Inc.
Sherry Handel • Rochester, NY
I enjoy reading the profiles of other folks like me who switched from the "rat" race to the "mouse race"
Catherine Donnow • Hammond, LA
I love researching marketing, PR, and advertising tips from Idea Cafe's experts. I like meeting other business minded people online through your chats. Your tax section is excellent as well as tips for Home Businesses. I've been utilizing your site for years now, and it only gets better!
Farrah Ashline • Alexandria, VA
Idea Cafe's articles keep me alert to business approaches I can use and ways to stay emotionally energetic, even during down periods.
Robin Warshaw Writing & Editing Services
Robin Warshaw • Elkins Park, PA
I love to read all the inspiring stories at Idea Cafe! It gives me renewed respect for other creative energies, and energy on those days I'm dragging and wondering how I got myself into a position of "the buck stops with me" with all the responsibilities of my business. Sometimes an at-home, web-based business can also be isolating in that you don't have all the day-to-day interpersonal contacts that traditional businesses may have. Idea Cafe helps me feel connected to other entrepeneurs who are going through many of the same things I am feeling. I find that of great supportive value!
Carol Ochs • San Diego, CA
Idea Cafe is a virtual 'bottomless cup' of ideas and information. I come here whenever I need a good refill!
Say It Sweetly
Katie Hart • Portland, OR
Idea Cafe reduces the sense of isolation I often have because we are in a remote area of the world and there are few business people in the community. I appreciate its positive, self-assertive, and friendly tone.
Island Park News
Elizabeth Laden Laden • Island Park, ID
Great website, who ever you are behind Idea Cafe, you have an incredible understanding of the BS that an entrepreneur can experience.
The Circuit Cafe
Cris Noreen • Ventnor, NJ
As entrepreneurs we all have something to share so I call on Idea Cafe's Schmoozers for ideas when I have a special project and browse the site when I need to put back the spring in my step. It never fails.
Janeen Wall • Richmond, VA
Is there any place in the Idea Cafe that isn't helpful? I enjoy reading everything from the Running Your Biz section. Particularly the Work the Web section. If I had 5 more hours in the day, I would spend it online reading articles on IdeaCafe.
Deborah Nolen • Simpsonville, SC
I use Idea cafe to help keep me on track with my business plan as well as to keep me pointed in the right direction. Idea Cafe is loaded with information that can be key to making a business or breaking it. There is not only information to help you get started but information to help get you funded and keep you moving toward your goals.
Craig Freeman • Mansfield, OH
I love to check out Idea Cafe's Work@Home section for ideas and encouragement.
Compelling Communications, Inc.
June Van Klaveren • Manchester, MO
Idea Cafe is a home away from home. On the days when I feel isolated, I pop into Idea Cafe and I feel like I'm chatting with an old friend over coffee.
Cynthia Garvey • Tottenham, ON
Since my company was created on the principle that networking = results, you'll see me networking virtually at Idea Cafe's CyberSchmooz with virtual drink in hand! As any smart business person knows, you can never really network TOO much!
Dennis Gaudenzi • Conshohocken, PA
Idea Cafe takes the confusion out of all the jargon in running a business. It also helps me keep my spirits up when that feeling of "going at this alone" comes over me. I come in here read the Profiles and feel better, get ideas, and learn from the experts' advice.
Conner Kelly • Youngsville, PA
I like using Idea Cafe's Marketing and Legal section. It offers information that is essential to any business. I also like reading other Profiles. It's nice to see other people who are successful and are their own boss.
Virtual Assistant Source
Sasha Rodriguez • Knob Noster, MO
I initially used many of Idea Cafe's sample plans to start the creative juices flowing for my own business. They were a tremendous source of information. Also, the Work @ Home section is wonderful! I not only learn from the mistakes of others, but I also get questions answered there before I can find time to ask them somewhere else!
Triple J Business Solutions
Renae Bolton • Cleveland, OH
I love looking into all the links that are provided in Idea Cafe's Business Guide. Whenever I have a problem or a question about my business, I go straight to the Business Guide and search for my answer.
Lucretia Design Group
Lucretia Johnson • Aurora, IL
I use Idea Cafe to generate break out of the box thinking and getting fresh new ideas on marketing, general small business concerns for my own business and those I build websites for.
Sidelites Web Design
Kathy Seidlitz • DeSoto, TX
There's so much here at Idea
Cafe! I've just begun to dig deep into the resources - books, articles, even schmoozing! I am the Small Business Guru on Lifetips.com and I have found that this is a great resource for answers to questions or for tipletter (like a newsletter) ideas. I also teach an online course called "Getting Business to come to You." This is a great link for my students. I find support for ideas that I'm presenting in that it's third party endorsement for the idea - makes me look so smart!
Melody Campbell • Salem, OR
I use Idea Cafe to gain insight and perspective on various business issues. It's always a good idea to take a few minutes away from your day to day activities and explore different ideas. Idea Cafe is a great way to do just that. It is a very entertaining and informative site.
Michael Messier • West Warwick, RI
I enjoy the ideas, articles and discussions on Idea Cafe. It's an opportunity to take a breather and learn about other small businesses. The website is very high energy and I feel invigorated when I visit.
Virtual Assistance U
Janet Jordan • Dallas, TX
I have met a lot of fantastic people at Idea cafe. Everyone here is in the same boat really and you can get a lot of tips and information. I also love the cyberschmooz area.
Sandi Bradley • Johannesburg, GA
Looking through the Idea Cafe site gave me confidence to go ahead full force with my business. The other Profiles that I read motivated me to overcome my fear of hearing no and just go for it.
5 Star Business Solutions
Felicia Young • Beaumont, TX
I've just started using Idea Cafe and the grant information is wonderful! I also love reading about others in my shoes, and the news is so helpful and informative! Great job, guys! I love the site design too! Who says a content-rich site has to look boring? You guys are proof that it doesn't have to be that way.
Red Toad Media
Anne Sallee • Mt Washington, KY
Just reading what others have to say...sharing the experiences of others is so unbelievably invaluable.
Rick Leibowitz • Wasilla, AK
I like being able to chat with other biz owners in CyberSchmooz, and hearing that we all face the same struggles in different fields. Sharing ups and downs with others and getting good advice. I really appreciate the small biz forms and IRS information...
Family Ties Foster Care, Inc.
Michael Hinton • Winfield, KS
Okay, I am thrilled to have this chance to say this. The number one reason that I LOVE IdeaCafe is the background! I can not tell you how many hours I have spent in thought and my eyes are pinched shut tight and my brain is smoking, the wheels are turning but I'm not going anywhere. During those moments the only thing I see is black spattered with color spots. When I found IdeaCafe, I thought that is it! That is the picture in my mind. The beauty of it is that with IdeaCafe my wheels are spinning and I am moving forward all the ideas are right in front of me, I only need to click on one! I draw inspiration from reading through the Profiles of people that are like me! If I hit a roadblock I browse through and as I see the spattering of colors I can also read some great articles like in Small Business News. I wish I had found IdeaCafe sooner! But since I have found it, the wealth of information is awesome! I'm working on learning the ropes for the grants offered, and I love contests and winners..even if it is not me! Honestly, could I ask for anything more?
Joyce Gowens • Lawrenceville, GA
I love Idea Cafe's CyberSchmooz forums -- that is great informationally and fun as well. The tips and information are wonderful, particularly biz planning and marketing ideas. The Destress section is great - sometime you need to *unfocus* if you know what I mean.
Elite Office Support
Susan Totman • Belfast, ME
I love the CyberSchmooz boards. Tons of great advice and ideas. Whenever I'm frustrated or stuck on what to do next, I spend an hour or so on Idea Cafe and usually end up with too many new ideas. Most people at Idea Cafe are truly helpful and there are very few petty arguments. Many forums on other sites end up being avenues for any subject and breed personal petty disputes on a public board. I don't see that on Idea Cafe -- here people maintain their professionalism.
Express by Design
Mark Keller • Boston, MA
Idea Cafe offers resources for marketing advice, the latest information on financing, contacts, business planning, trends and resources to help grow your business. They also offer expert advice on a lot of topics. This information is from people that have been where you are now and are where you want to be now.
Vanessa Hubbard • Charlotte, NC
I like to read input from other business people on how they are doing things. I also like to see how other moms are coping with their own businesses and home. Idea Cafe continues to keep me in touch with what is going on today in the business world and on the net, which is very important in my line of work. I have used Idea Cafe as a resource for other companies who are self starters and need my business as well. And to just keep my ear to the ground on new and innovative ideas -- (that is the most important thing I can say about Idea Cafe). I feel like I can get a good perspective on people's needs by reading Profiles and seeing what different businesses encounter -- Idea Cafe covers all this for me!
East Tennessee Online
Ricki Landers • Morristown, TN
Idea Cafe is a great source of inspiration for me, especially regarding marketing. I spend at least 80% of my week marketing, and the tips are of great help. But, the best help really is in looking at other members' sites -- you can literally 'see' what they are doing! I visit other sites, even if not in my category, to look at navigation, design, how they collect their demographics, how often they publish ezines, the content etc. Then I also look at how they are ranked in search engines, links to other sites etc. for traffic ideas. I check IdeaCafe.com at least twice a month for new information. Even the articles that at first would not seem to apply to me or my type of business are interesting as I either take the concept and apply it to my area, or learn about those issues that may arise later! I am not very active in the message boards etc., as my time is limited, but I will contact people directly if I really think they can teach me.
GlamKitty, LLC: Home of Tabby Chic (tm)
Deanna Ferber • Sheboygan, WI
I'm a frequent reader of Idea Cafe's "Running Your Biz" section. The articles and resident experts are fantastic! I seem to always find valuable tips that I can adapt and implement into my own way of doing business. It's like having a cheering section and resource room at your fingertips!
Keystrokes by Kerry
Kerry Atkins • Enfield, CT
Simple, inspiration. I find that many of the problems which I've experienced in making my business succeed, have been shared in some form with others. Which just goes to prove that although being in business for yourself can be nice, at times it can be a pain in the ***
Onley Make Believe Decorative Pillows
Gerard Onley • San Francisco, CA
First and foremost, I have found several boot-strap businesses within Idea Cafe that have a wealth of experience and knowledge in areas where I am not up to speed! The information they provide has already given me ideas and a broader understanding of different applications for my business. I have always felt that expanding my business to capture a larger share of International sales had great potential. Little did I know that there might be grant money available to help me do just that! I am impressed with the classified section as well, and may have a need for some of the services offered. I really like Idea Cafe's CyberSchmooz question/answer forum too! What a great tool for in-depth quality information! There is not an area on the entire web site that has not supplied a host of new concepts and ideas for improvement for my own business.
Z Womens Shop
Dawn Powell • Eagle Point, OR
Idea Cafe is a wonderful resource for almost any question you may have, or info you are seeking. My fav is the Gen X Biz section! We're all pretty much in the same boat here, and there's a lot of us in this boat! Unlike in a real boat, the more in this boat the merrier! Idea Cafe gives us a place to come together and share in our successes and our worries. It makes me feel more at ease to come here and read all the posts and articles of other people having the same issues as me. It makes me feel like I'm not alone in this. Everyone else here has been or is going through the same thing so you know there's hope.
The Giggle Pitt
Jeannie Pitt • Jacksonville, FL
I found Idea Cafe during a "down-time" at my day job! (shh don't tell). I found reading the Profiles encouraging, and found a few tips that I feel will help in the future. I think it's real good to be able to connect with other small biz in this format. I haven't had the chance yet to post some of my questions, but that will come. I've been reading a lot in the advice articles and find myself taking too many notes. There is always something you can learn. The other "small biz" sites I've seen are not truly for small biz.
Greta Guidry • Copperas Cove, TX
Idea Cafe has an enormous amount of business information available. If you're thinking about starting a business, looking for business advice, or simply shopping you are sure to learn and have fun at this site.
Pacific Rim Ginseng
Kristin Deputy • Ridgefield, WA
Idea cafe is helpful to me on several fronts. First, I love the fact that it's interactive. Having this option creates a "relationship" with the site and when you communicate "live", you always walk away feeling that your needs have been met. Secondly, I have learned a lot about various aspects of "the business" that aren't my specialty. I believe in delegating everything but your genius... however, ignorance doesn't pay off either. The "running your biz" section gave a lot of valuable insight (very easy reading) in areas I didn't pay a lot of attention to before. In order to run a successfully sound business, you need to be on top of all areas, whether they're your strength or not. So although I tend to procrastinate when it comes to the "management" side of my business, the site has made acquiring this knowledge pretty painless for me. Thank you for that! Lastly, I absolutely love the personal Profiles that you share. No matter who you are or what business you're in, success stories always provide inspiration, valuable perspective, and priceless ideas. Every time I read one I walk away a little wiser and creatively energized.
Dream It - Do It
Lisa Holba • Ayr, ON
I use Idea Cafe to read about other small business triumphs. Here, I get ideas for growth. And, during stagnant times, I know I can find encouragement at Idea Cafe.
Express Transcription Services, LLC
Renae Rossow • Burlington, KY
I look for tips from other biz owners, things I may not have thought of. Seeing what others had to go thru to get there (I especially liked the thought from Deanna Farber, "it is too a real job", as I have also battled that one!) Nice to see many women business owners making it, too!
The Cats Pajamas
Miss Kitty • Williamsport, PA
Idea Cafe is the perfect name for this website. There are so many nuggets of information that I spend many hours browsing through the forums. If you want to brainstorm on business names, marketing ideas, or other business ideas, then this is a great resource. Sometimes you get so hung up on your own business and problems, that you need fresh perspectives. It's great be able to come to this site and read what others are doing. It's even better to post a question and get a wide range of answers or recommendations.
Home Court Hoops
Bill Dale • Elkton, MD
Being a small business myself, I am always looking for valuable information from those in a like position as myself. Particularly when it comes to advice on legal, operations, taxes, managing employees, success stories. This is where I find the Idea Cafe to be particularly helpful to me.
Karen Hipp • Orlando, FL
The articles on improving my advertising and marketing strategies have helped me a great deal. I have applied some of the techniques suggested into my marketing and they've helped! The fact that a lot of the companies are not your average to large companies, but small companies, some with less than 4 or 5 people. I also like reading all the success stories as they give me hope.
The 30-Minute Vacation Bath & Body Shop
Cheryl Coleman-Hunter • Monmouth Junction, NJ
Idea Cafe's advice from experts has helped me develop my business plan, business strategy and even conservative sales goals. I may just read emails for months, but when I check this site it seems to have something relating to my current situation. Nothing here is taken for granted and there is no such thing as a stupid question.
Good Earth Exterior, Inc.
James Bannar • Schnecksville, PA
Idea Cafe has already helped me a lot... I often go into the website and browse around to get ideas from other businesses; to check out the market situation; to check out the grants and loans. In times when I feel frustrated and like a failure, I click into Idea Cafe and I always manage to come back with more confidence knowing that I am not the only one struggling to make it worth our while.
Towne Lake Billiards Inc.
Angela Chen-Jones • Woodstock, GA
Idea Cafe is a smorgasbord of potent and timely information that affects the small business community. I use the site to gain more insight into being a business owner and to evaluate the issues that small business owners face day-to-day.
The YellowWood? Group
Olalah Njenga • Morrisville, NC
We discovered Idea Cafe like Ali Baba chanced upon the treasure of the 40 thieves. Most of your articles are so universal that we can apply them to enrich our start-up here in India. Idea Cafe is the Bible of the Small Biz; you hold our hand and lead us to improve the key areas of our operations -- Budgeting, Financing, Marketing, and more. Idea Cafe's Coffee Talk with Experts not only gives sound advice, but also triggers brainstorming on some critical aspects that we had neglected earlier.
Vasant Dave • Baroda, GU
Idea Cafe is a great resource for any business person. I only wish this variety of information was as easily available when I began my career in 1980. The connection to business professionals outside of a home studio is necessary to maintain some degree of sanity when your business is a one-person operation.
Jeff Fisher LogoMotives
Jeff Fisher • Portland, OR
Idea Cafe has been a wonderful way for us to share some of our expertise to help others. I have always been involved in some sort of teaching and training, so it's a great outlet for me!! It's also been a great way to see how others look at the same situation and come up with a different solution... keeps you humble and makes you think!! Obviously, it's also a great way to keep our name in front of potential customers and establish our company as one that is "in the know".
Vickie & Jay MacFadden • Charlotte, NC
Idea Cafe provides a unique asset -- a place where you can get answers to questions, problems and share ideas with others who have more experience or are still new enough not to be afraid to take the leap. Small business information is not hard to come by, but to find a site that has so much that I can use is definitely why I have returned, again and agian
Cranberry Faire Bakery
Tami Kascic • Charleston, WV
I appreciate the advice from the people "who have been there." So often we are in the dark on what to do, where to go, who to trust, etc. Business Owners Idea Cafe is like an Online Mentor.
Chris Bray • Los Angeles, CA
I love the CyberSchmooz message boards! In fact, one of my Panelists, Wendy Proctor from Canada, I met through one of the discussion threads and not only is she a Panelist, but I consider her a friend as well. We keep in touch on a regular basis. I've learned about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) that has helped me position my website for better rankings. I've learned more about marketing and press releases. The articles and newsletter have prompted me in sometimes new, and always positive directions. In a past business I owned, I was able to secure start-up financing because I followed the advice and format from Idea Cafe's Business Plan resources. This was in 1997 -- Idea Cafe has been there for me in the past and I know they'll be here for me now and in the future.
Heart 2 Heart Stories
Bex Hall • Huntington, WV
I love browsing for marketing ideas on Idea Cafe. I also like reading the Profiles of other business owners, gaining insight from the stories of success and failure that we all deal with. It's important for those of us that work solo to have somewhere that we can go to have our experiences echoed or validated by our peers.
Van Gogh's Ear
Stephanie Connell • Allston, MA
The personal Profiles are very encouraging. The mix of serious business information and fun stuff make Idea Cafe a wonderful resource for ideas and assistance when I'm feeling stuck on something.
a la Carte Office Services
Pat Tarabek • Las Vegas, NV
I look forward to the e-mails and enjoy taking a break on tough days and going through the site. I used Idea Cafe to learn about exit strategies and what investors and angels look for in a business plan. I knew it was a great site, but had this confirmed recently when I went to hear a panel of venture captialists adress a group of small business owners. One of the panelists suggested that new business make use of as many resources as possible and recommended Idea Cafe!
Joy Pacheco • Rochester, NY
Idea Cafe is the Starbucks of business resources. A wealth of information in one place. I get to visit, smooze, learn and take my time and relax while researching new information for my business. The grant department alone is worth it's weight in gold. No more running blindly around the web for information. I get it all in one place.
Simply Clesha Gifts & Baskets
Clesha Staten • Phila, PA
I like the little pieces of confetti on Idea Cafe's homepage while it uploads the site... VERY FESTIVE! But, first and foremost, I think it is the sense of community that the site gives me when I read the perspectives, insights and challenges of other small business owners. You can't find that on the web anywhere else! Plus, the news, forums, grant info have been very helpful as we create our business plan and objectives. I have found the references to other sites, resources and books to be useful in researching various topics like business growth, products, tools, etc. And, most importantly, I love the "biz celebrities" section where I can learn about the success of others!
Tom Feldman • Charlotte, NC
Idea Cafe gives me a good way to communicate with other business owners -- to vent and whine and get ideas and inspiration.
Shapes Salon & Company
John Spankovich • Charlotte, NC
When I first got the idea to start a business I researched the net and found Idea Cafe. I got information that helped me understand what I needed to know about applying for a grant to help me get started (but I didn't have to go that route). I came back later on seeking how I could obtain reputable legal, business and CPA advice and while searching for that I read about business plans. I had no idea that every successful business has one so I took the time to educate myself about them and implement a plan into my business strategy. Being on the Idea Cafe website day-in and day-out I stumbled into the message boards and after about two months began to participate in discussions that gave me expert advice as well as well as the everyday person's opinion. After that I was hooked and I kept on coming back because of the articles, the interviews, for a place to lick my wounds and seek compassion from other business owners that understood what I was going through and let me not forget the insightful experts on topics that had ideas that I would have never thought about on my own that eventually helped propel my business to the success it is today. To make a long story short I trust Idea Cafe and all those that run it so I do my part by dropping by as often as I can to support them and those that are seeking information about starting a business from home.
Stelo Medical Management, Inc./Stelo Ent
Paul G. Hackett • Jamaica, NY
I check into Idea Cafe to read the Profiles of what people are up to. I love seeing the stories, the energy and the photos. There's something supportive about reading what other people are making happen, in so many different ways. It's inspiring! I check out Idea Cafe when I get bored with my own company, my own office. I've spent time studying with people in and from the U.S., so I enjoy being able to check into a growing community... be reminded of the power and diversity of the web and the Idea Cafe community. I love the fact that you send emails to remind me to take a look and that you're still here when it's been a while. Thank you. Enjoy, find useful, checking out the bulletin boards and following strands of conversation. Just hanging out. Easy to enter free competitions that don't demand my life story to enter.
Philippa Fitzpatrick CPCC • York, NO
There are so many "ideas" here. When starting your business I have found not many people are willing to share the secrets to their successes or the path they took to fail. I think this is a great setting for inquisitive people to share what they know.
Expressive Designs LLC.
Elizabeth Bohn • Sacramento, CA
I love Idea Cafe's CyberSchmooz boards. I spent tons of time here when I was working on naming the business (it actually started without a name--how embarrassing!). I also surf on through whenever I have time. The advice found here is so creative and honest. I like how fellow entrepreneurs seldom lie... they don't say, "Oh, no, marketing never causes me any trouble!"
The Write Exposure
Jessica Albon • El Cajon, CA
Networking is one of the areas we are working on as a company and Idea Cafe is just ideal! To compete with big buisness small startups have to work together!
Batian Peak Coffee
Phillip Gatua • Warwick, RI
I try to take time out whenever my brain can support more information and I live and breathe your marketing and sales section. I have 20 years of marketing experience and I'll still read something and go "Oh, that's what I need to do." I also wrote my press release only after reviewing all of your tips. Idea Cafe is just a wealth of info for the business owner -- particularly the little guys like me who have hopes of playing with the big boys someday.
My Miracle Baby
Donna Bliss • Nesconset, NY
I remember hearing about Idea Cafe years ago when I was in the corporate world. Idea Cafe has ALWAYS been at the cutting edge of what's new online. Before the so called internet marketing experts took their claim to fame, Idea Cafe was offering ideas on how to succeed in business. Newbies can gain a WEALTH of information here on where to find business financing and how to market your business. And for a dose of inspiration, they can read the Profiles of others who have succeeded! Rubbing shoulders with other business owners on Idea Cafe's CyberSchmooz board is a fantastic way to network.
Kristie Tamsevicius • Gurnee, IL
Idea Cafe helps me in so many ways. When I'm stressed I can go to CyberSchmooz (their bulletin board) and post a question and get responses from others that are members here. When I need to find out what book I need to read to get a particular task done I can always come here. This site gives me everything that I don't have already.
ALL BY ME
Patsy Clark • Baton Rouge, LA
Too bad we didn't know about Idea Cafe when we were first working on our business plan and looking for grants and funding -- it could have saved us tons of time, money and frustration!
R&D HomeTec PC Solutions
Robert Bartholomew • Waasis, NB
Idea Cafe is a tremendous resource for information and ideas. I like the fact that the information is not presented in the typical 'biz-talk' you see everywhere else. This information is given in a real, easy to understand manner that makes it simple to understand and see how it applies to you and your business. I like being able to gather information on how to find information, as well as breakdown of what the information means to my business and worksheets that help me understand it. It's informative, simple, and a source I wish I had found long ago!
Aunt Anna's Soap Co.
Brandi Sparkman • Spotsylvania, VA
I come to Idea Cafe to find new ideas, and people who have the same creative drive I do. I love to see how other people have come over the turmoil of the "new experience" and turned their little ideas in to a fortune. Look at Bill Gates......
Class with Brass
Darby Martin • Orangevale, CA
I have used Idea Cafe to help me with a current branding project that I have. I am working with a client who is about to change their name soon. I had researched Idea Cafe for a non-disclosure agreement so that the current company's vendors would be aware of the change, but would not jepoardize the new identity. I submitted a draft to the Lawyer and he only made 3 corrections:)!
Stephanie M. Cockerl • New York, NY
I use Idea Cafe to gain more insight on the business world around me. If I can't find the answer here, it does not exist.
Global Crossways Enterprises
Andrew Creese • Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Great ideas and good to know there are others out there like me!
Widget Inc. and Professionals in Pajamas
Mary-Frances Main • Denver, CO
First, I use Idea Cafe to keep up on what other entrepreneurs are doing. A lot of what's out there is all about bigger companies who have their financing and backers lined up and everything falls in place. At Idea Cafe, most of the folks here seem to be experienced, entrepreneurs who know what they want, but just need a little help getting there. (Including me).
Touched By A Rainbow
DeBorah Beatty • Walla Walla, WA
Idea Cafe has been the best resource for small business owners on the 'Net. I can't count how many times I've come here to help others out with their ideas, to get some new insight on business issues and just plain come here if I need a boost in my morale! I have used it to get ideas from the crowd on marketing, naming the business and resourcing the valuable information Idea Cafe has for anything under the sun.
Remember Me Art, Inc.
Rose R • Lake Bluff, IL
To be able to network with other like-minded creative professionals and learn from what they have done in North America, and be able to share my own domain knowledge and expertise as well. After all, knowledge is gained best by sharing, not by keeping to one self.
KnowledgeLabs News Center
Seamus Phan • Singapore
I first jumped on to Idea Cafe a couple of years ago. I've been getting the email newsletter but haven't been here in awhile. I am really surprised and happy you've grown so much. As middle management is getting booted out of corporate, and young people are smart enough not to want to get in... more individuals are creating their own reality and more power to them. Idea Cafe is their source for new ideas and new business.
Jerri Lyne Nachman • Encinitas, CA
I love how Idea Cafe has information on every aspect on a web business, and provides expert advice without having to pay $200-$300 for it. It's a great help, because when you are starting a new business you can be taken advantage of just because you don't know the difference. Here at Idea Cafe, no one is out to screw you. Here you can get the help from other business owners and experts with several different opinions. I love that and have recommended it to anyone who has emailed me with starting a shabby chic business.
Shabby Moma & Me
Robin Burns • Fayetteville, TN
I read others' success stories -- not just in the business category either -- but all categories. I look at others' websites to see how they may have handled a problem. I read and learn a lot from the other members, and it helps to know I'm not alone in this, and that there are answers to questions, that, lo and behold, I'm not the first to ask!
Diamond & Diamond, LLC
Sydney Morgan Diamond • Edmonds, WA
Idea Cafe has a lot of wonderful resources -- one of those is the GenX section, where entrepreneurs like myself can convene, exchange ideas and do networking. In the past year that I have been searching the net, I found 0 sites where people my age engage in "biz talks", and very few sites that inspire you to be your own boss. There's a big support group for mom-at-home businesses, but very few "Gen X at home business" type groups.
Odessa Trade Group,Inc.
Odessa Jardim • Radcliff, KY
I visit many sites in Idea Cafe regularly, and have picked up tips on fundraising, advertising, and HR. We are weakest in marketing and sales, so I have been haunting the resources and links in those areas. I like the low-key approach of the site: it doesn't make me feel as if I have to be an expert with a doctorate in order to log in.
Concentric Spheres, Inc.
Tammy Kohl • North Kingstown, RI
Idea Cafe is a wonderful resource for small business owners. I found the "Starting Your Biz" section to be very helpful with the legal aspects and "Thinking Like an Entrepreneur" is a great book for anyone ready to enter this exciting world of business. The "Trade Publications" section offers a wonderful variety of tools to help you further your trade. The "Customer Referral" letter is beneficial and crucial in follow-up with customers and the "Marketing Tools" section offers some of the best tools around. I've used numerous forms from the "Legal and Biz" section, including the Press Release, Customer Referral and Taxes and Accounting forms. And to keep sane, I depend on the "Yoga at Your Desk". It's saved my neck every time!
Kathy Browning • Indianapolis, IN
At Idea Cafe, I've gained a lot of information on how to focus on the marketing aspect of the biz, how to have fun with it by being "real" and not trying to present myself in a way that I'm not, and I've gained the confidence and motivation from reading about others being successful.
Sharon Stewart • Norfolk, VA
Business contact and ideas. I've been in business for thirty years and you can never talk to too many people or not listen to that next idea or you will not grow and your business will suffer. Sharing ideas is an excellent way to gain all kinds of insight into business and people. Idea Cafe lets you reflect on your own progess and make those necessary changes both personally and in business that can make you successful.
Mackenzie Fraser • Saskatoon, SK
Idea Cafe was instrumental in helping me get rolling and I read everything I could get my hands on. That was two years ago. The hit counter on the Idea Cafe website must have gone through the sky I read the site so often and so much. While I did have business background, it tended to be more large corporate. I suddenly felt lost with my little upstart business alone in a foreign country. Idea Cafe kept me focused and launched into the world of small business ownership. I still refer to the Idea Cafe often, and will continue to do so. I have just done some refresher reading on Marketing and how to use a Newsletter, something I will be writing very shortly at the request of my customers.
Mazatlan Home Finders
Marlene Santana • Mazatlan,Mexico
I'm just a mouse click away from many others that are taking the same journey that I am. It's comforting to know that I'm not the only one and I get my strength from this energy.
Kimberly Deprey • Chicago, IL
Sometimes when you own a small business, it's very easy to feel alone, or as if you have no support. With my husband in Kuwait, I sometimes want the emotional support of other business people who are going through similar things like me. It's so perfect to know that there are so many people who can give you not only support, but advice on different business matters. Just by reading all of the fantastic tidbits on idea cafe, definitely gives you a feel of empowerment. There is no site on the internet where you can get so much quality business advice for FREE! Usually you have to spend an arm & leg just to get a few tidbits worth reading. Plus, Idea Cafe is such a FUN PLACE TO DINE!
Stefanie Simmons • San Diego, CA
Well, at first I was laughing at the idea, of a FUN way to do business. I really did not think that these Idea Cafe pages would help me. I use to be account manger at a rent to own store... well, I learned a few new things, about dressing, what to look for, and even to relax befor a meeting!
William Vore • East Bernstadt, KY
I mostly use Idea Cafe as a way to stimulate my creative thinking. Whenever I have a mental block I find that returning here and just emersing myself in the great ideas, thoughts, news, insites and ideas of others helps spark my imagination. I also find a great source of motivation as I read about the ideas of others.
Self Management Systems
Rod Moore • Collingwood, Vic
I read about all the grants -- hopefully there will be one I can apply for soon. I read the articles about other business owners... and I just like the Idea Cafe! I have learned that there are many people out there, like me, that are willing to work hard, even in a basement, to make something better of their lives. Most of the time, the profiles are inspirational, because a lot of them are starting with even less than I thought I had to work with, so I have learned that I'm not doing so bad after all! I have also referred Idea Cafe to several of my friends who are still hestitating about digging in and starting their own businesses. I have highlighted profiles about others who have started business while still working full-time, etc. So, Idea Cafe has really been a help to me -- as I'm sure it has, and is, to many others!
McNally & Associates, Inc.
Rev. Paula T. Webb • Scottsdale, AZ
I was taught at an early age to hang with the best. To be around people/resources that will help shape into what you hope to be. That's what I get from Idea Cafe.
LaZeric Freeman • Calumet Park, IL
I use Idea Cafe as a brainstorming tool, sounding board, and connecting point.
Christian Business Guide
Philip Foster • Antioch, TN
Idea Cafe's marketing tips from others who have "Walked the walk" have been most helpful for me!
EZ Way Spray Vitamins
Arlene Gladu • Altadena, CA
Frankly, there aren't many other (if any) small business-focused sites with as much information and resource material as Idea Cafe. Yet, this site isn't so stuffy that my time doesn't seem wasted by reading boring and often useless material found on other sites.
cre8ive pixel : design
Oscar Rabeiro • Coconut Creek, FL
Idea Cafe has been a great source of information and encouragement! Just seeing all the other small business owners out there helps encourage me that I can do it too! In addition, Obadiah Press won one of the Idea Cafe grants?and that actually enabled me to print my very first published book. Idea Cafe is a great resource, a fantastic support/networking center, and it provides real concrete assistance to young businesses, as well.
Obadiah Press, Obadiah Magazine
Tina L. Miller • Merrill, WI
I use the Idea Cafe as a sounding board. There are many other experienced small business people in this community and I am amazed by the sites I have discovered simply by following a Profile or a thread in the Cyberschmooz forums. Idea Cafe is an opportunity for a large variety of one-on-one interactions.
Worldwide Brands Inc.
Robin Cowie • Apopka, FL
Being on the Internet most of the time, I use Idea Cafe as a getaway and a place to continue my education. Regardless of my 39 years of business experience, there is so much to learn and so much with which to refresh my mind. One thing about "older age" creeping in is that you sometimes forget so much that everything is new to you again! ;-)
I also hope to enjoy some humorous times here -- learn from the advice and ideas of others, and perhaps find a good source for advertising or acquiring new and instructive products.
I love the De-Stress and Have Fun section -- it reminds me to just chill out occasionally.
Terry Mitchell • Toronto, ON
I love information, so when I found this site, I was so impressed. Being a young business owner, I appreciate Idea Cafe's cool graphics and language. The site is easy to use and has hours of useful info. I really need to find financial information to get small business financing. This is a true bookmarkable site.
Little Things Childcare
Sheena Hinderliter • North Liberty, IA
There is so much at Idea Cafe. I come here FIRST when I have "issues". It is like having a library on my desktop! And I also get a sense of community from it despite not physically meeting everyone. We are all in the same boat so to speak.
Focus Marketing & Design
Jennifer Daly • Oviedo, FL
Because I thrive on constant input, I find Idea Cafe to be this ADHD's dream come true, thank you! No matter which way I turn, I have found an abundance of information and peers to which I can relate. I really enjoy the forums and the honesty that people bring to them. I am a member of a few other forums and have noticed that some people hesitate or refuse to participate for fear of competition or idea stealing etc. -- that's not the case at Idea Cafe.
The Soap Box
Christa Geraghty • Westland, MI
Idea Cafe is a place with lots of inspiration whenever I am feeling overwhelmed and burnt out. It is always interesting to read other people's stories for suggestions or even a laugh. It reminds me that there are lots of people who are struggling just the same as I am.
Rose Elliott • Palmdale, CA
I enjoy the resources of other people who seem to be much more "in the know" than I perceive myself to me. In my business, it's all about sharing stories to bring hope, comfort and courage to people facing life-altering challenges in their lives. The same philosophy applies for business as well -- as long as you are capable of leveraging the "making money is important too" factor in your decision-making process when sharing your stories, offering advice, support and encouragement. Idea Cafe is a welcome addition to my daily web visits and I look forward to seeking knowledge and growing, not just as an entrepreneur-wannabe, but as a person looking to change the world.
Mission Possible Music
Matthew Zachary • Brooklyn, NY
Idea cafe is one of the coolest, and most informative, sites for entrepreneurs. No matter what my question or concern, I can find resources on Idea Cafe to set me in the right direction. In addition, there are a lot of great networking opportunities.
The Fruition Coalition
Jessica Dreistadt • Philadelphia, PA
It is great to read and learn from other entrepreneurs' experiences, frustrations and successes! We are not alone!
David Salzman • Stratham, NH
I read something at Idea Cafe almost daily. It gets me in the "work mode" without being overbearing. It's our style too...FUN!
Graphic Consumer Services
Rick & Debra Bouthiette • Candia, NH
I started using Idea Cafe as a way to begin the process of being in business for myself. I read a lot of Biz Profiles where I thought, "I know more about my field than they did in theirs... and look, they're doing it." It was a great way to get the confidence to do what I'm doing. With a world of large corporations out there, it's imperatative that we all take responsiblilty to inspire the small business owner.
Melissa Mitchell • Newton, KS
The content on Idea Cafe is the most useful I have found. Kind of like a one-stop shopping for the small business owner.
Red Jacket Systems, LLC
Rex Lallman • Centreville, VA
I'm always open to new ideas, and the only way to get them is to talk to people. Not only can you find new ideas, but you can find others to listen to yours and tell you what they think.
White River Paradise
Debbie Rynders • Gassville, AR
Idea Cafe lives up to its name -- a comfortable place to learn about what works and what does not in the dynamic world of entrepreneurship. One of the best areas is the professional practice sections in Running Your Biz. No one can be an expert in every aspect of business operations. But you can learn enough to ask the right questions.
Wellhaven Helpful Gifts for Seniors
Patricia Curry • Paoli, PA
I use Idea Cafe as an excellent resource. The articles are very good. The people in the companies are real and you can tell that it's from the heart and from the pavement -- not from a textbook.
Mike Doherty • Toronto, ON
I like to see that I am not alone and that other people are having the same problems that we are having. Also I love seeing small busniess make it big! It gives me hope every time I see it happen. AND IT HAPPENS EVERY DAY. It can happen to you too. Idea Cafe just seems to fit me and people with like minds. It's a place where I feel like an equal.
The Cookie Shop
Keith Bentel • Antioch, IL
I have used everything on this website from the biz plan section and naming my business to finding ways to fund it. I love the help that is offered on this website and credible sources that are involved. Any new or future business owner will find help and honesty on Idea Cafe.
Jolene Davis • Silverdale, WA
I am currently trying to research grants and how others run their small businesses. I use Idea Cafe to come up with new things to add to the business and ways to get some money!
The Cerebral Playground
Barbara Winch • Saratoga Springs, NY
I enjoy reading Idea Cafe's small business profiles. They make me feel less like an island and more like a member of a growing tribe.
Andrew Woodward • Allentown, PA
Idea Cafe is a daily pep-talk for me; just knowing there are others out there willing to share and learn is more than enough. This is the hopes and dreams of everyone on this site. It's good to know I'm with good company.
Jennifer Stergion • Buffalo, NY
I'm a proponent for not re-inventing the wheel. Learn from others' mistakes and their ideas. That way, you can make your own, fresh mistakes and can come up with your own fresh ideas. Idea Cafe also enables my brainstorming juices to start flowing.
Admin On Call
Bobbi Parke • Concord, NC
Idea Cafe is a great resource for answering questions when you hit a rut, or need to research anything that has to do with running or starting your business.
Cash-Out ATM, LLC
David Horowitz • Fishkill, NY
Idea Cafe is a "dangerous" website since I can see that if I'm not careful, I could be spending hours here each day! There are so many avenues to advice on a wide range of subjects, but probably my favorite right now is CyberSchmooz. I have one client, a successful business owner, who always says, "Successful business owners and business leaders know about 80-90 percent of everything that they need to know to be successful. The trick is identifying what you need to know and how to get that information." CyberSchmooz seems a great answer. By skimming through already posted questions and answers in a general category, you may find the information you need or at least the best way to focus on exactly what your question may be. Peer-to-peer advice is very powerful and I see this service as extremely valuable and one that I will be happy to participate in regularly.
Kelly Griffin & Associates, LLC
Kelly Griffin • Langhorne, PA
Idea Cafe is the most helpful site I have come across on the web, period. After reading the profiles and going thru much of the site and seeing how they help people, I am amazed. During these times -- when all you hear is bad news on the Web -- this is a site that is doing good for people. Keep up the great work!
John Calderon • springhill, FL
I use Idea Cafe to give me ideas for expanding my market share.
T & P Associates
Terry Rice • Trenton, TN
Idea Cafe's business plans really helped me with my banker. They were a big help in preparing my own plan, which helped my business get started.
Church's Rod & Truck Design
William Church • Granite Falls, NC
Idea Cafe is an incredible resource of information for a business writer, for example, leading me to potential sources, giving me story ideas, and providing a solid background on assignments where I need a quick guide in unfamiliar territory.
Rebecca Zicarelli • Bethel, ME
I am trying to look for small business loans or venture capital and I always see Idea Cafe listed. It always gives some hope that there is help for small businesses to grow and prosper especially now.
Lucia's Heavenly Biscotti, Co.
Jennifer Keesler • St. Petersburg, FL
Idea Cafe's ezine is diverse, never the same, and a regular monthly read.
EC Group International
JP Anderson • Grand Rapids, MI
I like reading Idea Cafe's profiles of other entrepreneurs and learning from their advice and input. I also like the virtual brainstorming sessions in CyberSchmooz. Where else can you post a question and get multiple responses from like minded and experienced entrepreneurs to help move your business to the next level?
Spread The News Public Relations, Inc.
Todd Brabender • Lawrence, KS
Idea Cafe is fun to surf -- it's informative, interesting, and it gives me a reprieve from crunchin' numbers.
Krista's Bookkeeping and Tax Service
Krista Finn • Fort Worth, TX
I use the services at Idea Cafe to network with others who are in the same position as me and to troll for ideas on how to deal with the issues I am facing.
Also, on the occasions where I ask myself, Is this worth it? I come here to reassure myself that it is, and I am not the only small business owner facing these issues.
Open Technologies Unlimited
Mike Rodriques • Shrub Oak, NY
I believe Idea Cafe is a great networking tool to learn what is going on with other people. As a business owner, it is important to keep your finger(s) on the pulse of a lot of different areas. My philosophy isn't what you know but where you need to go to find out what you need to know. Prospecting with other business owners is a plus. There may be someone who has a product or service that fits our business model and we may have a business opportunity to offer to others looking to add something to their model as well.
RRP Business Services
R. Fisher • N. St. Paul, MN
I come to Idea Cafe to look for new and unusual business ideas. I try them all out before I recommend them to other people. Part of what I do in my business is help other people become self-sufficient by helping them learn to support themselves financially. So I am always looking for new ideas to recommend.
The Center for Unhindered Living
Judie Rall • Lawton, OK
I often use the Idea Cafe to generate new ideas for my business. I glean so much great information from others' bios and web sites. Every time I visit, I come away with a new idea I can try. It's a great resource.
Lutze Consulting, Inc.
Heather Lutze • Parker, CO
Idea Cafe keeps me inspired. On those days I am struggling, I can read the profiles of other entrepreneurs and remember why I started my business. I also enjoy reading about the grants and contests. I learned about the "Oh Get The Money" from Idea Cafe.
Craig & Associates Marketing
Robyn Kissee-Allen • Lewisville, TX
At the very least, Idea Cafe helps us keep our sense of humor.
Glenda Boyajan • Moreno Valley, CA
I find a variety of ideas at Idea Cafe that keep me thinking and on my toes. It is easy to burn out when trying to get an organization going by yourself. Idea Cafe gives me a fresh outlook when I get bogged down.
Hope Renewed, Inc.
Carolyn Carty • Newport News, VA
Idea Cafe is a haven for small business owners like myself who work from home. When you have little or no contact with the outside world for days and months at a time, you can start to feel isolated and alone. Networking and sharing ideas and goals with like-minded people is a priceless commodity.
The Candlelit Forest
Francine and Anthony Lynn • Val des Monts, QC
I love seeing the ideas that people post, and the feedback that they get. Just when you think that you know the answers to a question, someone will come up with something so different and you think, "Wow, I NEVER would have thought of that."
I've visited Idea Cafe for over 6 years, and it's still one of my favorites for business.
Think Without Boundaries Consulting
Wendy McClelland • Abbotsford, BC
I have used Idea Cafe to sift through the tax information and laws out there. They have the best forms available for small business owners. I can read an article a day and still not be able to finish all the information on this site in a year. I read; I investigate. It's definately a honor to be a part of this "family". I love reading everyone's stories on how they started, what they are doing now, what struggles, what successes they have been through. It truly is inspirational to read these stories of real-life folk just like me starting from scratch and building a business of their own.
Sara Duggan • Citrus Heights, CA
Idea Cafe is my main business and morale butt-kicker site! I use this site for everything I do. The advice is priceless. What I also like is when someone doesn't seem to have an answer, they're not afraid to direct you to another place to find it. Sharing is always good!
Jacke Enterprises, LLC
Sandy Preston • Helena, MT
My coffee break wouldn't be complete without the motivation, concrete ideas and fun found on Idea Cafe. When the day has gone down the road of "I wish I never traveled here," Idea Cafe provides the detour that actually puts me back on the right path.
Gail Gerrie • East Jordan, MI
At Idea Cafe, I read a lot about how other business people manage their business and how they market. And it helps a lot to know that even though I feel like I'm the only person in the world dealing with whichever difficulty I'm going through, I'm not alone. And that feeling alone, is worth all the success in the world.
Brooks Pepperfire Foods Inc., aka Peppermaster
Tina Brooks • Rigaud, QC
I like how Idea Cafe is broken up into specific components. Sales, marketing, finance, etc... It makes finding the information I need quite easy. As mentioned above, it is important to ask questions. Idea Cafe's site provides a great deal of insight into all aspects of running a small business. It is nice to know that I am not alone. It helps me get through the rough patches.
Trevor Parker • Toronto, ON
I use Idea Cafe to bounce new as well as old ideas off of unbiased and open minded individuals who are interested in the same thing as myself which is success!! - They give me honest opinions because they don't know me and have nothing to gain or to lose from it. - They give valuable feedback as a possible target market. So they take care of my polling and surveying needs. - The more obvious reason is that a few thousand heads are way better then just one and their are a variety of people that I can interact with via the idea cafe and that gives me more incentive to participate because I know that someone will be able to provide me with an answer and if they cannot then they will certainly point me to someone who can. - For my future business venture I will use Idea Cafe as a form of resource to answer questions that I am unable to provide to my clients.
Scharlene Redway Enterprises
Scharlene Redway • Zion, IL
Just the look of the site peps me up after a 14-16 hour day. Also, the bios from other business owners relieves me and motivates me. I have used the Business Form section quite a bit.
W.E. Plan-et LLC
Meredith Bieri • Appleton, WI
Idea Cafe helped me choose a business name. When I went to my local state office with a name for my business, they insisted I put my name in the title of the business. I wanted something more catchy that would describe what I do. So I went to CyberSchmooz-Biz Names and asked for suggestions. I got several great ones. I ended up using a combination of two of the names that were suggested because some were already taken. But I couldn't come up with one myself. I have used Idea Cafe for many other things too like grant info, marketing questions, etc. I love it and find it a great business tool!
Jan Gamelin • Bedford, NH
I look for investors who are willing to take a chance since they remember what it was like to start off at the ground floor. I realized that Internet places such as Idea Cafe provide a sense of sanity in the sense that I realize there are people out there who are giving you the chance to prove your worth. It is up to you to take the chance.
James Vallesillo • Ogden, UT
Idea Cafe provides information, leads, and friends. I love virtual friendships.
Kayle Jensen • Plover, WI
The Idea Cafe Cafe is full of new and experienced business women that let you know that you are not alone in this! There are other women out their that are self-employed and doing great! I always learn something new for my business even if it's not food related. A helpful marketing tip or another women's dilema that I can relate to. Maybe even a challenge or two, but the point is, we all get through it.
Top Kat Katering
Katricia Kelly • Las Vegas, NV
I found Idea Cafe early on and I've been in love ever since. The contacts I've made here have been absolutely invaluable. I can't imagine how I would have met some of the wonderful business men and women that I am fortunate enough to now know had I not visited Idea Cafe. I make the rounds on a regular basis and read what's going on in CyberSchmooz as well. I consider my visits there market research of sorts because it alerts me to new businesses, new ideas and new concepts. Everyone that owns a small business or hopes to someday own a business should have Idea Cafe in their list of favorites.
Sher Holloway • Chanute, KS
The questions and answers on CyberSchmooz are fun and educational for me. I get ideas! And, I've posted some replies that users seem to appreciate, and that I hope help them. The factual information is priceless. Idea Cafe is like a "virtual MBA" and personal cheering squad all in one. I often recommend it.
Smart Marketing Works
Deborah Crawford • Memphis, TN
Idea Cafe is a great community of people willing to share their experiences. Rarely is a challenge or obstacle unique. This is a great place to find people who have already figured out the answers to the questions that you might be facing.
The support of others, even cyber-strangers, is very uplifting! This is a fantastic place to come to when you need that encouragement or nudge in the right direction.
Dave Orsborn • Westerville, OH
I'm always surfing the web for resources. Idea Cafe has great forums for info on finances, e-commerce and just plain venting. I've found that this idea of small businesses working together is the best way we can help ourselves. It's always nice to know that we aren't in this boat alone.
Secret Garden Fine Flowers
Parie Villyard • Amarillo, TX
Idea Cafe is a great resource for startup and existing businesses. The information and ideas gives you a roadmap to succeed as a small business owner. This online community provides the support small business owners need to thrive in an ever-changing and competitive marketplace.
Idea Cafe should be bookmarked by every small business owner and independent professional. I use Idea Cafe to keep me abreast of ideas, tips, and strategies that will help my small business grow.
The Moment Group
Robert Moment • Arlington, VA
I absolutely love Idea Cafe! I have learned so much and found a million questions to ask the tax office, city hall, and the SBA. Still learning, so keep the info coming.
Margaret Drinnon • Rock Hill, SC
I have spent numerous hours searching for business information on the Web. How much time I could have saved with a one-stop-shop such as the Idea Cafe! Information abounds here on how to plan your new business, tips on recordkeeping and taxes, ideas for marketing and managing your business, and the forms, oh, the forms! What a great place to start your new life in business, and save your wits while you're about it!
Star Tutoring Service
Jana Pan • Twin Cities, MN
I found Idea Cafe long before the opening of my shop. I read every profile dealing with retail business that I could find. The constant theme to have enough money to keep afloat made me a wise new business owner. Also, reading about other entrepreneurs' dreams, goals, and frustrations keeps me energized! Continuing to keep our profile alive has given us so much exposure from Idea Cafe. We've had so many contacts about our business that has generated new friendships and sales. The first year, Idea Cafe was great for gettting started. The second year, it has literally helped our business grow.
Tammy Hitzemann • Spring Hill, FL
I'm encouraged by all the other business stories and Idea Cafe makes the business side of my life less difficult to handle.
Creative Designs and Decor
Tasha Belin • Denton, MD
I use Idea Cafe for ideas for webinars and e-classes to host via our site. I do alot of reading more than posting via the Idea Cafe. It is interesting to see what specific areas of business that people are requiring assistance in.
I also get new ideas for specific instructional business workshops based on questions that other Idea Cafe members pose to the board-- ie, if a member was to inquire about starting a non-profit business then I would locate a non-profit business owner and ask them to present an e-workshop via our site on Non-Profit Business Basics and how to get started. I can also find alot of beneficial business contacts via the Idea Cafe to tap into should I require assistance in a certain area.
Redway & Associates
Scharlene Redway • Zion, IL
Idea Cafe is my comfort zone for updated information on grants, industry info and everyday business tips.
Sonja Underwood • Naperville, IL
I come to Idea Cafe to read experiences/viewpoints from people who have been thru what I'm going thru. I'm always inspired by others' stories about how they started their businesses. I always come away thinking, "If they can do it, so can I" I don't feel so alone.
NZinga Afrocentric Greeting Cards
Devonah Blackwell • San Diego, CA
Idea Cafe is a tremendous resource, as it offers suggestions, and well for lack of better words, ideas. It is a one-stop shop where I can find information on all of my small business concerns. Unlike other websites, Idea Cafe is comprehensive and offers a wide buffet of information.
Southern Pet Sitters
Christy Hulsey • Statesboro, GA
Idea Cafe was brought to my attention while reading Black Enterprise Magazine. I know a look of top talent is among us. I look for partners (and also private equity partners) to look at our product and invest in the new technology.
LTB Audio, Inc.
Paulson Ambookan • Teterboro, NJ
Seeing what others deal with, as well as myself, helps put things into perspective. Thanks to Idea Cafe, I know now that I am not the only one who wants to pull her hair out somedays or just close up shop. It can be very stressful and knowing that I am not alone helps -- A LOT!
Stephanie Heath • Las Cruces, NM
Idea Cafe always has fresh content that I enjoy reading to keep me motivated and helps to keep me focused on what it is I need to do to keep it all together. It is very inspiring reading the business profiles and learning the different ways that other entrepreneurs got started. Idea Cafe also has a lot of resourceful material and can provide a great foundation for any entrepreneur interested in starting a business of their own.
Ktasha Hardge • Mount Vernon, NY
Idea Cafe's Yoga@Your Desk is divine! I practiced today and I feel so much better. I am sitting taller, my neck doesn't hurt and I am smiling! I am always shocked to find all the wonderful tools, articles, advice and wisdom that is all scootched up in here somehow. Who would feel comforable with firing someone? But, knowing I can come here and find words of wisdom when that time comes is a great comfort to me. I have also met some wonderful friends here that are on my network! They constantly tell me about ideas they have come up with and articles they have read on this website. And they always ask if I have read it... of course I have to sneak in and read it, then email them back! I have loved watching this site mature as well. I remember way back when and everything was kind of all over the place and now everything is orderly, easy to navigate and fun to read! Thank you so much for having this place of refuge for us Business Owners!!!
Anna Campbell • Humble, TX
Idea Cafe helps me to relax, come up with more Ideas; it's basically my comfort zone. I really enjoy the people here.
Allbyme Greeting Cakes
Gail Clark • Baton Rouge, LA
Well, I like being on Idea Cafe in the morning when I have my first cup of coffee, because since I work from home and I do not have a coffee shop in my home, I feel like I am at a Starbucks when I am at Business Owners Idea Cafe. I like the atmosphere, I feel more artistic when I am here because of its pleasing web design. I think it is one of the most beautiful websites on the Internet. I feel like I'm part of a business community even though I happen to be working on my home office computer. The business resources that are offered at the site are superb. I just had a friend ask me if I knew where you could find information on getting business grants and that reminds me I need to tell him he can come to Business Owners Idea Cafe. I also appreciate the other business resources such as forms, employee information and links to useful business resource sites.
Home Business Co.
Aaron Jay • Kapaa, HI
Knowing there are other working moms out there - either inside the home or outside the home - and having a place to come and brainstorm, share ideas, vent. It's definitely needed. Women are so much the communicator and we need to be social to succeed. Doing this alone, wouldn't be the same. The networking is wonderful!
Running Water Literary Agency
Terry Dubbs • Topeka, KS
Idea Cafe helps me find that needle in a haystack: the partnership or advice that is going to get me to the next level.
The BaSIX and Beyond
Sharon Prendergast • Springfield Gardens, NY
It's always enjoyable catching up on other biz owners' war stories. The advice, suggestions and experiences related through Idea Cafe makes me feel that we are not alone.
Dennis McMahon • West End, Queensland
I came across Idea Cafe when I was looking for help regarding finding investors. The articles helped me spot the right kind of investor and helped me to understand how they think. I have also found many of the articles on marketing to be of great help.
Bold New Media
James Burkhalter • Casa Grande, AZ
Idea Cafe gives me a venue to watch and observe what others are doing. I have always tried to watch those that are successful and try to learn from them or copy what they are doing. To be successful you should always be around those that are successful. To be a winner you should surround yourself with winners.
Videos & More
Leon Salmans • Park City, KS
It's kind of funny, but when I found Idea Cafe several years ago, my daughter always laughed at me whenever I would log on, because I'd get "lost" for hours. There is so much wonderful information to be found here, I would just lose track of time! It ended up that I'd have to warn her ahead of time before I'd log on. Otherwise, if she needed to do homework or wanted to check her email, she'd have to wait a long time. One of my favorite things to look at are Idea Cafe's Business Profiles. They keep me sane in the knowledge that others have gone through what we've gone through while starting our business. I've gotten inspiration, advice and so much knowledge from reading the profiles and other information found on Idea Cafe. Anyone who ever mentions to me that they'd like to open a business of their own, or those of my friends who already own one, I always send them to Idea Cafe. But, I do warn them that, they too, will "get lost" for hours on this wonderful site!
Janet Dukes • Sioux Falls, SD
I check in and read up on the small business owners who have been profiled on Idea Cafe. I enjoy the grant section of the site and feel that this is a great place to grow and expand your business. I have referred this site to several individuals who are thinking of and/or started a business. I find it upbuilding that there is actually a site, (although there are many others that claim to, but don't deliver), where people can come and feel connected. I am a member of many associatons and forums but this site (Idea Cafe) has been the most beneficial. I even researched your site several years ago when I was going to begin a non-profit organization for stay at home moms. That was my first contact with Idea Cafe, researching grants, etc.
BOSS Janitorial & Cleaning Services
Angela Wilson • Vacaville, CA
Well, honestly saying Idea Cafe gave me an Idea for my business, so whatever advice I need I am not asking around anymore. Instead I just go to my computer and type what I need to know in Idea Cafe and the answer is there very soon.
Milenko Zubanovic • Slavonski, Brod
At Idea Cafe I'm meeting interesting entreprenuers who've sparked even better ideas.
Square Mark Industrial Enterprise
Philip Kwan • Singapore, IN
My favourite Idea Cafe section is the De-Stress section. Yoga at your desk is really a great idea and I had never heard about that before. The site is bright and alive and looking for fun on line is a great reminder that work doesn't have to be serious and reserved all the time. There has to be room for fun and humour otherwise... as I said before, what's the point? I would have liked to have seen the business planning section when I opened my own business. There are some useful tips and suggested books that I will be looking at.
Dinah Cohen • Calgary, AB, Canada
I love Idea Cafe because it has served as amazing business resource, not only for me, but for my clients. As a matter of fact, I have a link to Idea Cafe in my client area so clients can easily access the great information and make connections with other business owners similar to themselves.
What's Within U
Pam Thomas • Cave Creek, AZ
At Idea Cafe, it's great just to know there are others out there. Tips, tricks, learn from the veterans. No matter how much I've learned, I've never learned enough (wish that thought had occurred to me when I was 20 instead of now at 48).
Daily Planet Virtual Services
Jef Keep • Colborne, ON
It is the everday entrepreneur that drives our economy... If you do not know what is going on in the entrepreneur' marketplace, you are missing the boat. Idea Cafe is a down to earth community that is always buzzing with entrepreneurial spirit... which is a great way to keep abreast of what is going on in the minds, hearts and small/home offices around the globe.
Confidential Business Brokers, LLC
Vicky Bird • Evansville, IN
I use Idea Cafe resources for funding. I'm a serious reader (and aspiring writer but school librarian is my day job) and automatically drawn into words that get right to the point. The writers on this site give very good information without making you feel like a simpleton and there is enough consistency for a serious businessperson to want to take in more, even if you already know about a particular area!
Jeannine Swindell • Hawthorne, CA
Networking with others at Idea Cafe is a great way to learn more about your business and others. I enjoy talking to other business owners who can give insight and constructive critcism and accept the same.
WAH Biz Directory
Frances Pelletier • Madison, AL
It's relaxing to listen to other small business owners discuss issues at Idea Cafe. It's good for inspiration and ideas for everything from grant possibilities to web-page design. I actually drink my coffee while browsing it!
Twice Told Used Books Bought and Sold, LLC
Ursula Abrams • Saratoga Springs, NY
I count on Idea Cafe to help me meet other e-commerce owners to bounce ideas off of and to give me peace of mind when I get discouraged about not having the high sales that I am wanting right away. I also love to use this tool to learn about effective low cost marketing ideas.
The Barefoot Mommy
Tiffany Rosinski • Columbus, OH
Idea Cafe is fun. I love reading all the posts from others and helping others and learning from others. Idea Cafe was one of the first places I started using years ago when I started my first business. I learned a lot here. And I decided to come back again in my "spare time" LOL to try to help others. :)
Diane's Creative Bookmarks
Diane Waltman • Reading, PA
I am always looking for like-minded individuals to collaborate with in business. I am always looking for interesting subjects to write stories and articles about. I am always looking for investors and clients who require my services. I count on Idea Care to assist me in all these areas.
G Styl Productions Incorporated
ReGina Crawford-Martin • Cleveland, OH
Sanity in small business?... funny. That is a good question. Idea Cafe is a blessing to all of the home-based, mom and pop store-fronts, new beginners, huge-future, dream-catchers of the World. You will help me get my business and my dream out to all of the hurting, lonely, and even the already-encouraged people. I am thankful for your site. I use your resources to better my business and myself. How to repay your company is a question I ask myself? Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have, I freely give. I pray this for you and the work you offer others at no charge. May your site, your company and your employees be successful and prosperous in ALL you put your hands to do. May you bring success to others selflessly with all passion. Thank you.
Look Up Creations
Tuesday Gaylord • La Habra, CA
I'm really hoping to become your expert on Virtual Assistance, for those who are Virtual Assistants as well as for those who can benefit from their services.
Virtual Assistance Chamber of Commerce
Danielle Keister • Tacoma, WA
You never know how or when you will meet your next venture or partner. I see a lot of interesting people using this site.
HML INTERNATIONAL INC
Hanna Virtanen • LOS ANGELES, CA
At Idea Cafe I like reading others' stories about how they got started and I enjoy helping others who are new to get started. When you work from home and you're the only employee, it's nice to have places to go to take a break from a hectic day and interact, vent, get new ideas, share ideas and possibly even make some client contacts.
A Virtual Office
Karen Musselman • Mohrsville, PA
Over the years I've used Idea Cafe to network, apply for grants, help clarify my thinking around my professional life, get inspired by other people's stories.
Working Artists LLC
Adrienne Fritze • Portland, OR
I use Idea Cafe to help me with the nuts and bolts of learning how to run my business professionally. I need to learn how to do the paper work with filing taxes with the State of Florida and with the IRS. I've done my personal taxes using Turbo Tax for a number of years, so I know that I'm teachable and that I'm capable of learning.
D L Meserve Enterprises, LLC
Dayna Meserve • Naples, FL
I'm always looking for new ways to adapt ideas to meet my business needs. I look for ways to ignore the box..not think out of it.
Asperger Strategy Center
Dr. Herm Fishbein • Boca Raton, FL
The biggest asset any business owner can have is a network of contacts. Be they online, or in person, finding people to give you ideas, fresh perspectives, etc. is invaluable to your business. I "meet" new contacts here at Idea Cafe.
GaryDiehl / Shop4-Kids.com / Yellowtoybox.com
Gary Diehl • Broadview Heights, OH
Idea Cafe has been great for me. When I need to come up with an idea or new markeing strategy this is one of the places I visit. There are so many who have shared their stories that have been inspirational for me. Idea Cafe is like having my own personal support group right in my office because the site is filled with such good and helpful information to succeed in business.
Karen's Creative Cuisines PCS
Karen Ross • Boston, MA
Idea Cafe has taught me everything that I know about having a business. They have helped me bring all of my ideas together into an actual reality that I know I will accomplish one day. They offer me the encouragement and tools I need to succeed and I have to give thanks to them for that. Without Idea Cafe I would still be laying awake in bed at night wondering what exactly I should do next to make this work.
Thousand Words Photography
Ashley Pride • Springfield, MO
I originally joined Idea Cafe because of the grant resources. I?m so thrilled now to be one of the grant recipients! I also receive so much good information and moral support by reading the profiles of other business owners. We independents have to work together to make this work! I've recently accessed the marketing info quite a bit and have found some very good ideas and resources there. This site has so many layers of information I continue to seek and learn! Editor's Note: You can read about Janie winning Idea Cafe's Ray Ward Creative Spirit Grant, just click to the Small Biz Grant Center from the navigation bar.
Janie Lynn Textiles
Janie York • Ithaca, NE
Insight and inspiration. It's nice to see others out there doing "their hearts desire" and enjoying it.
Just Imagine Images
Brian Quinty • Rifle, CO
Idea Cafe is a great resource to find answers on all of the things which keep business owners awake at night! Idea Cafe's CyberSchmooz is a good forum to exchange ideas and offer assistance to others. The information here on essential stuff like taxes is invaluable and helps demystify this for non-accountant types (me!)
MW Strategic Marketing
Matthew Whitworth • Sugar Land, TX
I get lots of tips on many different areas of business here at Idea Cafe. I really enjoy reading others stories about their businesses. I think they have inspired me and given me the confidence to push myself in my business. I have also used the site to find answers to many questions I have had about starting a business, like where to begin... how to actually get a business up and running. Idea Cafe has been a tremendous help and I honestly don't know if I would be as successful if I had to go it alone.
Laurie Cady Architectural Design
Laurie Cady • Norwood, MA
Idea Cafe is making me think about all the stuff I've done, what I am doing, and what I need to do in more depth. It helps recalling where you started, where you are now, and where you want to be.
Mike Haffeman • Kodiak, AK
At Idea Cafe, I "meet" new and interesting business owners. It helps to look at at my business through someone else's eyes.
Varsity Town Inc
Vickie Dyke • Vermilion, OH
I use Idea Cafe to network. Also to gain valuable insight on how others are managing their time and family.
Essential Life and Health Benefits
Brantoinette Hennigan • Austin, TX
I have learned from so much on Idea Cafe! But I think by far the most helpful was financial information and just a good laugh when I really need one! I can always find something useful or at least interesting on this website.
Dog Pack Treat Company
Kristina Olson • Council Bluffs, IA
Checking in at Idea Cafe and learning from others is very important. It doesn't matter if someone is in another type of business. You can always learn something from them and apply it to yours.
Carolyn Osborne • Fircrest, WA