Recently I was thinking about the nature of our combined economic power. Group buys are a great (but simplistic) example. Before long, I was considering the scope of our NES Membership’s various skills, trades, and professions, thinking, what if we could spend more of our money “within our circle;” with people working to achieve pro-2A outcomes and new converts to world of firearms? Many NES members are business owners. Other member’s, though traditionally employed, might have an interest in creating customers or selling a service. I though, what if we created a thread for members to list their business in a defined format for neatness/readability sake? That way, when your septic system implodes, or you need a new deck, transmission, or even a rifle, you can “shop NES.” Service businesses could work well; how about an accountant to help you minimize you taxes, or a marketing, management or engineering consultant to help you get that business of the ground or to the next level. If you need nothing, well, good for you-now go spend that money on guns. Here’s another twist to fatten the pot. Some vendors may consider a portion of the payment “in trade” which they would indicate in their listing. For example, a carpenter who will build you a gorgeous back deck for a combination of cash and a Pre-Ban Colt AR (etc). Finally, to really maximize the value, we’ll agree that the only charge for listing one’s business/service, above and beyond being a paid NES member, is that you agree to donate, say, 6% of the portion of your annual sales made through NES, to one of a number of yet-to-be determined, pre-approved firearms rights orgs. (NRA, GOA, GOAL, JPFO, etc) With this tool in place, it will be easier to spend the money we already have to spend, with business and proprietors who actively support our rights as gun owners. As clients, we will get preferred pricing, potentially flexible terms, and great service, as vendors work to maintain their reputation in a community that talks 24/7. As business owners, we will get a chance to grow our clientèle and promote our business 24/7, maybe even make a trade for a new piece of gear that never has to pass the stringent, “household spending review” before acquisition, because, hey, you didn’t really buy it did you? It was more a trade...yeah, that's it. A trade. In the end, everyone gets to feel good for creating a new income stream to help preserve our right to keep and bear arms. Now, you may be thinking, "Golly, Mr. Duke, there’s a lot of holes in that great idea of yours.” Well, yes, there probably are. But, I doubt they’re insurmountable and nows the time to work the kinks out. In fact, I'll smooth a few right now. Then you can all weigh in with your thoughts and changes, which I’ll attempt to record, distill and then codify, before starting a new post for the “Business listings.” Here we go: “But how do we know the money gets donated?” Because, at the end of every year, participating business owners will total their receipts from NES member clients and calculate their donation which will be shared with the NES community. For example, if a Vendor sold $4400 worth of floor sanding services to NES clients in the calendar year, that individual would donate $264 to Goal (for example) and would post the receipt provided by the org. Yes, we would have to trust that someone, somewhere is underpaying their dues, but frankly, we have bigger problems in life and the net effect will still be more money for the Organizations that support our rights. Besides, at a minimum, people will donate something because you couldn’t very well say, “I did no business from the board this year” to a community that includes your customers. Plus, let’s agree to be better people than that. Questions Cont. “But, if I pay my bill part in guns, part in cash, how will you donate a piece of a gun?” Thanks for asking that particularly asinine question Mr. Duke, so that I can, in fact, answer it. The full value of the contract is the amount upon which donations are based, providing the cash match for any portion received in firearms or related items, is the vendor’s responsibility since presumably, the vendor retains the items in question. Example. Vendor charges NES member $2500 for accounting services which is to be paid with a check for $1100 and a nice looking M14. Vendor then donates $150 to Goal (6% of $2500) saving the receipt for the end of the year contest. “But how do we know this member is any good? (really knows how to sand floors etc?)” Well, it’s just like doing business with anyone else you pick from a listing service. You’ll still check references and conduct all due diligence, just as you would before purchasing any service, You may even read good things or bad things about the vendor online which will help you evaluate the quality of the service. This is simply an efficient method to connect two parties. Caveat emptor, as in every aspect of life. “Cool, so this will cover my NRA membership too…” No, all vendors/service providers must maintain their current level of support and, through this additional business, increase their total annual support thus completing the last step of the value chain. “So when is the end of the year?” Good question, I propose it be a fiscal year starting June 1 2008. Partly because that’s pretty standard, partly because it’s just in time to begin. “Hey, buddy, my family has to eat; I can’t afford to donate 6% of all my revenue.” Don’t worry; we’re not talking 6% of your total annual revenues (unless 100% of your business comes from NES-in which case, pony up you cheap bastard). We’re talking about 6% of the revenue that comes from jobs you do for NES clients only. You may choose to take as much or as little business (and thus incur the 6% Donation) as you choose. In fact, you may prefer to set aside a certain amount of business your willing to do through NES if you see the donation stipulation being too onerous. It may become necessary to limit the top end of the donation on large ticket items. Theoretically someone could buy a house from an NES developer this creating quite a 6% donation liability- discussion point “Have you asked Derek yet? It is his board you know?” Yes, I did. He told me, in essence, “knock yourself out.” Feel free to continue with the questions/answers. We’ll discuss them in this thread and after a while, I’ll take the summation and codify them, then I’ll post them at the beginning of a fresh thread along with directions for and examples of, the listing format, and we’ll give it a shot and see if it sinks or swims. Here's one to get you going... what should we title the thread?