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What's a Good Marketing Company for a Small Business?

My dad runs a small business in the Bay Area, California, repairing laser printers and copiers and selling toner cartridge. The repairs take place on-site, and usually are for other small businesses; home printers are generally too cheap to be worth repairing, and you can't get parts. The company consists of him, a printer repair technician, the occasional contract technician, and an answering service for backup. My dad is not technologically saavy, but he can use email (Outlook, arrgh), ACT (sort of), and our user-friendly scanner. He recently got interested in DemandForce as a possible marketing company to attract new business, but the reviews I have read have made me deeply skeptical. So, does anyone know of a great marketing company for a small business providing services and supplies? What should my dad look for and look out for? Advice is welcome, but specific recommendations of marketing companies (especially that you still use) are what I'm most looking for.
posted by Alex Haist on Mar 18, 2014 - 10 answers

Why am I the only one who answers his phone?

Running a small business and I need to strike the right balance between being available and growing my business. [more inside]
posted by jacobean on Feb 28, 2014 - 7 answers

The Cheesecake Factory at Home.

I have a great cheesecake recipe. I want to bake it for a small profit or no profit, mostly for fun and to see what it's like to run a business. It does not have to be an official LLC or anything, but can be. What do I need to know to run this business? [more inside]
posted by ethidda on Dec 19, 2013 - 13 answers

Does my very small business need a lawyer?

This question made me wonder if I need to do any legal stuff for my small business. [more inside]
posted by BlahLaLa on Dec 6, 2013 - 13 answers

How to register a company name and if under LLC or Corporation?

Hello, I am currently developing a small food business. I am interested in selling my food on weekends at outdoor markets across the city. I think this is a good way for me to get my feet off the ground and see how people respond to my product. What I can't quite figure out is if it is too soon to start thinking about registering the company name and logo? If so, would I register my small business as a LLC business or corporation? I am a bit confused. Would someone be able to help? Thank you!
posted by delasoull on Dec 6, 2013 - 6 answers

What to consider and how much to charge for freelance jingles?

How much should I charge companies to write and record 30-60 second instrumental jingles to help sell their products on websites? [more inside]
posted by priested on Nov 20, 2013 - 4 answers

Hitting the basics.

Suppose you live in an area where everyone has a cell phone and almost nobody uses the internet. What kinds of tech would help lots of small and medium businesses in your area? [more inside]
posted by kaibutsu on Apr 23, 2013 - 6 answers

What is a good credit card for a band (or a small LLC) ?

We're looking to obtain the best credit card possible for a 5 person band with minimal expenses and income. We're an LLC incorporated in NYC. Band expenses typically include food, gas, merch supplies (shirts, blank CDs etc) and the occasional cash withdrawals, but the big anticipated purchase is a van (used -- no more than $5k). Suggestions for checking accounts also welcome...
posted by qzar on Apr 18, 2013 - 2 answers

Need a cloud based invoicing / accounting program that is not Quickbooks

Before I begin, I know the most popular and reasonable answer will be to learn and use Quickbooks. There is some sort of 'block' in my brain that will not allow me to learn quickbooks and I am content in using a different software to do the simple things I am needing to do... [more inside]
posted by TwilightKid on Apr 17, 2013 - 8 answers

Small business: Merchant accounts?

I am taking over a small business by cutting out the middle man. I need set up the merchant account and there are so many options that have nothing in common I need guidance in what to look for or suggestions of good ones. [more inside]
posted by femmme on Apr 8, 2013 - 9 answers

Should I list my personal contact info for business?

I don't want overwhelming SPAM I am a private person but I know how much my clients like me and how much I like my job. But being a full-time student I don't have much time, so should I list my personal contact info for business? Would you put your email and number on social media to advertise. I have never put personal info on the web, I am very busy and don’t want any further spam. Do you think this is worth the risk?
posted by BKsFinest on Mar 13, 2013 - 5 answers

Figuring out a partnership of sorts

What kind of contract would I write for this? [more inside]
posted by lilacp on Nov 25, 2012 - 5 answers

Does it really take that long to cough up $500?

Freelance/small business filter: How to handle clients that you are ambivalent about working with? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 6, 2012 - 5 answers

Where's my money, auction house?

What additional steps should I take to get money an auction house owes me? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 4, 2012 - 6 answers

Web host with best security against malware?

What is the most secure webhost for a small business? [more inside]
posted by KimikoPi on Sep 21, 2012 - 6 answers

Independent Contractor issues

What are the benefits of being an independent contractor? [more inside]
posted by a3matrix on Jun 8, 2012 - 11 answers

Recruiting coffeehouse to neighborhood

How do I recruit a coffeeshop or small restaurant for my gentrifying neighborhood? [more inside]
posted by mmiddle on Jun 6, 2012 - 19 answers

How the heck do I open a restaurant

I had a beautiful restaurant space fall into my lap. I've been dreaming about having a restaurant. I committed to signing a contract with the owner. Now what? [more inside]
posted by TheTingTangTong on Mar 8, 2012 - 30 answers

Sales tracking for a small business?

I am looking for an online or software-based solution to track monthly/quarterly/yearly sales numbers across multiple markets. As a small company, we are not opposed to paying for the service, but cannot afford anything too expensive. Any suggestions on programs you have used?
posted by Equiprimordial on Mar 6, 2012 - 8 answers

How do we make our PBX grow with our company?

Where should I look and what should I look at for replacing our old Norstar/Meridian PBX? Should we replace the hardware or switch to a hosted solution? [more inside]
posted by MrBobaFett on Feb 1, 2012 - 15 answers

Affordable, multi-currency small business/accounting software for dummies?

Affordable, multi-currency small business/accounting software for dummies? [more inside]
posted by wingless_angel on Dec 8, 2011 - 6 answers

IT Inventory Asset Management for a small business

Free or inexpensive IT asset management for a small business. What is everyone out there using? [more inside]
posted by cowmix on Nov 2, 2011 - 5 answers

Is there a website like Metafilter for Business Owners?

While you can find forums for just about anything, there seems to be this void for an active small business owners forum. Specifically small businesses with less than 50 employees. Whatever I've found so far is low/no traffic or packed with spam. In a perfect world.... I know it would be asking a lot to discover a site like Metafilter, but is there anything out there that comes close?
posted by jamesalbert on Oct 25, 2011 - 9 answers

I can haz deductions?

My Taxes Filter: If I spend $2000 in self-employment income on equipment for said business (this is all the money I made on said business this year) will I be able to deduct roughly that amount and not pay taxes on the $2000? [more inside]
posted by sully75 on Aug 9, 2011 - 9 answers

Looking for a program to help with cash flow calculations for a small business

Looking for a program to help with cash flow calculations for a small business [more inside]
posted by zara on Jul 28, 2011 - 3 answers

How do I choose a company to design and maintain my business' website?

How do I choose a company to design and maintain my business' website? [more inside]
posted by st starseed on Jul 27, 2011 - 5 answers

Please recommend a CRM tool.

CRM Filter: I have a very small, but growing, business and we're at the stage where we need a CRM tool but Salesforce is really too much for us. What can you recommend that will be small enough that we'll actually use it but powerful enough that we won't outgrow it within a year or two? [more inside]
posted by HopStopDon'tShop on Jul 6, 2011 - 13 answers

Nolo:Legal :: ???:Bookkeeping/Accounting

Nolo is a great source for books when one is looking to deal with the legal aspects of running a small or medium business. Is there a publisher that specializes in accounting / bookkeeping / finances books?
posted by mmdei on May 11, 2011 - 1 answer

Most important small business finance data?

For small business owners, freelancers, and finance managers in small enterprises, what financial data is important to have easy access to? [more inside]
posted by pallen123 on May 3, 2011 - 5 answers

find me resources for bid writing

My partner started a business this year. Neither of us have much experience in submitting bids; specifically, we both suck at knowing what to write. [more inside]
posted by bleary on Dec 18, 2010 - 11 answers

Small business needs to keep postal mailbox costs low

I need to receive business shipments. How can I keep my postal mailbox costs low? [more inside]
posted by mintchip on Nov 3, 2010 - 8 answers

Should a small business get a multifunction printer or a separate scanner and printer?

Should I purchase a multi-function printer (mfp) or a scanner and separate printer for our small office (10-20 people)? [more inside]
posted by birchhook on Oct 1, 2010 - 11 answers

Small business filter: Help us solve a short print run dilemma!

We'll be moving into a rental office on a short-term (14-24 month) basis and we need to print new stationery. We only use about 125 envelopes a year (in two sizes: letter and card) and the minimum order quantity from local printers is 500 pieces. We've thought of printing envelopes with a logo and no return address and using a stamp or stickers to apply a return address, but the results have been tacky. With the move, we've ended up with hundreds of excess envelopes from previous addresses. Is there a way we can solve this with something that looks good and doesn't cost a fortune? All suggestions appreciated!
posted by quidividi on Sep 28, 2010 - 7 answers

Mass Produce Homemade Pottery

I am interested in creating a serving dish (bowl) that I think would sell rather well... If i make a prototype and want to mass produce it and say sell on Etsy.com how would I do this? [more inside]
posted by matthelm on Sep 11, 2010 - 7 answers

Eco light grant for small business

My boss' small business, an exhibition, spends a lot of money on electricity due to all of the display cabinet's lights. Is there a grant or loan we can get to change over to low power lights? We are in England.
posted by By The Grace of God on May 11, 2010 - 2 answers

iSCSI san for a small business

Looking for recommendations for a cheap(ish) small business iSCSI san device. [more inside]
posted by daveyt on May 3, 2010 - 12 answers

I want to offer internships/ employ interns this summer, help me cover my legal, tax, etc bases...

How to have interns/offer internships - legal, tax, employment issues, etc. ? [more inside]
posted by vilolagrl on Apr 16, 2010 - 5 answers

How do I get from this idea in my head to having a shop?

I'm looking for advice in setting up a small store in Sydney, Australia. [more inside]
posted by Admira on Jan 19, 2010 - 5 answers

Cool, easy tattoo parlor website template?

What should I use to set up a simple, cool-looking small business site for a non-techy friend? [more inside]
posted by Gucky on Dec 19, 2009 - 6 answers

How do I create a RSS feed for my Amazon Web Store?

I'm trying to figure out how to create a XML / RSS feed of my Amazon web store products so I can update to Google Merchant. There doesn't seem to be many functions / plug-ins offered by AWS and their help isn't very helpful. I've done a fair amount of searching and have come up empty handed. Would anyone have an idea how I might go about creating this feed?
posted by Aegean on Oct 30, 2009 - 0 answers

CPSIA - Help me get around this legislation so I can be in business again.

CPSIA - Help me get around this legislation so I can be in business again. [more inside]
posted by jaynedanger on Oct 23, 2009 - 15 answers

Small business failure.

What happens to the owners when a small business fails? [more inside]
posted by eschatfische on Oct 20, 2009 - 14 answers

How to start marketing a dental office.

How do I start marketing a dentist? [more inside]
posted by beingresourceful on Oct 13, 2009 - 14 answers

Copywriting Woes

The A-B-C's of corporate collateral writing: I'm a graphic designer. How do I communicate to my client that willy-nilly editing procedures, and last minute proof-stage rewrites inevitably makes projects run to the last minute? Is there a "standard" procedure for writing/editing? [more inside]
posted by ecorrocio on Oct 7, 2009 - 8 answers

Help us rebuild our office Email/management setup.

Small Office/Outlook Filter: I'm part of a small, family-run non-profit organization and we're attempting to drag ourselves, screaming, into the 21st century. Right now the main email is AOL and has been for years. (I know, I know.) We want to transition to a setup that allows us to have our own emails, yet share calendars and tasks. With our setup, what advice can you give on our setup? (more inside) [more inside]
posted by damiano99 on Jul 21, 2009 - 9 answers

How to collect money owed?

I own a small tech business and have a few accounts that simply will not pay. The amounts owed range from $500 to $5000. I've tried turning the accounts over to collection agencies, but they don't understand tech so they have ignored the delinquent accounts. Any suggestions on how best to get paid, even partial payment or at least tell me how to file a "charge off".
posted by r80o on Jun 29, 2009 - 24 answers

Free website for small business

What are the different ways that I can get a free website for my small business?
posted by sorrenn on Jun 10, 2009 - 10 answers

Hang out the shingle or get more experience first?

I just graduated from law school on Sunday. I want to open my own law firm and practice criminal law after I pass the Oregon bar. But how can I get up to speed fast enough that I don't give my new clients poor legal services? [more inside]
posted by Happydaz on May 21, 2009 - 16 answers

Business broadband

I need broadband for my business that is slightly better than what you can get from normal DSL. What are my options? [more inside]
posted by cowmix on Apr 21, 2009 - 8 answers

How do I identify a company that develops online registration/scheduling software?

How can I identify software for online registration for soccer training sessions? I'm thinking there are some solutions out there that are basically blackbox that can then be tailored to my site, but I haven't been able to turn them up. I don't want to use just something like regonline.com because I have people signing up for each session and there are dozens of different sessions in a week. [more inside]
posted by ewiley28 on Mar 11, 2009 - 3 answers

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