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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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...
posted by TwilightKid
on Apr 17, 2013 -
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 -
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 -
Freelance/small business filter: How to handle clients that you are ambivalent about working with? [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on Nov 6, 2012 -
How do I recruit a coffeeshop or small restaurant for my gentrifying neighborhood? [more inside]
posted by mmiddle
on Jun 6, 2012 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
Looking for a program to help with cash flow calculations for a small business [more inside]
posted by zara
on Jul 28, 2011 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
I need to receive business shipments. How can I keep my postal mailbox costs low? [more inside]
posted by mintchip
on Nov 3, 2010 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
Looking for recommendations for a cheap(ish) small business iSCSI san device. [more inside]
posted by daveyt
on May 3, 2010 -
I'm looking for advice in setting up a small store in Sydney, Australia. [more inside]
posted by Admira
on Jan 19, 2010 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
What are the different ways that I can get a free website for my small business?
posted by sorrenn
on Jun 10, 2009 -
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 -
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 -
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 -