So this may sound dumb, and obvious.... I'm just thrashing out a question that I've been discussing with a couple of friends recently. Let's say I legally purchase a batch of high-value, trendy goods. It doesn't really matter what they are -- let's say the latest iPhone, for the sake of argument. Can I set up a store (online or in the high-street) renting them out to anyone who wants to agree to a contract with me? So let's pretend an iPhone 6 will retail at £500. If I purchase a batch of 100 at £400 each, and rent them out at £25/month for a 2 year contract, I make a good profit. Assume the iPhones are genuine, and that purchasers/renters are happy to arrange their own SIM cards, telecomms contracts, etc. These are working items. What are the reasons I couldn't do this? Is there any legal reason, or trading standards reason, that would prevent me from setting up a business doing this? [more inside]
I am a tall (5'11), fat (22/24), lady, soon-to-be attorney working in a downtown law office that just declared the next few months to be "Casual Summer". Help me look professional and casual and feel comfortable at the same time. Difficulty: pants. [more inside]
- About 1/3 of my job will involve meeting with clients in their home environment, which is mostly going to be a shelter, SRO, transitional housing unit, or the street. - Another 1/3 or so will be located at a hospital and in local clinics, meeting with physicians and social workers, and accompanying clients to appointments. -The final 3rd or so of my job I will be sitting at a desk in a large, shared office, in a department that expects a business casual dress (although tolerates a diverse range of expression of business casual). - Also, I'm a butch (masculine) woman. What should I wear? [more inside]
Hello, We are currently using Business Contact Manger as our CRM software. We are having problems when having to re-install (computer crashes, etc) at this point and are looking to either upgrade to Office 2013 (which will allow us to use Business Contact Manager 2013) or to find a new CRM. The preferred option (long-term) would be to get a new CRM, as BCM (Business Contact Manager) does not meet all our needs, and is essentially defunct, but it would need to be less than the price of buying Office 2013 for the 4 users who use it (around $2100). [more inside]
A restaurant in my town is closing down for 2 months. Our facility (1 lunch outlet, 3 dinner outlets) desperately wants to pick up the bulk of their business. But how? More below the fold... [more inside]
I'd like to explore leasing time in a "co-op" or shared commercial kitchen to start a small food business, making seasonal preserves and similar items in Washington State. Are there recommended blogs or books that discuss this from the business and planning ends, as far as what to look for, and well as how to deal with legal issues with bringing equipment and ingredients to and from such a facility (like fresh fruit, sugar, etc.). Do people store ingredients off-site, that sort of thing. (I'm mainly looking for non-state-official guides and written materials that deal with this subject from the producer end, just to focus questions away from the business itself or to Google search results to WA guidelines. Thanks!)
At a picnic with some friends, I gave everyone ten-ish minute massages (I am a massage therapist). It was a spontaneous gesture and I really enjoyed doing it. As I was leaving, a friend slipped an envelope in my bag. When I got home and opened it, there was a card with money inside, thanking me for their "first session". I feel like this turned a spontaneous act of goodwill and friendship into a business transaction. I'm hurt, saddened, and a little offended. I didn't want money or ask for it, and I don't think that I said or did anything implying otherwise. Now I feel like I'm not their friend, I'm hired help. How do I address this?
I'm attempting to plan a trip for an executive I'm supporting in a temp role, and if all goes well, I may get to keep the job. The guy is going to Beijing in the fall and will spend one night entertaining a group of Chinese executives. I need to plan the entertainment. Where do I send them? [more inside]
I am looking for some inspiration to write/create an annual document for a year when not much happened, especially compared to other years. [more inside]
How nice is too nice of an electronic use policy? [more inside]
Graduated (almost) with an Industrial Engineering degree but realized it's not the industry I want to work in. What are my available options and how should I pursue them as far as entering business world goes? [more inside]
I live in a smallish (Canadian) city an hour outside of a large city. I moved for work four years ago, and for a variety of reasons am feeling an increasing urgency to move back to the Big City. I am trying to figure out ways to do this, weighing my options, and am curious if anyone has any suggestions, or can point out repercussions of each option I hadn't considered? [more inside]
I have a few options for my next career step. Deciding between a few options or business school. [more inside]
My friend's startup company is developing a new technology platform and they are trying to set 5 year targets for the number of potential users it could have. How do tech companies traditionally project user growth for a new web service? Obviously they would establish a potential target market, but then how do you determine the rate of growth from zero into that market? Are they any resources or websites online that help with this? More details- the website is an edtech platform providing online education and resources. The potential market is 18+ lower- middle class Americans, and college students. Thanks for your help!
I’m looking for advice on how to get techy oriented business idea going. I’m knowledgeable enough about tech and programming to know that what I likely need is beyond my current or near enough future capabilities. Details below. [more inside]
I am working on a project where I am trying to find contributions made between businesses and political parties. Besides the obvious places (Sunlight Foundation, etc.) I want to know if, for the time banks received federal money, would those records be FOIAble? I have a pretty good idea which federal agencies to contact. But would it work?
Hello all I'm thinking about starting an import business specialising in very high quality and hard to find products, particularly tools and machinery. I'm having trouble finding good quality online directories that list manufacturers like Alibaba that target Europe. Does anybody have any advice on finding products in Europe? Thank you kindly
You've started a small business, things have been tough, you've been staring down the barrel of failure, but you've turned it around, you made it work. How did you do it? What changes in practice and attitude really made a difference to your success? What resources did you draw upon? I'd really like to hear how you made it through the tough times. If your business is arts/craft related, even better. [more inside]
I am a research student who may have inadvertently invented something commercializable. What do I do now? [more inside]
What is the best topic with lots of reference material that deals in International Business Ethics? Something like a review on international bribery or the sale of vaccines or baby formula for profit. I'm looking for the topic that will be the easiest to write because there is so much reference material available. [more inside]
I'm planning on starting both a nonprofit and a business (LLC or C-Corp) before the end of summer, and I'm uncertain as to my ability to write off expenses. Each would be run with a small (<5) group of investors/friends. [more inside]
I am going in for an interview at the place I am currently temping. What should I wear? [more inside]
I’m looking at several certificate programs they offer. I am considering the certificates in Global Marketing, Global Leadership, Global Management, or Global Negotiations. Each one consists of 3 courses to be completes one at a time with 2-3 hours of content per week. I’m not sure if this means just total time spent or time going over content not including assignments. 2-3 hours total seems a bit low for an executive course, plus it’s expensive, $1980 per course for only 1.5 credit each. I also know that they have been having some financial issues and academic controversy for trying to sell their campus to a for profit education company Laureate Education Company. The deal was rejected by their accreditors, The Higher Learning Commission. I have been contacted by a recruiter several times by phone and email. She seems a little aggressive, much like I’ve heard for profit online school recruiters can be. Do you guys think these courses seem like they have value or not? I appreciate the input in advance.
My sister and brother-in-law just opened up a wonderful pediatric practice. Yay! I'm looking for a "congratulations" gift to send them, besides the usual baked goods and flowers. [more inside]
A mechanic who replaced my bus's radiator removed parts of the transmission's cooling system, said he replaced the parts, and got paid for the parts and the labor. After several months, I took the bus out for a trip, and the transmission overheated repeatedly and finally lost all but first gear. It turns out that the parts the mechanic said he installed are not there -- the pipe that should connect to them just connects back to itself. What steps can I take to get my money back? [more inside]
My organization avoids drawing a line between the responsibilities of the system analyst and those of the business analyst in completing a change request. Can you tell me what's typical? [more inside]
My boss has asked me to help him find some introduction-level resources to understand modern IT industry fundamentals (cloud computing, modern storage technologies, security, system architecture, etc.) from a management standpoint. I have a good handle on the technical side, but I'm not sure where to look for the basics. What resources would be a good introduction? Web sites are most helpful, free or paywalled okay.
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.
I volunteer for a non-profit organization. We've had a work agreement with a small company (Basically one or two guys) to do Drupal development work for a year. Short story: the point person in our organization is suddenly no longer with us (deceased), the developer has terminated the contract, almost none of the specifications are complete. "Agile development! Hand waving! You don't understand." We're out a LOT of money and he is holding any not yet tested code hostage for another 15K in billing. All invoices past (approved by previous guy) and present (which I don't want to approve) consist of a single line: "X number of developer hours at Y rate = gimme Z money". They are autogenerated since the number of hours is always the max allowable under the work agreement and still addressed to the deceased. We are going to the lawyers soon, but... [more inside]
I work for a local small business. I was just promoted from Assistant Store Manager to Store Manager. The raise that was proposed to me was less than I thought it would be. Is there a standard or accepted percentage? [more inside]
Do you have suggestions for a system that will help me track the many new contacts I'm making as I start up my business? At the moment it's a mish-mash of notebooks, my phone, email, google docs and my (increasingly full) memory of conversations and phone calls. These might be people who've contacted me for a proposal, or it could be someone who says 'You should talk to my friend who does X - I'll put you in touch' and I want to remember to follow up with them later. [more inside]
On Monday, I start my first non self- or under-employed job in five years. It is with a very large (4000+ employees) company that's a big player in their field, and I am very happy and grateful to have the job. But, as I'm sitting here filling out the employee paperwork I'm faced with a "New PC Employee Acceptance Form". It seems I will be issued a company laptop, but I will also be charged $70/month that "covers XXX Company's standard for PC hardware, software and maintenance". This was never discussed in my salary negotiations. Questions: Is this normal? and, Is this an expense I will be able to write off at tax time?
I work for a medium size 40 employee company in a management capacity. I'm responsible for purchasing equipment and software. What sort of legal issues could arise from purchasing the equipment myself and reselling it to the company? [more inside]
Book suggestions for a gift exchange recipient that combine business, Haruki Murakami, David Foster Wallace, and/or music? (here's hoping my recipient isn't also a Mefite!) [more inside]
Running a small business and I need to strike the right balance between being available and growing my business. [more inside]
How do I find and learn about creative ways to solve the complex problems that businesses face these days? [more inside]
As the title suggests, I'm looking for various examples of business/organization collaboration, especially ones where people from different industries work together in an interdisciplinary fashion. People combining their expertise in different fields to work on a project together would be especially helpful. For profit, non profit, big corporations or the local PTA, all are great. I am also interested in spectacular failures of collaboration, if you can think of any of those.
Three friends and I teamed up to rent a small commercial office space to use as a shared office, as we've tired of working at home or in coffee shops. We've signed the lease and moved in. I've been tasked with finding liability insurance, but having trouble as the insurance companies don't know what to make of us. I'm hoping Mefites may have creative solutions. [more inside]
I just left law after 18 years as a sole practitioner. I am burned out. I'm not very money oriented, more into helping people and socializing. I like work that has a beginning and end. I've never been a good employee. I thought that I would like to become a high school social science teacher and I now have a license to teach. I'm a 54 yo female. [more inside]
I'd like to start on online-base media/information/advice business, and I'm having trouble deciding on where to incorporate. [more inside]
My wife and I always have trouble finding a babysitter. Our friends have the same problem. This problem came up at a party last night. Our solution to the problem was a website / app that allowed parents to search for babysitters. There are plenty of services that do this already, but we all agreed that none of the services were solving the 'trust' problem. We felt that none of the existing services were local enough, e.g. tied to our local community / social circles. As a parent, what would this service need to do to put you at ease? Do the babysitters need to be vetted, and if so, how? Referrals? Reviews? Video interviews? Personality tests? What would you need to know to trust a babysitter with your kids?
I need a printed map and a web or mobile app - is there any existing tools/concepts which involve killing two birds with one stone? [more inside]
I have come into possession of a very rare item. How can I make a whole lot of money on it? [more inside]
Are there any books or other resources about the links American businesses had with Germany leading up to and during WWII? [more inside]
NameFilter: Looking for a name for a small tax accounting firm that is marketing itself primarily towards artists and other creative types. [more inside]
How would you feel about having a meeting recorded, where you're discussing your business and the problems you'd like to solve? How would you feel being asked if I could record the meeting? [more inside]
Please help me decide between business and law school! Difficulty level: I need to decide by Monday and also I'm getting married this weekend and my brain is all over the place OH GOSH SO MANY WORDS INSIDE. [more inside]
I run a little, very informal art project on a tumblr blog which has gotten somewhat popular. Recently people have been asking if they can buy prints. I don't have any prints for sale right now, and don't know much about how to set up an online store, or if there's some other method that digital artists find convenient. Would anyone be able to point me in the right direction with this? [more inside]
Every month my company sells roughly $15,000 worth of monthly recurring revenue contracts with five year term lengths. The service sells for $1,000 per month so every month we sign on 15 new customers. $15,000 * 12months * 5 years = $900,000 (total contract revenue for all 15 contracts sold during the month) We've maxed out our borrowing on physical assets held by the company and I need to find a way to unlock these revenue streams to use as collateral for further growth. What's the best way to do this? I would prefer to not have to go to every customer and amend their contracts in any way. Thanks!
I'm in a position where I'm currently a "temp to hire" -- I have been looking for a new job because of the uncertainty in my company and have interviewed with a different company who is moving me to the next step of their hiring process and gave me a hire date. I don't want to leave the company I'm currently with but feel I may have to if I'm not offered a permanent position. How do I bring this up to my boss? [more inside]