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How do you interview for a Company Representative?

I have a meeting with an overseas company, to discuss their need for an east coast representative. They are expanding. It is a high-end, energy efficient product. I have some knowledge in the area, and the product, but more as a consumer, never as a rep, (with ANYONE) We have worked together a bit, but this would be a new role, relationship. I need some clues on how this might go; how might it be structured? what will they expect? how is compensation figured? I am inclined toward keeping my mouth shut, listening, and asking a few relevant questions. Interview hints 101.
posted by ebesan on Jul 18, 2013 - 3 answers

Need your proposal for the best way to make collaborative proposals

Hairs are being pulled out. I don't have many left. I propose you take a peek inside for details... [more inside]
posted by ecorrocio on Jul 18, 2013 - 12 answers

How to evaluate value an LLC for buy-out?

Hi - my partner decided to leave our LLC and now we need to evaluate how much is it worth. It's a spa business with two of us performing most of the services in a rented location. Lease agreement is up in October 2013. Each of us serviced our own clients - she's got her Clients. I got mine clients. Any suggestions or rules of thumb approaches for how to estimate our service business value so we can arrive at a fair buy-out price? Appreciate all the help!
posted by Michal on Jul 14, 2013 - 9 answers

Teaching Old Executives New Tricks

Computer illiteracy among top executives: there has to be a solution [more inside]
posted by alice_curiouse on Jul 12, 2013 - 13 answers

Tradeshow Networking

Help me make the most of an upcoming tradeshow to network and plant seeds for future freelance projects. [more inside]
posted by trbrts on Jul 10, 2013 - 2 answers

Corporate information database

My friend is looking for a resource that will identify by states buyer contact information for large retail companies. She is a "key account representative" for a national company with a presence in half of the states in the US, and wants to find information regarding buyers for large national retailers. Years ago there was publication called "Contact Influential" that supplied this sort of info. I'm marginally familiar with Hoover's, and believe it is along these lines. Does the hive have any other suggestions?
posted by ecollie on Jul 10, 2013 - 3 answers

Business documents for artists/designers

Usually designers and (to a greater degree, artists) are represented by agents who take care of all the administrative/legislative issues. However, for those who manage their own freelance businesses, it is imperative that they have their own business documents (project questionnaires, proposals, quotations, contracts, invoices, ..). I am interested in mapping out all the needed documents in the process of a project, from the moment the client contacts the designer/artist to the moment the project is submitted and the payments are made. Where can I find some comprehensive/reliable resources for such documents?
posted by omar.a on Jul 10, 2013 - 7 answers

New Hobby Is Producing Stuff - What Next?

So a hobby I've picked up to help wind down in the evenings has started to produce items that might actually be sell-able. This is a new experience for me and I am at a loss as to what to do next. [more inside]
posted by robocop is bleeding on Jul 10, 2013 - 13 answers

How do I find the details of a business's unpaid federal tax bills?

A local politician has an unpaid $500,000 tax bill associated with a business he owns. I'd like to find out more details on this. [more inside]
posted by foggy out there now on Jul 8, 2013 - 5 answers

The Sign Painter's Dilemma: Is there such a thing?

I have a question, which I think is about morals and philosophy. I'm pretty sure I can elucidate the thing I'm looking for pretty clearly and hope this doesn't turn into chatfilter. Mainly I'm wondering if formalized discussions of this exist and looking for resources to read up on it. I call it "The Sign Painter's Dilemma" but it could also be a Tattoo Artist's Dilemma... [more inside]
posted by Infinity_8 on Jul 2, 2013 - 19 answers

Running an LLC while travelling the world?

I'm working on a few apps and I'd like to form an LLC. What complicates matters is that I plan to travel the world for the next few years, meaning that all my work will be done from my laptop with no stable office and no employees other than myself. I'm currently based in California. What are some good resources to help me figure out the best way to establish my business, both financially and legally? [more inside]
posted by archagon on Jul 2, 2013 - 14 answers

What was the business book I read five years ago?

I read a business book about five years ago that was about creativity and success in the workplace. It was a creative approach to business for hip young professionals. I remember it had red/pink drawings/scribbles on the cover and came out some time around 2008. It had a rather clever title. Do you know what I'm talking about? [more inside]
posted by dargerpartridge on Jun 30, 2013 - 9 answers

What are the best cities to launch a freelance career (cost of living)?

I currently live in NYC - uber-expensive. I'm planning to quit my job very soon (maybe Monday) and go fulltime with my own consulting business. Its technology related and I've had 2 clients thus far and I have evidence I can charge a sizable hourly rate and there's a market for it, but I haven't had time to really market it and the biggest problem is I am not available to make sales calls during the day. I've had inquires from Fortune 100 companies where I come off totally unprofessional unable to even schedule a call during business hours so I think its time to free up my schedule. [more inside]
posted by daveindc on Jun 28, 2013 - 39 answers

Comfortable shoes for NYC businessman edition.

I just trudged 3/4 of a mile down 42nd street. My fancy black dress shoes (Allen Edmonds) are NOT cut out for this. My pinky toes have been replaced by blisters. What are the most comfortable shoes I can wear to work? I work in the financial industry but the dress code is business casual: slacks, button down shirt, maybe jacket or tie, rarely a full suit. Both black and brown shoes are needed, men's size 12. Must withstand walking in NYC.
posted by BigVACub on Jun 25, 2013 - 12 answers

Lenovo T530 or Apple Macbook Pro Retina

Which of these laptops should I get? It is a personal preference or is one better than the other? This will be mostly used for business. But I will be taking it home with me in the evenings and it will be my main primary laptop for everyday use. Both laptops have 8 GB ram, 256 SSD hard drives. 15" screens. The Lenovo has a optical drive and more ports. The Macbook Pro doesn't have an optical drive and only two USB ports.
posted by alshain on Jun 21, 2013 - 25 answers

Enough is more than likely enough, right?

I have a client that I essentially inherited from a previous job. I left that place, and they sought me out for my services. My partner and I are now working on two large projects for them, and have agreed to a retainer on a contingency basis. More than you ever wanted to know about some stranger's consulting business inside... [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 21, 2013 - 5 answers

Partnership Agreement - Roles and Titles?

Looking for some suggestions for roles/job titles for myself and a partner in a two person LLC. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by cccp47 on Jun 17, 2013 - 2 answers

Should I Create a Business Entity Just to Protect Myself from Liability?

I have a good idea for a web application, but I'm worried it might incur the wrath of a few specific larger companies. Would it be a good idea to create a business entity to protect myself from any personal liability I might be exposed to? [more inside]
posted by AfterAlbuquerque on Jun 17, 2013 - 13 answers

Freelance business names in contracts?

How official does a business name have to be to be used in contracts? [more inside]
posted by Sreiny on Jun 10, 2013 - 7 answers

Help me help you.

My husband recently had a meeting with his boss. Boss suggested he would have a better time getting ahead in the company if he dressed for success. Husband was offended that his work would be over-looked based on the way he dresses. Unfortunately, I agree with his boss. How can I positively coax my husband in to dressing better without making him self conscious? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 8, 2013 - 58 answers

Best case studies of organizational transition/scaling?

I'm looking for a case study that examines an organization as it grows and transitions into a larger company. It seems like this would be a ripe topic for writing, since I'm asking about "the life of a startup," but I'm having trouble finding a good, substantive case study that studies the operating environment, organizational circumstances, decisions, etc. Any suggestions? Thanks!
posted by thelatermonths on Jun 5, 2013 - 3 answers

How can I take my super small retail business online?

I sell Mexican arts and crafts, alpaca, shell jewelry, hand painted shell bobble heads, all made by indigenous people in Mexico (I'm a Mexican american immigrant, and I import a small amount of crafts every year), I'd like to use facebook, or a website, or internet to sell my jewelry to a wider audience, but I'm a very beginner and need ideas and guidance. So far I have just been doing craft shows for many years, but I'd like to make more money hopefully enough to live off of.
posted by kikithekat on Jun 4, 2013 - 8 answers

AirBNB and [not] breaking the law

If I want to charge visitors a fee to stay in the apartment I rent form a landlord, what might I want in my lease? Would I absolutely need a clause about subletting? What are the exceptions? [more inside]
posted by jander03 on May 28, 2013 - 11 answers

Help: Piano teacher. Lesson schedule packed. What next?

Asking this for the wife: She is an experienced piano and voice teacher in a mid-size city. Masters' Degree in Music/Education. 10+ years teaching K-5 music in public schools. Regular piano students (half-hour lessons) now, teaching from our home. Trouble is, her lesson slots are almost entirely filled, i.e. she's topped out. So... How might one take this kind of skill and experience and parlay it into a better income? Not looking for a job. Looking to build a business to dovetail with her current lessons, maybe even eventually surpass them. Really interested in something online, for example, that would expand her base beyond local. We've barely scratched the surface of things like video lessons, etc. But we want to hear ideas outside the box, especially if others are making it work. Eventual passive income would be a big bonus. But I've never heard of an MLM for piano lessons...
posted by skypieces on May 25, 2013 - 17 answers

What's a good giveaway for a business meeting?

What's a good giveaway for attendees of a mid-sized business meeting (50 people) to mark the "beginning of a new era"? May be symbolic or something useful, as long as it's not tacky. Maximum value ~25 USD.
posted by lord_yo on May 25, 2013 - 17 answers

Web Links / book recommendations for sample emails to boss & colleagues

Looking for sample business emails to improve my writing skills. The resources I found are typically for writing to clients or customers. I am looking for sample emails that one writes mostly internally within their own company. For example an email one would write to make a suggestion, disagree with something, ask for status, share an idea, remind someone politely, coach someone etc (Common business scenarios). Not looking for emails to win business or sell anything. Would appreciate if you could share web links or books (preferably the ones available at amazon.com). Also, I would like examples and not a resource that just gives guidance.
posted by r2d2 on May 24, 2013 - 2 answers

private loan (<$100K) for an international business in the US

Are there any lenders in the US that fund small businesses in Asia? [more inside]
posted by savitarka on May 24, 2013 - 3 answers

Does the dot suffix of a website's name matter?

How important is having a .com suffix to the perceived legitimacy of a website? How does it affect traffic/success, etc? Does holding onto .com as the ideal make sense in this world of domain squatters? Can we make a list of good and bad choices?
posted by letstrythis on May 22, 2013 - 24 answers

Assignments from Columbia College's Value Investment Group

I've become very interested in the philosophy of Value INvesting, first espoused by Benjamin Graham and later on by his followers Irvin Kahn and Warren E. Buffet. I have come across a program at Columbia Business College entitled The Value Investment Program wherein forty students are allowed to take classes on Value Investing at the tutelage of Bruce Greenwald among numerous others. As I am not a Columbia Business student, I have no access to these materials but would be very much obliged if anyone could give me some of the work in these classes or in classes very similar to this type of course seeking to inculcate in students a solid understanding of how to pick value investment stocks. Also any other user-friendly books and or website resources on value investing would also be helpful. THANKS
posted by RapcityinBlue on May 16, 2013 - 3 answers

How do I speed myself up without a nervous breakdown?

Just started a new job that moves way faster than me. I'm scared that I can't keep up. What can I do to make it work? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 16, 2013 - 26 answers

Will search engine users ever pay a user fee to use a search engine?

I've been presented with a business idea for a search engine or Web application that would require the user of the search engine to a pay a fee for the search results. Intuitively, I don't think this could work, but I'm having a hard time actually saying why. Historically, I think most search engines have been funded through advertisements or marketers who purchase profile data on searchers. Is there anything I could point to, such as a case study or an article in a journal or magazine, that would explain why a business model based on getting somebody to pay for the results for a search engine will or won't work?
posted by jonp72 on May 10, 2013 - 29 answers

Is it a farm if you mainly grow kids and locust trees?

Help me name my little farm business! [more inside]
posted by annathea on May 5, 2013 - 13 answers

Question title? I can't even think of my own title!

Hope me Hivemind, I need a title for my business card! [more inside]
posted by moons in june on May 1, 2013 - 10 answers

How to find a job using Chinese language skills?

Hey Mefis! I am asking this question on behalf of my brother-in-law who recently got laid off. Does anyone here have advice to give to a guy with a degree in Chinese and minor in business who would like to work in manufacturing/ sourcing for a US company either in the US or China? [more inside]
posted by catrae on Apr 25, 2013 - 6 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

Thriving as a small brick and mortar/e-commerce B2C retailer?

How can a small (3-5 employees) brick and mortar/e-commerce B2C retailer survive and thrive in an increasingly competitive market (outdoors/sports products) when it cannot compete on price? Any good examples of small companies doing just that? [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis on Apr 15, 2013 - 5 answers

Business books on customer value/satisfaction in services/consulting

What business books/frameworks and resources are available for managers in service companies to provide deep customer value and delight, when the customer himself is a senior manager in another company and my services are people with deep expertise in specific areas? [more inside]
posted by theobserver on Apr 14, 2013 - 4 answers

Ideas to energize & excite employees of a large traditional organization

Hoping you can share some ideas or things you have observed companies do to energize and excite their organizations. Please note that ideas that work for young organizations like google may not work for me since I am trying to do this in a very traditional, large and old (over 100 years in business) organization. One idea that comes to mind is hiring relatively younger employees for senior management positions. Perhaps having more team outings might help as well. I would welcome any suggestions. Thanks in advance!
posted by r2d2 on Apr 13, 2013 - 26 answers

A good document scanner for business and tax docs?

Dear collective intelligence that lives inside my web browser: I'm looking for a good document scanning and organization solution for my business. Tax docs are getting lost. Bills are getting overlooked. It's a mess. I'm a digital person and sheets of paper just get totally ignored/lost. I use Evernote a little bit, and they recommend the SnapScan line of scanners from Fujitsu. Which look pretty decent. Portable is nice. Anyway, does anyone have any such experiences/recommendations they'd like to share. Thanks!
posted by chasing on Apr 10, 2013 - 18 answers

How to Find & Pick a Manufacture

I'm looking for a manufacturer (preferably in the Northeast United States) who can make a simple, but large wood photo frame, about 3'X3' using lightweight plexiglass or acrylic instead of glass. [more inside]
posted by meta x zen on Apr 10, 2013 - 3 answers

Best business website in a box for an absolute beginner?

I'm finally taking the plunge and starting a business. We want to get a website up and running, but I've never really done anything like this. Can you recommend where to go, what to do, and all that stuff? [more inside]
posted by Ghidorah on Apr 9, 2013 - 14 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

I promise I'm actually a good employee!

I have an upcoming job interview for a fairly sales-oriented position in business. Putting aside that I'm not sure I want the position yet and that in my eyes it counts against the company that they put stock in this sort of thing, the company is about to send me a personality test which they use as a strong hiring indicator. I would prefer to ace the test, whatever that means, and have my actual interview and position discussion determine hiring. How should I go about answering a test that I don't believe will be reflective of my personality? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 5, 2013 - 10 answers

Searching for an image: prices & business costs on a coffeeshop sign

Sometime in the last week or two I saw (on Twitter? On Tumblr?) an image of a chalkboard coffeeshop sign. In addition to the regular menu & prices, it had a breakdown of costs (ingredients, supplies, overhead) and broke out how much profit the store was making. At least that's how it is in my memory, which might be mistaken. Can you find me this image (and attribution, if possible)? [more inside]
posted by feckless on Apr 2, 2013 - 3 answers

I sew and I translate. What do I call my business(es)?

So I finally want to get a name / logo / site for my little side business(es). I do (German-English) translation, localisation and copywriting on the one hand, and I sew colourful accessories on the other. Unfortunately I can't even get past the "what do I call this thing?" hurdle. Can I even have just one name? [more inside]
posted by ClarissaWAM on Apr 2, 2013 - 13 answers

Think Thank Thought Leader

'Think tank' and 'thought leader' not 'thought tank' and 'think leader'. Can you help me construct a good argument for why we have settled on the first two and not the second? [more inside]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken on Mar 17, 2013 - 7 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

I bought a business a few years ago, and now it's making me completely miserable.

I own an Apple reseller somewhere in the United States. I bought this company from the former owner a few years back, despite having no education in business whatsoever (other than what I've learned on the job.) When I first took over as owner, it was kind of fun, challenging, a lot of work, and just slightly profitable (though with a debt from the loan I took out to buy the business). It was like this for about a year. Since then, not so much. Most days, I feel trapped and hopeless. So now I seek ideas. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 12, 2013 - 20 answers

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