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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 My pinky toes have been replaced by blisters.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

Need solution for managing customers and recurring shipments

My customers will sign up for weekly, bi-weekly or monthly shipments of a product. After I've processed their payment, what are some online customer database solutions for managing my current customers and generating things like shipping labels and order forms so that each week I can pack my boxes full of product and ship them? [more inside]
posted by jrholt on Mar 10, 2013 - 2 answers

My own personal Lord of the Rings quest: to find a backpack for adults

Professional laptop case with straps, a.k.a. a backpack for adults, please? [more inside]
posted by rmm on Mar 6, 2013 - 21 answers

Non Beginner Books On Ebay?

What are the best books about Ebay? [more inside]
posted by imabanana on Mar 3, 2013 - 2 answers

A better word for 'most valuable customer'?

I'm looking for a better word or term of art for the most important customer of a company, in particular one that provides the most revenue. [more inside]
posted by heliostatic on Feb 28, 2013 - 22 answers

How much of a faux pas is it to wear a backpack in business casual?

I am attending a two day long event at a graduate program in International Affairs in my local area. It is for students who have made it through the first round of admissions. Interviews and some other assessments will be conducted at this event, but there will be many opportunities for them to try to sell their graduate program to us. The event is this Friday and Saturday, and the dress code called for is simply business casual. For what it's worth, this program is in the South. The problem is that since I am a local candidate, I will be biking to the event. I don't fancy biking in my dress shoes, and somehow carrying my leather portfolio along the way. I imagine I'll be bringing my backpack in order to switch out my shoes and carry my portfolio. How much of a faux pas do you imagine this might be?
posted by SollosQ on Feb 28, 2013 - 23 answers

Credit card for small business

Need credit or charge card for a small business that has outgrown its President's ability to cover its obligations. [more inside]
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Sockpuppetry on Feb 27, 2013 - 9 answers

Who owns my work, and who's responsible for it?

I'm not a professional photographer, but I did some photography work (unpaid) for my company... is that work for hire or is it something else? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 21, 2013 - 6 answers

Who gets paid what in a seminar, workshop or speaking engagement?

I'm starting to get a few requests for speaking engagements and seminars, and I'm not quite sure what to expect on the business side of things. At the moment, these are private individuals who have a little experience with event planning, and know that I could draw a decent audience to a workshop. I'm a little unsure about how profits should be split between me and the organizer. I don't have a problem with the organizer making some money, but I'm the one providing the content, and I want to be fairly compensated. How does this generally work? [more inside]
posted by sdis on Feb 21, 2013 - 8 answers

Where To Go From Here With My Business?

I am self-employed in the creative arts with one main client. Recently I have begun to enjoy some success for myself. My main client is unhappy. I am unhappy that they are unhappy. Career and business advice needed. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 13, 2013 - 15 answers

Fiction help: Name something a math genius could do to improve a bar.

Writing a script, need a few believable, throwaway lines for a character. A guy running a TGI.Friday's-like bar praises his bartender, a math genius, for giving him an idea that saves money and improves the business overall. An example of outside-of-the-box thinking that enforces that our math-genius-in-disguise really is a genius. Bonus points if the idea skirts the line of legality -- something funky with accounting, maybe? [more inside]
posted by Cool Papa Bell on Feb 9, 2013 - 22 answers

What should we, as a company, do about insane customers?

Our store occasionally has customers who appear to be mentally unstable and who would benefit from medical help. What, if anything, should we do for them? Is it any of our business? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 4, 2013 - 16 answers

Non-lame books for starting a business?

There are about a zillion books on starting a new business, being a manager, etc. My base assumption is that they're all lame, and the few I've flipped through didn't make a good impression. Any thoughts? [more inside]
posted by jragon on Feb 3, 2013 - 10 answers

How do I buy a business? I have an opportunity, but not a f*cking clue.

Hi, metafilter. Been a long time. I find myself in a very weird position, because I have a potential chance to buy a business that already has a very successful foothold in my industry. The weird position comes from not having a single clue as to where to start. [more inside]
posted by Jim On Light on Feb 3, 2013 - 13 answers

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