A friend and I run a small-but-growing online vintage clothing business. We've recently branched out into showing at vintage truck shows in the Chicago area. As of now, we've been using a friend's Saab hatchback. Unfortunately, this isn't a really a sustainable option for us; it's also a bit of a tight fit for our 200ish garments, 2 - 3 clothing racks, bust, and table. We're interesting in purchasing a used vehicle so that we can continue to travel with our merchandise. Ideally, we'd like something that is reliable, safe, and has some extra space to grow alongside our business. Unfortunately, our budget is on the low side: we'd like to spend less than $5000... the cheaper the better. Thoughts? Recommendations? Should we rent instead of buy? Thanks for sharing your wisdom! [more inside]
What do I need to know about promoting my small online business using Google AdWords? [more inside]
Give me your opinion about my stupid smart business name idea. [more inside]
I live in California and cannot, for the life of me, find any documentation, web site, or book that defines this. I know that foods for public consumption (for the most part) have to be produced in a certified kitchen. Are there certain fixtures or appliances REQUIRED in a certified kitchen? [more inside]
I am running a Chinese school in Beijing now to teach mandarin. Even it can not earn a lot of money right now, I still love this job and want to help more people learn Chinese and experience life in China. I really need help to develop the school, so that will be good if any one can give me some ideas for marketing on low budget to expats in Beijing for a mandarin school. Thanks!
I've updated my Angie's List listing. I have no reviews as of yet, although I've been in business since 2005. Is it ethical to solicit reviews from clients? I'm thinking of sending an email saying something like, "I'm now on Angies's List. Feel free to write a review, should you wish. Here's the link." Nothing begging or hat-in-hand, of course. What's the protocol? Is there a protocol?
Help a business-illiterate engineer formulate an approach for evaluating an exciting business/career opportunity. [more inside]
I live in Arizona, where medical cannabis has been state law for two years now. The industry is still a wee sapling, and it's a dream of mine to legally grow and sell to dispensaries and to patients directly. This is the best time to make my dream happen, before the market blossoms, yeah? Puns aside, I'm having significant trouble finding accurate and helpful information on the internet--how do I do legal cannabis growing? What's the application I need to turn in to which department to receive which license? What are the do's and don't's and points of etiquette in handling a federally illegal substance? Tell me what I need to know! [more inside]
How to go about dealing with a raise I "officially" got but in practice did not? [more inside]
I am looking for the names of networking/exclusive clubs for executives. [more inside]
I need to back up some laptops that are roaming around so I'd like some kind of automagic online backup solution. [more inside]
I am excited by the developments of BI capabilities in excel this year and I want to use the power explorer, view, mapping tools with my sql database. I have two questions really... 1. Can I extract individual calculations and data from the sql/data model rather than always through a pivot 2. If yes, or no, what would be the best way to build a control excel spreadsheet which monitors performance across key criteria (leads per day, orders per day, cancellations, etc) across regions so that I can see where the business is not operating as expected and act accordingly. Thanks Tc
I own a restaurant in its first year of business. Some stretches I feel like we're doing just fine, whereas other stretches I feel like pulling out my hair. I'm having trouble evaluating the success of my business. We've very consistently turned a monthly profit, though I still own the bank nearly $150k, and I also have a large chunk of money invested myself, though I am paying myself $40k / yr. [more inside]
I am bookmarking websites like crazy, as I do research and online reading, and it's a mess. Help! [more inside]
At work, I need to run staff meetings. Please tell me how to run meetings that are helpful for employees and don’t waste time. [more inside]
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.
Hairs are being pulled out. I don't have many left. I propose you take a peek inside for details... [more inside]
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!
Computer illiteracy among top executives: there has to be a solution [more inside]
Help me make the most of an upcoming tradeshow to network and plant seeds for future freelance projects. [more inside]
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?
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?
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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.
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.
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]
Looking for some suggestions for roles/job titles for myself and a partner in a two person LLC. Details inside. [more inside]
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]
How official does a business name have to be to be used in contracts? [more inside]
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]
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!
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.
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]
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...
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.
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.
Are there any lenders in the US that fund small businesses in Asia? [more inside]
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?
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
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]
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?
Help me name my little farm business! [more inside]
Hope me Hivemind, I need a title for my business card! [more inside]
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]
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]