My husband just started his own house painting plus remodeling business after several years of working at a local college managing a mostly student-lead paint crew there. He also other years working part-time in the trades. (And after basically remodeling/building our house). I want to help him grow and be successful. [more inside]
We are in the early stages of considering a new business - exciting! While we're very much at the "tossing around an idea" phase, we'd like to have as much information and advice as possible. And so I come to you, Ask MeFi, seeking your best recommendations for resources, knowledge, & discussion to help us turn ideas into a plan. [more inside]
I'm a Canadian citizen who is self-employed who regularly employs the services of others to produce some of the merchandise I sell. I've recently been getting items made by someone in the US, who produces the items themselves. I know that, under some circumstances, NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) can make it that I don't have to pay duties when importing these items. However, I can't find specific information to explain what situations these are. Can anyone help me out? [more inside]
Does a service exist where you can pay someone or a team of people to evaluate your business idea and provide an honest critique? Where do I go to find such people? [more inside]
I’ve started a long term job search and would like some advice on the ethics and potential pitfalls of approaching a company that I’ve been working with in my current job. [more inside]
Someone I know is an amazingly talented photographer; he does portraits with an old camera, it is awesome. His whole image is really "marketable". he has lots of totally great ideas. however, he needs help getting and organizing gigs. he wants to hire someone to be a sort of agent, do bookings and endorsements and other business-stuff so he can focus on the creative stuff, which he is good at, instead of the business stuff, which, um, he's not. what kind of person (or, who specifically) does he need to hire? [more inside]
I'm interested in starting my own business. I have a simple digital product I'd like to try selling online, with the expectation that it will sell very little but will give me a low cost, low risk way to learn a bit more about running a business. Looking in to it though, it seems almost impossible to figure out how to go about this without falling foul of any laws or regulations. How does anyone start a business in the UK? [more inside]
Dear Victorianists of MeFi: I'm looking for an answer to a specific question about property law in Victorian England. [more inside]
Say one wanted to invest money in a capital intensive small business. What is one that requires at a minimum $300-500K of fixed cost machinery to start, but that is in high demand so that machinery will be used right away to make money?
I'm looking to buy a monitor for our business that I can use to display adverts/information on. Either fed from a server or loaded onto a SD card. Does anyone know the difference between a cheap used 22" TFT from eBay which I can use with an old Mac Mini and a proper "advertising screen" with a built in computer which can costs hundreds of pounds? Thanks a lot for your insights.
Hello good folks of MeFi, I'll be a college senior later this year, and I'm having a lot of trouble deciding whether I should apply to MBA programs this fall. If you have a minute--or several, this is a long one--please give me your opinions, reality checks, and/or virtual smacks upside the head. [more inside]
I am looking for a few good examples of offline events that grow social networks, helping them build trust, recruit new users, etc. Do you have a good example you can share? Here's one I found. And I know that other brands and social networks have tried this. Thanks!
My partner and I have decided to move back to Ohio to be closer to family. I don't have a network related to my field in Ohio and I'm also not certain I'm applying to the right kind of jobs because of my background. Snowflakes inside! [more inside]
I am in the middle of a divorce, and there are shared businesses owned jointly that I need help with. I'm looking for a lawyer in Maryland who works with small businesses (valued under 200K), can do bankruptcy and can provide guidance about personal debt guarantees. [more inside]
Who are some people you guys read who think about the issues in an intelligent way and are unafraid to make a contrarian argument when it makes sense to do so? [more inside]
I'm looking for a story (roughly 5 minutes) that I heard on the NPR One app a few days ago: It was about how perceived power imbalances between people at the same managerial level in an office will lead to people participating in group problem-solving to different degrees, and how to "fix" it. My googling is just turning up stories about power companies & how awful meetings are. Help? [more inside]
I just had a baby 7 months ago, and the amount of clothes I have that are either in GREAT condition, or have never been worn is sickening. I keep buying and buying, and she keeps growing and growing. I thought a lovely idea would be to bring other mothers in the community together to do some sort of exchange maybe 4 times a year, but I need some help brainstorming how to set this up. [more inside]
Do I warn my potential customers about competitors "bait-and-switch" tactics? [more inside]
I've been asked to help find a cash register app for the owner of a new small cafe. Any suggestions or advice about where I should look? [more inside]
We're thinking of adding a new element to our business, a wholesale business to business arm. I run a DIY shop on the high street and one of our long-standing suppliers is moving to Southern Spain to retire and her 30 year established wholesale business of supplying little sundry items has been offered to us first before she offers it to the wider market. [more inside]
I am looking for short (<5 min) video's / clips I can use in training and coaching. The video's will be combined with more 'boring' theoretical slides about topics like: change management, leadership, strategy deployment, process improvement, customer excellence, hospitality. My youtube collection is in desperate need of an update. Explanation and examples of what I am looking for are in the 'more inside' part of this question. [more inside]
I need a name for my eBay (and possibly Etsy) store that will be selling used clothes and other thrift store finds. [more inside]
Can an alarm company push you into a longer contract because the alarm won't work without an expensive upgrade? [more inside]
I'm new to beauty/fragrance buying - lend me your expertise! [more inside]
Soon, I'll start managing a different team in the same company. What are some things I can do in the first days/weeks to make everyone feel great about this change and excited for what's coming in the future? [more inside]
My freelance design business has been going very well lately, and I'm starting to get more clients. As such, I feel it's time to finally put a name to it, create a website portfolio, etc. The only trouble is coming up with a name! [more inside]
What industries or business segments only exist, or only largely exist, because a group or groups interested in maintaining a particular industry have encouraged or supported laws requiring or strongly supporting their industries' existence? [more inside]
Next week I'll spend several days together with clients from Shanghai coming to Europe for a project we are producing for them. As it's the first time we are working for a Chinese client (specifically: an advertising agency and their client), it would be great to know in advance any specific business etiquette (beyond usual international practice), and any relevant cultural pointers to keep in mind during our work together during the day, and dinners (that we will be offering) during the evenings. [more inside]
I’ve been running my own business as a consultant for a few years now and have a category of situation that keeps cropping up that leads me to ask myself, “Is it ok to tell not tell the whole truth in business when the full truth might be awkward or complicated?” [more inside]
How can a small (B&M+e-commerce) retailer in Sweden convince international consumer brands to sell directly to them and not via their awful wholesalers/distributors in Sweden? What strategies can the retailer use to get those distribution rights in the first place? [more inside]
I'm going into the oyster business! Help me learn more. [more inside]
An acquaintance is at wits end running a successful small international business. He has a small staff warehousing and shipping retail and wholesale product from overseas. He's the CEO, salesman, accountant, web content manager, etc.. The problems of the day are inventory management, accounting, and assessing tax impacts of various corporate structures. Obviously, many small businesses have gone through this phase and there must be some specific advice on what employee one needs next and which consultants actually help, for example. Are there forums or other resources for people making this sort of business transition?
Looking for a simple (cheapish) purchase order app to verify employee purchases and notate what job it is for. [more inside]
Where do small business owners ask for advice online? I know many use Linkedin groups. What are some of the more popular social networks for "mom and pop" business owners to ask for advice and to share? Many thanks, Zach
Within five minutes of meeting the partners of this fashion jewelry company I knew that ship was gonna sink. I signed up anyway because the pay was decent. I fully intended to be the last rat standing. I wasn't expecting the ship to break into two pieces. Now I'm trying to decide which half is going to float longer. [more inside]
Are there any business discussion groups or fora out there where SME owners and entrepreneurs share thoughts and ideas? Something like Ask/Metafilter but strictly business oriented.
I'd like to know if there's any benefit to buying a shelf company in 2016, particularly if the goal is to build a solid credit history fast (if not immediately). [more inside]
A friend is considering starting a non-profit. Since the beginning, he's been thinking it will be a non-profit but recently, someone who specializes in helping develop social entrepreneurs told him that type structure would be better for this reason ... [more inside]
I'd like to get a "business" number that gets forwarded to my cell phone. I'd like text messages to be forwarded also. It be nice if I could specify that the calls are to be forwarded between 8am and 6pm for example. I'm in Canada.
At 24, I worry about how to present myself without coming across as intimidating to men. [more inside]
I am half remembering an interesting fact...please help me remember the whole thing. I seem to remember their was a business (a bar maybe, or a store chain?) that had a policy of allowing actors without a permanent address to receive mail at their business. I think it is/was a long tradition, can't remember if the business was related to theatre or not. Thanks!
I'm looking for a really great bookkeeper/accounting firm for a small but growing business using Quickbooks. Snowflake: MUST BE AMAZING. [more inside]
How to sit with discomfort (and you know... get some sleep) after making decisions that put my financial needs first? [more inside]
I am looking for a straightforward British economic business plan financials calculator for Excel so that I can look serious! I found a similar thing from startupmodels.com but it is really for the USA. Any signposting to something comprehensive with built in calculations?
What are some good tips or processes for finding the right people to rebuild a web site. [more inside]
We are working on being a $10million company and need to get away from our creaky, disparate systems for inventory/production/etc. We're obviously not the first company to go through this - is there a company or provider that can help us through this? [more inside]
I really like the clothing made by Lulu Lemon Lab. I'm looking for other companies that make clothing that is similar. Do you know any clothing companies that do clothes that could are a) comfortable like yoga clothes, b) business formal and c) urban in styling? [more inside]
This past week I was preparing for an international business trip when I realized that I had made a mistake on my visa application. I was able to re-apply and rush things through and get on the plane. If I hadn't, it would have cost $1,000-$3,000 in change and cancellation fees for flights. My boss said that, 'most places would make the employee pay that.' Is that true? [more inside]
I make abstract art. A lot of abstract art, some of which is in the web link of my profile. I need to offload some of it, but I'm trying to figure out the best way. This is complicated by my need to spend time marketing my writing, not my art. More within. [more inside]
I'll be traveling to Kiev to meet new co-workers and for various meetings, and I was told to bring some small gifts to exchange. What should I bring? [more inside]