Are there any cafes out there in the wild that have survived (or better, thrived) with a strictly enforced no-laptop, no-iPad (essentially, "no portable electronic offices") policy? I'm looking for reasonably well-documented examples of coffee houses that have bucked the student/mobile-office market and done well. The more it's presented as a business case, the better.
posted by Shepherd
on Sep 12, 2014 -
I know a lot about a particular type of small business. I aim to capitalise on my experience by creating a website that offers free tips and a ebook for purchase by people who would like to enter this business. Some of my motivation is sharing what I've learned, but as my potential readers will also be my potential competition I want to make some money from it too. [more inside]
posted by Kerasia
on Sep 12, 2014 -
What categories of (or what specific) jobs and/or career paths in large corporations are least likely to require travel with turnaround and/or distance that necessitates flying? What types of industries (while otherwise thriving) seem to be paring down their travel budgets and relying more on videoconferencing and similar tech? What about government jobs? Are you a highly successful ........ and don't, or at least have never been required to, fly for work? I would love to know about your job. [more inside]
posted by notquitemaryann
on Sep 11, 2014 -
My anxieties and insecurities are messing with my relationship. How can I overcome them? [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on Sep 7, 2014 -
I want to become literate in two of the major fields that are the most foreign to me, business and finance or economics. Can you help with book or website recommendations? [more inside]
posted by quiet earth
on Sep 6, 2014 -
So, I've been doing mechanical engineering for ~6 years now and it's becoming apparent that I could do a lot better (for myself, for others) with truly top-notch social/leadership/networking skills. What's a good way to gain these skills? [more inside]
posted by sninctown
on Sep 3, 2014 -
I have what I think is a really good idea for a social networking website, kind of along the lines of airbnb or meetup. If it was done right, I think it could be very popular. But the problem is that I have zero business knowledge and zero computer/coding/web design knowledge, and therefore I have no leverage with those I'd have to partner with. All I have is an idea. [more inside]
posted by early one morning
on Sep 3, 2014 -
I came up a product idea and made a sample/prototype but I have no idea how to go next.
I know my target store customers but how to I get in touch with them. Is it appropriate to call them (customer service) up and ask who I should talk to?
If I do get buyer's contact info, should I contact multiple buyers that are in the same company? Please let me know what you think, thanks!
posted by lanhan
on Aug 26, 2014 -
I'm trying to decide between leasing or buying a car. It would be anywhere from 50-100% business use. Does this make a difference? [more inside]
posted by CommonSense
on Aug 25, 2014 -
I have a very very niche job. I've been doing it for over ten years now and have made about $28,000 per year. Because of my experience, I was called in for a meet and greet. It was going to lead nowhere. So, I pretty much blew it off, and blew the next one off, and showed up to the third because it was on my way home.
They hired me and gave me a job that pays about $786,000 per year. I was told that they had reservations about me and told me they were bothered by the fact that I wore "denim with unpatched holes" at the interview. I didn't even think I was being considered. This is very unreal. And now I will have a job that pays me more in my bimonthly check than my last year's entire gross. I will be working with a different clientele, and my position will have more prestige than previously.
So how do I dress? [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on Aug 20, 2014 -
People in my (US-based) office are going nuts today trying to overnight a ream of blank 11x17 paper to Korea. Is this really necessary? [more inside]
posted by Naberius
on Aug 13, 2014 -
Tomorrow morning I will serve as the facilitator for a meeting I called, which is a four-year review of the program I run. The meeting will be among several old white men, and I am a reasonably young white female. There are bound to be emotions, as people have personal investment in various aspects of the topics to be discussed, and there are territorial issues that will likely rear their heads. What tips do you have for keeping such meetings productive, rational and finishing on time? [more inside]
posted by Liesl
on Aug 6, 2014 -
I have worked in recruitment for all of five months. Having previously run a less than successful but still operating and now growing charity, I missed the security of a regular paycheck. They like my sales experience but are not as experienced in teaching one how to recruit for their sector. I have had a few offers but have not closed a sale in two months for a flat fee recruitment advertising (no headhunting) product they are halfheartedly experimenting with. Out of 22 staff, I am only the only salesperson for it. I do earn a small monthly salary and could earn a commission. Out of left field, a family friend has come forward with a big recruitment opportunity with a software company. I am currently working on a split commission deal with a work colleague on a software role but do no recruiting, only manage the business communication. I feel ashamed about it and feel I could be of better service as an independent recruiter. However, I need some advice about starting up and feel I can't really get an objective account from senior leaders in the field. [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on Aug 3, 2014 -
How realistic and/or easy is it to buy and run a physical bookshop in a foreign country? [more inside]
posted by applesurf
on Jul 24, 2014 -
The problem in a nutshell: I am the sole owner of a S-corp consulting practice with one very large, very happy client. My company has grown a lot and, to handle the workload better, I've brought on some subcontractors who essentially do the same thing I do. Now I'd like to "sell" the book of business to one of my subcontractors, but I have no idea what sort of financial arrangement makes sense. [more inside]
posted by DrGail
on Jul 23, 2014 -
I am in the midst of establishing an office in Downtown LA for a small and growing business. I purchased a package that in which I have business phone that I can use fax on, unlimited national calls etc. U-Verse Wi-Fi package is separate. [more inside]
posted by goalyeehah
on Jul 22, 2014 -
I want to pursue my dream of starting a business but have 2 problems. I'm not an extrovert, and all of my skills are in an industry that is not startup-friendly. What are good businesses for me to start? [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on Jul 19, 2014 -
Are there any no-fee business checking accounts for a sole proprietorship? Pretty much no services are needed other than an account that is separate from personal finances.
posted by jsturgill
on Jul 8, 2014 -
I'm doing the ground work in setting up a small side business. This business would target a specific demographic with a defined subset of residential design services. I feel compelled to do a 'rate card' but I wonder if anyone here has experience with using a rate card as a service provider. Trying to figure out pros and cons and whether I've missed something. As a consumer, I think I'd love to see some up-front rates but I know that, realistically, it would keep me from hiring someone if I felt like I couldn't afford them (even if I could). [more inside]
posted by amanda
on Jul 5, 2014 -
I'd like to compile a list of businesses in New York City—starting with Manhattan—that have been around for 100 years or more. I'd also like to include places the public can visit that aren't "businesses" per se.
I'm guessing this information is publicly available, but I don't know where to start. Any guidance would be extremely helpful. Thanks!
posted by context adventure
on Jun 29, 2014 -
I pretty much only have 2 non-family friends but i am really close with those two friends. We are all low to mid 30s living in different cities in the southeast. Two of us are lawyers, the third is in sales. None of us are breaking the bank but we live comfortably. The problem is (1) we dont work together and (2) none of are particularly in love with our jobs. We have been talking about forming a business together for years but we have thought of any idea as sad as that sounds. We just need some practical but that we could do together. It would be a side gig for us all unless it got big enough to replace our current jobs (the ultimate goal). Looking for suggestions on business ideas or just importantly suggestions on where to find some business ideas. They do not have to be sexy biz ideas but i should say we would probably not be interested in paid blogging, or similar 'work from home' business ideas. I would appreciate any thoughts! Best
posted by frednorton
on Jun 27, 2014 -
The management software my company uses recently added the ability to send messages via SMS to our clientele. We've signed up and it's tested well, but we're not clear on the legality of sending business correspondence messages (no marketing, simply "Your rent is due, please call # or pay online @ oursite.com/pay") without the client expressly opting in for SMS messaging. Do we need to have everyone opt-in or are non-marketing messages for the purpose of communicating legitimate business notices exempt? [more inside]
posted by dozo
on Jun 27, 2014 -
A group of friends and I have been considering setting up a small music festival around May next year and are trying to get our heads around what we will need to think about, so that we can work out the cost of it all. Extended explanation inside. [more inside]
posted by heartofglass
on Jun 27, 2014 -
One of my favorite colleagues has a cat, and it is dying. She is just waiting on tests to come back from the vet so they can decide if palliative care is an option or not. I'd like to do something nice to let her know that I'm thinking of her, but need ideas that won't memorialize me as "That girl who did that crazy thing in a misguided attempt to nice." Also looking for a sanity check - if this is a bad idea, please say so (and why). [more inside]
posted by schroedingersgirl
on Jun 17, 2014 -
I'm working on a novel (yeah, yeah) in which the bad guys are, among other things, a couple of rival business-criminal assholes.
I know nearly zero about business, finance, and politics, and I don't want to talk about these folks in ways that show me to be the faffy prancing buffoon I really am. [more inside]
posted by Mister Moofoo
on Jun 11, 2014 -
Currently I live with family in Hew Hampshire and have registered an LLC this year here in NH at my parents' address.
I'm moving just south of the border in MA, only 20 minutes away. Do I need to relocate my business? Seems like it costs more to register a business in MA.
Tax-wise I believe it will be the same because NH based software businesses operating in MA will be taxed a sales tax starting this year.
posted by spacefire
on Jun 10, 2014 -
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]
posted by ajp
on Jun 7, 2014 -
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]
posted by sparklemotion
on Jun 4, 2014 -
- 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]
posted by latkes
on Jun 3, 2014 -
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]
posted by Laura in Canada
on Jun 2, 2014 -
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]
posted by kpetrich
on May 28, 2014 -
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!)
posted by Blazecock Pileon
on May 26, 2014 -
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?
posted by windykites
on May 24, 2014 -
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]
posted by pineappleheart
on May 23, 2014 -
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]
posted by alice ayres
on May 20, 2014 -
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]
posted by Parh6512
on May 3, 2014 -
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]
posted by offrecord
on May 2, 2014 -
I have a few options for my next career step.
Deciding between a few options or business school. [more inside]
posted by pando11
on May 1, 2014 -
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!
posted by tessalations999
on Apr 30, 2014 -
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]
posted by Jalliah
on Apr 28, 2014 -
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?
posted by CollectiveMind
on Apr 25, 2014 -
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
posted by Jimmeh
on Apr 12, 2014 -
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]
posted by M.Onniker
on Apr 7, 2014 -