Do you have suggestions for a system that will help me track the many new contacts I'm making as I start up my business? At the moment it's a mish-mash of notebooks, my phone, email, google docs and my (increasingly full) memory of conversations and phone calls. These might be people who've contacted me for a proposal, or it could be someone who says 'You should talk to my friend who does X - I'll put you in touch' and I want to remember to follow up with them later. [more inside]
posted by atlantica
on Mar 14, 2014 -
On Monday, I start my first non self- or under-employed job in five years. It is with a very large (4000+ employees) company that's a big player in their field, and I am very happy and grateful to have the job. But, as I'm sitting here filling out the employee paperwork I'm faced with a "New PC Employee Acceptance Form". It seems I will be issued a company laptop, but I will also be charged $70/month that "covers XXX Company's standard for PC hardware, software and maintenance". This was never discussed in my salary negotiations.
Questions: Is this normal? and, Is this an expense I will be able to write off at tax time?
posted by Benny Andajetz
on Mar 11, 2014 -
I'd like to start on online-base media/information/advice business, and I'm having trouble deciding on where to incorporate. [more inside]
posted by NYC-BB
on Feb 18, 2014 -
I recently started a business and have registered the business name with various municipalities. The relevant Twitter account name is already taken, but has never tweeted and has 3 followers.
Is there any chance I could get this handle from Twitter? [more inside]
posted by whenbynowandtreebyleaf
on Jan 18, 2014 -
I'm trying to recall a business/self-help book. The main idea was that setting goals and pacing yourself is counterproductive, and that accomplishment happens by immersing one's self in a big idea. Steve Jobs, etc. I believe the cover was an illustration of a businessman opening a shirt to reveal a superhero costume. There may have been a critique of Tony Schwartz' energy management model inside. It was probably written in the last ten years. Can anyone name the book?
posted by michaelh
on Dec 18, 2013 -
What's the cheapest and easiest way to get a business's credit report? It's my business (USA corporation.) I'm mainly interested in the overall score and the list of items affecting the score more than the details of each item.
posted by michaelh
on Dec 7, 2013 -
Can anyone recommend a good 'affordable' accountant that could reach out to the IRS and get the straight scoop on an IRS mishap (on my part mostly) from 2007-2008? Would like to get this straightened out as soon as possible. [more inside]
posted by littleredwagon
on Dec 4, 2013 -
A fellow aspiring entrepreneur and friend of mine is in desperate need of help. Time is of the essence!
Here's the story:
Two years ago he created his own business that sells custom hand-made clothes and products. He owns a website and is on all of the normal social media. One of his most effective tools to connect with customers is through instagram. He's worked hard over the years to develop a fan base of over 27K followers. Mysteriously, last night this account was hacked. They changed the password, hacked the business email, and have taken control of the brand. This account is the business' main source of revenue and advertisement.
Although he's trademarked the company and taken all the normal preventative measures, the admin. at instagram claims there's nothing they can do to help. Assuming this is true, what are his available options?
Essentially, my friend's ship just got hijacked by some evil bastards and he's going to need a seal team to get it back. [more inside]
posted by intelligentfool
on Dec 3, 2013 -
I work in e-commerce at a large national retailer. We have at least four other B2B divisions at some stage of e-commerce, and we all know it's time to get our act orchestrated.
The question: the head of one of the groups-- my boss-- has asked me to provide internal or external content that makes the case for not only getting our omnichannel presence together online, but also combining our processes and customer-facing (CRM) act together, too.
Anyone been to this rodeo? Have any resources you can point out?
posted by Arch1
on Nov 18, 2013 -
For years I have wanted to be a professional petsitter. Right now I work 30 hrs./week in an office. I would do it the "right way," getting insured, learning pet CPR, paying self-employment taxes, etc. Ideally it would be my main job, along with maybe freelance writing on the side (which I have done). Have you done this? Is it possible to make an OK living doing this? I have a lot of marketing experience and animal-related contacts, so that will help.
posted by trillian
on Nov 16, 2013 -
I'm looking for recommendations for a piece of software that automates printing and tracking quarterly bills to a few hundred customers that receive an ongoing service from a small business. I want to be able to import all the customers from Excel or something, place them in groups that pay different rates, and then EASILY print invoices once a quarter. Each invoice should come out automatically with the current rate for the group the customer is in. As the checks come in, I want to be able to enter those against the customers so I can track who has paid and who is behind. [more inside]
posted by steveminutillo
on Nov 4, 2013 -
I lean to the insane side of life when it comes to always trying to change. I have tried three times now to change from an enterprise programmer to SOMETHING! ANYTHING else... Here I am trying again... bound for failure? [more inside]
posted by mrgroweler
on Nov 3, 2013 -
How would I go about finding a failing business/company in real life for a homework assignment? Bonus points if it is in the area of fashion or crafting. It cannot be in the air travel or auto industries. I have done a lot of looking online, but don't know where to look to identify said businesses.
posted by michellenoel
on Sep 11, 2013 -
What do I need to know about promoting my small online business using Google AdWords? [more inside]
posted by BlahLaLa
on Aug 26, 2013 -
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!
posted by love888
on Aug 23, 2013 -
Help a business-illiterate engineer formulate an approach for evaluating an exciting business/career opportunity. [more inside]
posted by myriad gantry
on Aug 14, 2013 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
I want to start a business while helping people in my city. One option would be to purchase a homecare franchise, such as Visiting Angels, Home Helpers, Senior Helpers, Comfort Keepers, etc. I understand that these franchises might cost anywhere from $50k - $150k plus ongoing fees. Alternately, I could hang out a shingle and start my own without any outside support. I have financial experience, but I have never done homecare and I have never owned or operated my own business.
Does anybody have experience or advice with related to buying or operating a homecare franchise? Does your franchise treat its members well? Does it make sense to purchase one from a well-known provider or start from scratch? I welcome all feedback and advice!
posted by 0110
on Jan 18, 2013 -
What annoying words and phrases are popping up too often in the US workplace? Whenever I try to think of an example, it is at least 5 years old and people aren't really using it anymore. For example, "hit the ground running" or "the competition ate our lunch". (But those are too old.) [more inside]
posted by ErikH2000
on Jan 9, 2013 -
Brother-in-law wants a loan to start a home-based business. Please evaluate if his plan seems profitable? [more inside]
posted by 99percentfake
on Dec 26, 2012 -
How do we find who owns a specific business in a city?
posted by lloubee
on Dec 21, 2012 -
Building (and purchasing) a website for a friend's company in Africa - am I legally responsible if his company gets sued for something unrelated to the site? [more inside]
posted by cavs33
on Dec 7, 2012 -
Business etiquette landmines to avoid when making a sales pitch to Japanese business owners. [more inside]
posted by 256
on Nov 14, 2012 -
I'm a Canadian software developer. I'm going to a conference in the US next month, and I'm not sure what to say when they ask if the trip is for business or pleasure. [more inside]
posted by problemspace
on Oct 27, 2012 -
How important is it for me to get an accountant now that I'm earning most of my income as a freelancer? Can I handle taxes on my own? [more inside]
posted by croutonsupafreak
on Oct 2, 2012 -
I have a day or two to decide whether or not to buy a recently closed restaurant. I have tons of experience running small retail businesses. The books look good and the price is right. [more inside]
posted by Mr. Yuck
on Sep 24, 2012 -
I need to quickly figure the 9th and 20th business days of each month for the rest of 2012 and all of 2013. Preferably not in a manual fashion. [more inside]
posted by reenum
on Sep 14, 2012 -
I'm a web developer in Toronto who is currently operating as a sole proprietor. A prospective new client would really like to hire me for a major new project, but they can only deal with incorporated companies and cannot hire a sole prop. I'm looking for advice on incorporating from a) people in Canada and especially Ontario, but also from b) anyone who has any relevant advice about the experience of becoming an Inc., even if you are not Canadian. Yes, I will be engaging an accountant or lawyer for specific advice if I do decide to move forward, so I'm not worried that some specific advice may not be appropriate for my jurisdiction: I'm just trying to get a broad picture of what it's like (and some recommendations for lawyers/accountants). [more inside]
posted by maudlin
on Aug 31, 2012 -
A business was leased to another party and they set up and curated a business page on FB. When the lease expired they left and set up a competing business. They took the FB page with them and changed the name on the business page - keeping all the old content and relationships.
How do I get the page back? [more inside]
posted by ElGuapo
on Aug 30, 2012 -
I have a meeting tomorrow with an university club manager regarding events that I would like to throw. I have never done this before - any tips/tricks on what I should bring, what I should have prepared and how to negotiate the best pay for me? [more inside]
posted by cyml
on Aug 19, 2012 -
How do I ask for help and where do I look for intelligent, experienced help in creating a user-controlled website for a wholesale company based in NYC? Any ideas about the ballpark cost to create a wholesale company website? [more inside]
posted by nickyskye
on Aug 1, 2012 -
Assume I'm starting an e-commerce selling (retail, brand-y stuff) sports apparel and equipment. How should I design the product numbering and barcode system if I want to manage products, shipments, inventory, and warehouse locations? [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis
on Jul 20, 2012 -