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]
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...
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]
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]
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]
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!
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!
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
'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]
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?
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]
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]
Professional laptop case with straps, a.k.a. a backpack for adults, please? [more inside]
What are the best books about Ebay? [more inside]
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]
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?
Need credit or charge card for a small business that has outgrown its President's ability to cover its obligations. [more inside]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
Where can I buy a fully functional working website template for my business with all rights. [more inside]
I would like to travel the world while writing my own software (for profit). Ideally, I'd like to stay in each place for a couple of months, not just a few days or weeks. Where can I learn about the legal specifics of doing this? [more inside]
My friend is Italian and living in Milan. He has developed a product that he will sell through Amazon. I want to help and get involved but not willing to risk my future to do it. [more inside]
If I quit my job in April and start working on my own projects, can I buy a new laptop in July and write it off as a work expense on my taxes, even though I might not actually make any money from my projects until next year? [more inside]
I run my small company (freelancer) and want a kickass online banking experience; minimal fees, good TOS, photo check deposits, and sure, why not, ATM reimbursements. I won't mention my brick and mortar bank (out of Boston for 'citizens') but they leave quite a bit to be desired. [more inside]
What is good business (fibre?) internet access in San Francisco? [more inside]
We are looking for an ERP solution to a new business. Nothing complicated, we just need to be able to manage one vendor, a few customers, manage stock and issue invoices. Does anyone have a program they use they can recommmend? Free is good, or a trial and then low cost.
I work in a very small IT company that makes custom business applications. The owner is way too involved in the day-to-day and pushes the sales guy to schedule us back to back to back for projects. We have no dedicated support staff so support for existing clients falls back to us (me and the one other developer) in addition to building new applications - and having all the meetings etc with clients. We are like half BA, half developer with no project manager anywhere in sight. I need to develop some skills that will allow me to get another job but no one here has the time or interest in creating requirements documents or making use cases. I barely have time to get my work done and am working more than 40 most weeks without overtime (I am salaried). I am getting burned out and need to leave. But the lack of actual SDLC/Agile/documentation stuff is really killing my attempts to transition to a straight BA position. [more inside]
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!
"Logistics" is not quite the right word, but what are some very good "logistics" textbooks? [more inside]
My friend has one last class to take. Economics 10B at UC Santa Cruz. She's already clarified with the dean that she can take this lower division class at an accredited institution. Where can she get this done as quickly and painlessly as possible? BYU Online? [more inside]
How do I find a salesperson? How do I pay them? What kind of freedom do I give them? How can I make it worth their while so it can be a long term relationship? I believe there are people out there interesting in helping me, but I've never been able to figure out how to find them. One man bands do everything but seem to burn out faster, and I don't want to do that. I need help. [more inside]
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]
In my town, there's a Shell station on one corner of the intersection. On another corner of the same intersection, another Shell. There're also two Woolworths right across the street from each other, and two Pizza Huts. Why? Does anyone out there have any idea? I mean, any ACTUAL idea, not just supposition? Maybe someone who works in marketing, or urban planning? Also, are there any resources I could read that explain these kinds of business decisions? I've looked online and can't find any information. Thanks very much.
Can you share examples of innovation programs in companies that you are aware of? How do they measure the outcomes of such programs?
Can you share examples of innovation programs in companies that you are aware of? How do they measure the outcomes of such programs? I know Google used to or still has a program where in employees work on projects of their choosing for 20% of their time. Any thoughts around steps that can be taken to increase innovation in an IT organization would be helpful.
How do I dress for work and fun when weight gain has made me unfamiliar with my body? [more inside]
Brother-in-law wants a loan to start a home-based business. Please evaluate if his plan seems profitable? [more inside]