My wife has just started a new business venture, which is a weekly drop-in Q&A group for moms. She's looking for some software to support a couple of key functions: simple accounting and tracking the attendees. If it's possible to combine these, then all the better, but I recognize it'll likely have to be two different systems. [more inside]
How do we tell our boss (my father) that there are serious problems in our family’s business when he refuses to listen or acknowledge the problems? [more inside]
I want to start a business that takes leftover cake from parties and turns them into cake pops, to give back to the party people. Is this feasible? [more inside]
I've wanted to start a small business for the last couple of years, but I'm not sure what product or service to provide. I enjoy sales, customer service, and accounting/finance work. I know most about (and work in) the food/beverage/hospitality industry. What commercial niche should my small business fill? What product or service should my business provide? [more inside]
Asking for a friend. Please give me any anecdotes or information regarding owning or running a small motel (ten rooms or fewer). I'd like to buy and manage a motel as a business venture. The location would presumably be on the way to a popular national park. Anyone with any experience like that? Thanks!
I've wanted to start a small business (ideally a side business that I can run while keeping my day job) for a long, long time. Both for extra income, and for fun. But I don't know what I should do, and it's scary too! One thing I've found helpful so far is reading the stories of other people who have started businesses. I'd love to find more of these kinds of stories, so please suggest books, blogs, articles, or anything else I should check out! [more inside]
I run a one-person S Corporation in California, and am using Quickbooks 2012 on a Mac. My current bookkeeper (as well as a previous one) suggested I not use Online Banking to automatically import transactions from my bank and credit cards, saying there's a lot of potential for it to mess things up. My main question: should I avoid Quickbooks for Mac's online banking? What if I upgrade to the 2015 Mac version - does it handle such things better? [more inside]
About 20 years ago, I needed to set up a corporation to work freelance for a large Ontario film production company. A couple of different accountants over the years advised me to hang on to the corporation and they allocated my yearly salary as a management fee. That paradigm shifted this past year and now I'm wondering if invoicing through an incorporated entity is worth the expense and hassle. [more inside]
Hi! Are you a music promoter or work for a music venue? Do you throw a weekly showcase, or have you set up a small festival in the past 7-8 years or otherwise had a regular need for finding musicians to play and managing a schedule of musical acts performing in a space? If so, what is it like these days? What struggles do you have and how do you decide who say Yes to and who to reject? And aside from "I know some people" how do you find acts to book? [more inside]
I'm reaching out to my fellow Sydney-based Australians for recommendations on Accountants that are geared towards small business/consultancies. I've recently hung up my shingle as a consultant and would like to engage with an accountant that will grow with me and set me off on the right foot. [more inside]
You are not an accountant or not my accountant, and I take full responsibility for verifying any information that you provide me. [more inside]
I want to investigate the cost of getting a small business liability policy, which is necessary for me to rent classroom space at nearby universities and local school districts. The requirement is usually a $1million policy with the school as an additional insured. I assume it will make the most sense to just get an annual policy, rather than event by event. Can you recommend reputable companies I should contact for quotes? [more inside]
I run a small law firm in New York City and need to find an accountant for the business to help with taxes, etc., but have no idea how to find a good one. Google brings back a bewildering number of results. Does anyone have any recommendations on where to go? Thanks for any advice anyone might have!
My friend and I are working on a few years of back US tax returns. We are both US expats in Ireland with (very) small businesses. We are fairly confident about filing the 1040, Schedule B and the 2555, as well as the FinCEN form 114. The 5471 is confusing though... [more inside]
I would like to know what happens when a lender finds a recent change in leadership during due diligence for a loan, such as a business loan or a real estate loan to an organization. [more inside]
I am thinking of getting Quickbooks, but I am wondering which is the best one to get for a small business. [more inside]
What is a reputable SEO firm/consultant in the United States or Canada that's current with the uselessness of 'traditional' SEO for small sites and educates/trains small business owners who have misconceptions about ranking in Google? It needs to be an actual person, not a guide/website, because the person who will receive this referral works that way.
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]
I have my own business. I have received a check payment. If I sign the check over to someone else, is it going to be a problem that I invoiced a client, yet their payment never appears as being deposited into my account or cashed by me?
I have an idea for a small business. I'm seriously considering quitting my job to start up this business. I have never thought of myself as an entrepreneur before and I'm looking for resources to help me think this through. [more inside]
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]
I recently moved to a new city and am job hunting. I think I'm coming up against something in my resume and in interviews that could be handled better, but I'm not sure how. [more inside]
I have a client who has an existing website written in PHP spaghetti code and has been through a few developers. He wants to add features and upgrade to a modern framework (Django). The website is quite involved (tests, shopping cart, user authentication) and the requested features would add another layer of complexity (teachers and students). I have experience working with Django but I'm not confident enough to estimate the whole thing. Worse still, my client is non-technical and keeps asking for updates while remaining cagey about cost/ trying to lowball instead of considering technical difficulties. How does one proceed? [more inside]
If I go from part-time to full-time, is my employer (small business owner, <20 employees) obligated to offer me health insurance? [more inside]
I'm looking into opening an online shop with a few niche items, and I don't know how to go about packaging and labeling them. I'm very small time and this is a very small market, so I need to keep things on a budget. In theory I have a color inkjet printer and bw laser printer, but neither are cooperating at the moment, and I don't want really terrible hand made labels I've seen some people make on their printers. I can probably figure out why they're broken if there is a way to do nice looking labels on a home printer, I just haven't seen it. I can do design, but I've got little experience in the physical space. I'm also completely lost on the packaging side of things. Where can I find out about packaging and labeling cheaply for small (micro) businesses? [more inside]
Long story short: I have a friend here in Japan who runs a ramen shop. His lifelong dream is to move to America and open a ramen shop there, and my wife and I are hoping to help him do this a few years down the road (my wife would basically run the business end of things and perhaps own it on paper, and he'd be in charge of the kitchen end of things). [more inside]
I am confused with how the "business" gmail works. I do see it costs $5 which is fine. What I am seeking is to be able to send 500+ emails a day and I am limited by a regular account. [more inside]
My small business used to rank really well for hundreds of terms. But I've dropped for some major terms and been obliterated for others. How do I fix this? [more inside]
What are IT folks doing to ensure continuity for small business customers whose offices could be affected by natural disasters? Is XenDesktop a good idea, and if so, what configuration would seem to make the most sense? Other ideas also fervently solicited. [more inside]
I have a very, very small business (a blog; it gets decent traffic and I made some money advertising). I have some questions, and I'd like to speak to a tax professional or attorney for probably less than 30 minutes. I'm in Los Angeles, CA. Can you recommend someone and give me a ballpark cost? [more inside]
So my wife has a small business (5 employees, 3 in the USA and 2 in China), and I currently do IT support for them "for free". I'd like to get out of doing this for several reasons. [more inside]
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.
Setting up an LLC for the first time. Do I need an attorney or accountant? Or both? [more inside]
My husband and I have a small business. It is beginning to do well so we are thinking of hiring a part-time commission-based sales person and even have a specific guy in mind. However, this makes us very nervous: the whole business is predicated on relationship-building within a rather small, tight-knit industry, coupled with not-commonly available knowledge of how certain things work. How do smart small businesses manage their salesforce without essentially providing paid training to a future competitor? [more inside]
A friend of mine would like to loan me £5000. I would like to accept his offer and do so with a fair arrangement to repay. Help? [more inside]
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?
I have looked at previous questions but truly don't understand what I am actually needing enough to judge suitability. Here's what I have and what I need. I don't know what to track (in the finer sense) or how best to track it but I have a fair bit of money coming in and out and I'd like to know if I am ahead this year and also whether I have (for instance) enough tax room to upgrade stuff that I can write off (ie new Macbook Pro, specific software for my stuff, specific hardware etc.). [more inside]
Any recommendations for small business banking in the East Bay? With one small exception my needs are pretty basic. [more inside]
How do I rent an apartment on behalf of a small business? [more inside]
Following on from this question, I have decided to start offering private, custom arts & crafts workshops. I'm hoping to find people who need someone to help them plan an art activity, bring the materials, and run the workshop-- so, birthday parties, homeschool co-ops, scout groups and the like. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to find them. [more inside]
Help me name my little farm business! [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]
I'm currently looking at adopting Freshbooks or Kashoo, and would be interested in experiences with either, or other recommendations. Context: I'm a few years into freelancing (across a few different industries) and I'm working on improving my accounting, with the goals of easier tax time, smoother day-to-day operations, and better information about cashflow and budgeting. Right now I use Toggl for time tracking, and Mint for expense tracking and budgeting; I like Toggl but I'm not married to it, and Mint is starting to drive me absolutely nuts. I do invoicing and bookkeeping manually. Also welcome would be general tips on bookkeeping and accounting for small businesses / freelancers. I'm on a Mac, in Canada.
So, I'm running a fairy garden craft workshop in the store I work at in April. I've done this activity before when I worked at an after-school program, so I pretty much know what I'm doing with the actual crafting. However, interest in the workshop has been high enough that I would like to try running private workshops for people, and already have two people interested in hiring me for this. How do I figure out what to charge them, what do I offer to provide, and how do I find more clients if I want to make any actual money? [more inside]
What would be the best type of provider (web-hosting, hosted exchange, cloud storage) for a small business with less than 20 employees? Would a company like Godaddy.com or our current phone and internet provider. We are currently with Cbeyond. It seems like it may be simpler to go with our phone provider but I feel like they are not really specialized in this type of thing and therefore maybe not as good or reliable. Also, we would like no more, "NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! WE HAVE NO EMAIL ACCESS. SERVER DOWN, I REPEAT SERVER DOWN!" [more inside]
Accounting degree, experienced bookkeeper working for other folks, already know Quickbooks, etc. A small amount of capital ($5-6k) and a current part-time job that pays just enough to cover my expenses, but it's only going to last another year or so. I could go get another bookkeeping job, but I'm sick of making next to nothing and having next to no control over my work. How can I make myself viable as a business? [more inside]
Looking for a referral for a tax preparer for personal and small creative business. I am located in Los Angeles. [more inside]
I have a small niche food business. I have no organizational skills. You can see where this is going. [more inside]
Both my parents and one of my partner's parents run small businesses, and they're not doing well. [more inside]