Is An MBA Worth The Investment?

Business School Graduate

I'm weighing the pros and cons of getting an MBA. While it would probably increase my earning potential, I'm not sure I'm willing to take on that much debt. What factors should I consider when making my choice? Cost is a big factor. The

How Many Stock Options Should I Get?

Company Stock Options

I'm working for a small Internet start-up. We typically work 60+ hours at the office, and there are only three of us. We were offered 2% of the company's initial stock offering, but I wonder if it's appropriate to ask for more options. Is

3 Different Types Of Resume Formats

Resume Formats

The average employer spends less than seven seconds reading a resume! So that statistic should encourage you to take your resume seriously and give it the attention it deserves. You only get one chance to make a good first

Legitimate Work At Home Business Opportunities

Working At Home

I would like to work out of my home, but all the offers that I've looked into are scams. How can I get in touch with legitimate employers? While many companies allow employees to telecommute for all or part of their workweek, it will

4 Smart Ways To Cut Small Business Startup Costs

Business Cost Cutting

Starting a business with only a few thousand dollars may not appeal to the faint-hearted, but energetic entrepreneurs can often make up in ingenuity and "sweat equity" what they lack in capital. Even seasoned owners like Lisa Wong, who

Strategies For Attracting Angel Investors

Angel Investors

Angel investors pick up some of the slack left by venture capital firms. Usually, a company requires equity financing every time it doubles in size or, on average, every four years. About 100,000 companies need equity capital every year. An

How To Get Venture Capital Funding For Your Startup

Venture Capital

Currently, the average amount venture capitalists invest in companies is a hefty $5.4 million. But whether you're seeking a mere hundred thousand for some market research or double-digit millions, you must still convince backers you can

How To Find A Business Incubator

Business Incubator

If you're just starting and could use help with a variety of issues from management and industry networking to tech support, a business incubator may be the way to go. Typically, incubator groups provide startup assistance, including cheap

Starting A Business While Still In College

Business Students

I am a 22-year-old college student. After giving the idea careful consideration, I have decided to leave school and start my own graphic design business. I only need around $2,200 to get started, but I don't know many people in a position

How To Turn An Idea Into A Business

Business Ideas

I have an idea for a product that mothers with young children could use. What steps should I take to make my idea into a business? You've taken the most important step: identifying your product and customers. Next you should check out

Federal Loans And Grants For Women Entrepreneurs

Women Entrepreneur

I am interested in starting a holistic healing and help center with massage, water therapy, yoga and tai chi. I have done some Internet research on grants and loans available to women, but I keep finding sites that charge for this

Federal Quotas For Import-Export Businesses

Import Export Shipping

I am an American living in China. I would like to start a business selling hand-knit sweaters made here, and my main market will be the U.S. (I'll sell online). My question is, do I need to have a quota to open my business? Yes, you do

How Do I File A Patent?

Patent Filing

I have invented a new mobile device. I've documented my invention on paper, dated it, put it in a sealed envelope and sent it by certified mail to myself. What's the next step to take to protect my invention and then begin to market

Small Business Disputes And Litigation

Business Litigation

Unfortunately, there are many chances to get involved in a legal dispute while running a small business. Every interaction with an employee, vendor, customer or another business creates the possibility of a future legal conflict. You need

Deciding Whether To File A Lawsuit – Should You Sue?

Business Lawsuit

Even though you or your business may have been "wronged" in some fashion, it does not always mean you should file a lawsuit and sue to protect your rights. Deciding whether to sue is a decision that should be made only after careful,

How To Find The Right Lawyer For Your Business

Business Attorney

For one reason or another, you find you need a lawyer. Perhaps the business is new and you're wondering if you should formalize an agreement with your partner. Or maybe you've outgrown your home office and want to lease or buy commercial

The Benefits Of Buying A Business Franchise

Business Franchise

Purchasing a franchise can be a good entry strategy for entrepreneurs. It eliminates many of the headaches associated with starting a new venture from scratch. It is also an opportunity for you to benefit from the experience, knowledge,

The Basics Of Running A Small Business

Running A Small Business

Getting a small business up and running can be complicated, but it is only the beginning. Once the business is operational, there are many steps you need to take to ensure it runs smoothly. Business Insurance Every business needs

Legal Issues Doing Business Online

Online Business

Small businesses are the most rapidly changing sector of business, and the proliferation of electronic commerce is evidence of entrepreneurs' rush to meet growing market demands. Small businesses are tapping into the Internet to conduct

Succession Planning For Small Business Owners

Succession Planning

If you own an interest in a business, whether it's a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation, you need an estate plan. You've probably put a lot of time, energy and sweat equity into your business, and you probably did it without

Legal Restrictions On Advertising

Legal Advertising

Many issues arise when you create an advertising program for your small business. When preparing an advertising program, it is essential for you to be certain you do not violate the rights of other businesses or individuals; there are

Warranties And Consumer Protection Laws

Warranty Contract

Over time laws have developed to protect consumers who receive faulty products. There are several different methods of protection, including: warranties, consumer protection laws, and product liability lawsuits. Warranties You

Collecting Payments From Customers

Accepting Payments

There are several ways to deal with collection problems, ranging from preventive action to initiating a lawsuit. If, as a business owner, you are fortunate enough to deal with people who always pay their bills on time, the remaining portion

Types Of Insurance Needed For A Small Business

Business Insurance

Business insurance protects the contents of your business against fire, theft and other losses. All businesses need to purchase a number of basic types of insurance--some insurance is required by law; others simply make good business sense.

The Basics Of Starting A Nonprofit Organization

Nonprofit Organization

Some entrepreneurs start charitable nonprofit organizations, designated as 501(c)(3), that qualify for exemption from federal income tax. With a nonprofit organization, the entrepreneur identifies a need in the community that is currently

The Benefits Of A Limited Liability Company

Limited Liability Company

A limited liability company (LLC) is a business form that combines the limited liability features of a corporation with the tax advantages available to the sole proprietor or partnerships. An entrepreneur conducting business through an LLC

The Different Types Of For-Profit Corporations

Corporate Profits

A corporation is a legal entity that has been created to do business. It can be taxed and held legally liable for its actions. The corporation is a separate entity from those who founded it. For tax purposes, there are two basic types of

How To Choose A Partnership Type For Your Business

Business Partnership

You may choose to join forces with one or more other people to own and operate your business, as a "partnership," in legal terms. There are two types of partnerships: General partnership, in which each of the partners has personal

Why Choose A Sole Proprietorship Business Structure

Sole Proprietor Business

You may choose to own and operate your business individually, as a "sole proprietorship," in legal terms. Essentially, a sole proprietorship is a business that is owned by one person. This is the easiest type of business to start, and the

Choosing The Right Legal Form Of Business

Business Structure

Sole proprietorships and partnerships have advantageous tax consequences, but they can expose the sole proprietor and general partners to liability. Corporations, on the other hand, shield the shareholders and managers from liability, but

An Overview Of Starting A Small Business

Starting Small Business

The old American dream of owning and managing one's own business is alive and well--stronger now than ever before. Latest statistics show that one out of every three Americans is involved in a new or small business. Many of these businesses

Small Business Finances And Taxes

Business Taxes

Every business needs money to survive, and every business must pay taxes on its earnings. Managing your finances and taxes can be very complicated. Financial Planning Of course you need money to start your business, but raising

Financial Planning For Small Businesses

Business Financial Planning

One of the first steps in any business is financial planning. If you know where your financing is coming from, you need a plan to manage it. If you need to raise money, financial plans will help you determine how much money you need and the

Types Of Small Business Taxes

Business Tax Types

Because you are a business owner, you have a dual role when it comes to taxes. On the one hand, you serve as a tax collector, taking payroll deductions for federal income tax, Social Security and other taxes from your employees, taking

How To Keep Track Of Business Income And Expenses

Business Expenses

Even if you hated math in high school, keeping a good financial record of every one of your business transactions--whether it's checks received or cash receipts for highway tolls paid while traveling on business--is a basic necessity. After

How To Get Financing For Your Business

Small Business Loan

Finding capital is a standard problem for most entrepreneurs. Raising money is an art. Fortunately, it is one you can learn. It is critical to gain knowledge of the money market, the people in it and how to interact with them. Your ability

8 Strategies For Buying An Existing Business

Buying Existing Business

The entrepreneurial trend is here to stay and expanding worldwide. However, a new model of entrepreneurship is emerging--the buyout entrepreneur. This individual buys a business instead of starting one from scratch. Many entrepreneurs are

Hiring And Negotiating With Service Providers

Business Negotiation

When you consider all the areas in which you must make decisions, nothing can be as time-consuming or as important as determining your service providers. If your phone system does not work correctly or your office equipment does not perform

How To Come Up With A Business Name

Naming Business

The name of your business should give people an idea of the type of business you are in, and be distinctive enough that people will remember it. If that isn't difficult enough, in addition to thinking up the perfect name, you must also take

Special Minority Programs For Entrepreneurs

Minority Entrepreneurs

Generally, contracting opportunities with the federal government are available to any business, but there are special programs to encourage participation by small businesses, small disadvantaged businesses and women-owned businesses. Often

Coming Up With A Great Business Idea

Business Ideas

An abundance of venture opportunities exists in various industries with growing markets such as computer technology, the Internet, children's products, ethnic products, specialty boutiques and pet pampering. Just a few of today's hot

3 Steps To Starting A Mail Order Business

Mail Order Business

I want to start a mail-order based business, so, I ordered a kit that offers advice on what items would be lucrative to sell on the Internet. The company offers a money-back guarantee if purchases are not satisfied. Does this sound like a

Finding Short Term Bridge Financing For A Company

Business Funding Loans

I am in the process of purchasing two rest homes, and I need a bridge loan until I can get HUD financing in place. I need to borrow $100,000 for approximately 60 days, which will be returned at the closing with interest. I was recently

How To Get A Job In International Business

International Business

International business is hot these days -- but it's very hard to break into, because most companies want you to pay your dues stateside before sending you abroad. Job descriptions are actually hard to come by in written form, because the

When To Ask For A Promotion At Work

Asking For Promotion

I want a promotion, but my boss won't make a decision about who should become office manager when the current person retires at the end of the year. Should I be aggressive in my approach, or do you recommend I wait and see? A friend of

How To Find The Right Career Coach

Career Counseling

How can I find a career coach in the offline world? In what way can a coach be helpful? The new breed of coaches are more like business consultants. They focus on working with managers to set goals and maximize performance - on the job

Should I Tell A Potential Employer That I Am Pregnant?

Pregnant Employee

I am three months pregnant (not showing) and out of a job. Is telling a prospective employer I'm pregnant a guarantee I won't get a job? Is not telling deceitful? First of all, congratulations. But you're stuck between a rock and a hard

Planning Your Long-Term Career Goals

Career Path

My boss keeps trying to schedule a meeting to discuss my long-term career goals. Frankly, my goals have nothing to do with him, his company or anything else I'm doing right now. I think he sees a future for me here, but I definitely do not.

Re-Entering The Workforce When Older And Wiser

Hiring Older Workers

I am 40 years old and have just begun my second semester back at college pursuing a degree in teaching special education. I took time off from working to raise my children. Many people say I'm wasting my time because I'll be nearly 45 years

The Best Time To Ask For A Raise

Asking For Raise

I am up for a six-month evaluation soon and I think I deserve a raise. Is it crazy to ask for a raise after only six months? It's never crazy to ask for a raise if you've got a good argument as to why you deserve it - and if your

Should I Lie About My Salary History In Interviews?

Salary History

Job interviewers always ask how much money I am earning. Do I have to tell the truth? Let's get one thing straight: Salary negotiations are a game and the stakes are high. So, how do you win this game? Tell the truth. But remember

How To Hire A Lawyer And Accountant For Your Business

Business Attorneys

I'm starting a small business on a limited budget and trying to make every dollar count. Is it absolutely necessary to hire a lawyer and an accountant? Like preventive medical care vs. critical emergency care, it's preferable to get

How To Create A Division Of Your Corporation

Corporate Division

My husband and I have an incorporated business. We are considering developing a division that would sell items online for a mail-order service. What are the laws, standards and/or guidelines for creating a division of your

How To Set Up A Non-Profit Organization

Non Profit Organization

How does one go about setting up a non-profit organization? Is there an online source for more information on this subject, or a government page? While some businesses end up as non-profits accidentally -- they just can't seem to make a

Compensating Employees For Overtime And Extra Hours

Working Overtime

Our exempt salaried staff members receive comp time for hours over 45 worked in a given week (normal workweek is 37.5 hours). They're disgruntled because they think they're being "used" between 37 and 44 hours. Are they entitled to

The Best Way To Advertise Your Business Offline

Offline Advertising

I'm familiar with online marketing methods such as search engine optimization, social media, and pay-per-click advertising. Can you give me some offline marketing ideas? Surprisingly, the most effective advertising is free: word of

Starting A Business Partnership With A Friend

Friends Starting Business

A friend and I want to start a business together. Do you have any tips on how to make this partnership work? Having a partner means having someone to share the joys of success and the pains of failure with, but be sure that you're not

How To Move A Business To Another State

Moving Your Business

I currently have a corporation in New Jersey. I have moved to Florida and have continued to do business under the corporation's name. Do I have to move the corporation to the state of Florida? Theoretically, while your corporation

5 Signs You Are Ready To Quit Your Job

Quitting Job

My husband owns a dump truck business, and I do the bookkeeping. I also have a full-time job outside our home. He is currently expanding, and I feel so stressed out that I am considering resigning from my outside job. How can I be sure I am

How To Protect Your Business Idea

Protecting Business Ideas

I have the idea, business plan and capital for a business. My problem is protecting my idea. I'm scared that since I have little experience in the field I wish to venture in, if I ask for advice or capital, someone with more experience can

How To Become A Freelance Consultant

Freelance Consultant

For the past couple of years I've given friends marketing advice for their start-up or small businesses, ranging from letters of introduction to promotional ideas. Many of my friends have said I should start freelance consulting instead of

The Pros And Cons Of Franchises

Buying Franchise

What's the biggest downside to buying a franchise? What are the advantages of owning one? Cost, pure and simple. If you buy into a proven franchise, the up-front ticket can run high -- up to a million for a McDonald's. If you choose a

Hiring Someone To Create A Successful Business Plan

Creating Business Plan

I need help with a business plan for a spa and salon. SBA training courses have provided a lot of good information on how to run a business, but I want to start with a business plan. Who should I talk to about writing a successful business

Raising Startup Capital For An Existing Business

Startup Capital Funding

In order to get your venture fully operational, you need financing. You will need money for equipment, offices, staff, marketing, and supplies. In other words, you need capital to start up. Although similar, seed capital and startup capital

Major Funding Options For Small Businesses

Business Credit Application

The money for your business can come from many different places. Most ventures are funded by a combination of sources, including any or all of the following: Personal savings and "sweat equity," or your unpaid hours, are an expected

Tips On Becoming A Better Manager

Business Manager

I am a company director living in Spain. About two months ago, I started a small Web site-designing business with the help of six other people. So far, the business is not running so well, although I'm trying my best to be a good manager.

How To Legally Name A New Business

Trademark Business Name

Picking a business name can be hard work: You're creating your own brand. And with so many names out there already, the task of finding a unique name can require some creative thinking. In addition, you'll need to meet local legal

Franchise Questions To Ask Owners Before Buying

Franchise Questions

What questions are appropriate to ask other franchisees? I'm applying to buy a franchise. As part of the application process, I have to visit several current franchisees. It is appropriate to ask them about net margins, gross sales, and

Staff Needed To Start A New Business

Business Staff

You may be going into business for yourself, but you shouldn't be doing it alone. Even if you have a great idea and the drive to make it happen, you may not have all the skills you need. To fill in those blanks, you need two types of people

Learning To Charge Your Friends For Services

Paying For Services

I have a small business startup. Friends often ask me to do work for them, but I have a hard time charging them. Some say they will pay me, but I turn them down. I need to maintain a profit margin, but I keep getting caught in the same

How To Hire An Accountant For Your Small Business

Business Accountant

Finding a proactive accountant -- one who goes beyond simply preparing your tax returns -- can help chart your financial course and put you in control of your money. Whatever your level of knowledge, accountants can help you better

How To Calculate The Value Of A Small Business

Business Valuation

How is the value of a company established? I have been offered the chance to purchase a company that has minimal assets but a very lucrative contract that generates substantial cash flow and profit. The problem is calculating the value of

How To Determine And Track Business Profitability

Tracking Business Profits

The answer to the question "Is your business profitable?" seems like it should be obvious from a quick look at the checkbook or a nod from an accountant. As counterintuitive as it is, small business owners are sometimes among the last to

How To Land A Product Licensing Agreement

Licensing Agreement

How can I get a company to consider my ideas and products for licensing? Do you have any suggestions for convincing an existing company to consider my business's ideas and products for licensing? Many companies say they can't consider my

Tips For Writing A Successful Business Plan

Writing Business Plan

Writing a business plan is one of the most demanding and tedious challenges facing entrepreneurs, invariably taking dozens or even hundreds of hours of executive time. And as your business grows the task becomes ever more daunting, simply

Solving Small Business Cash Flow Problems

Cash Flow

I am having cash-flow problems. Should I obtain a line of credit to cover expenses? A few years ago I started a janitorial company. Originally, I kept my previous job, but last year I began working on my business full-time, and now I'm

Home Business Scams – 7 Questions To Ask

Home Business Scams

Dreams of quick cash and flexible schedules lure many people into losing $$$ in nasty scams. How do you know whether a work-at-home proposal is legit? Get answers to the questions below. Reputable companies won’t charge you for this

How To Get Your Home Business Organized

Organizing Business

It's the first of the month. Your creditors are waiting for payment, you have to bill your customers, and you can't seem to find that form letter you created on your computer. What a mess! Your business may be off the ground, but it won't

How To Avoid Work-At-Home Scams

Work At Home Scams

Some people are so eager to work at home that they become easy prey for scammers who hawk so-called business opportunities that simply take the investor's money and run. Envelope stuffing and coupon clipping are two of the most notorious

How To Write A Winning Business Plan

Business Plan

A well-written and thoroughly researched business plan is increasingly viewed as a critical element for the success of any new business. Not only does it serve to introduce your business ideas to potential lenders or investors, it can serve

Resume Writing Tips And Advice

Resume Writing

Order you resume headings according to the most relevant information in a place that will catch the reader’s eye. Important information to include: Name, address, home phone number, work phone number and email address. Provide a Job or

The Importance Of Group Dynamics

Team Group Dynamics

Are the group dynamics at your workplace beneficial, or do the staff meetings fall apart at the drop of a hat? The committee approach to business can be extremely effective - when carried out properly. Discover expert management techniques

Improving Teamwork And Trust In The Workplace

Building Teamwork

An extremely critical area of effective teamwork is group trust. There are many signs that a group lacks trust – complaining, vicious criticism and backbiting. Less obvious indicators include employees conforming to the group with a

New Startup Concerns For Entrepreneurs

Business Startup

One of the most common traits among successful entrepreneurs is frugality. Being frugal means making wise spending decisions, not purchasing more services and equipment than you actually need. Use creativity instead of cash to generate

Home Business Mistakes To Avoid

Woman In Home Office

A home business presents an obvious problem: You might be too comfortable. You must stay dedicated to what you’re doing and be willing to work hard. You’ll find that organization and discipline can overcome a lot of obstacles, including the

Steps For Hiring Your First Employee

Hiring Employee

You need a second pair of hands and you'd like them attached to the perfect person for the job. Hiring your first employee is a big step, and most of your thinking and calculating should happen before you file your first "Help Wanted" ad.

How To Find Your Small Business Niche

Business Niche

Can you combine something that you love to do with the structure of a business plan? Find a passion and pursue it, and success will follow. Inventory your skills and find out what you like to do. If you turn to someone else for ideas,

10 Ways To Cut Costs For Your Small Business

Cutting Business Costs

Setting up a home office? Starting a small business? It's a real balancing act of money coming in vs. money going out, so you probably want to cut costs wherever you can. Here are a few suggestions and money-saving strategies that might be

Starting Your Own Home Business – First Steps

Starting Home Business

What do you like to do? When starting a home business, it makes sense to do something that you enjoy. Be sure that you are genuinely interested in the area you are about to pursue and have a thorough knowledge base from which to work from.

Tips For Creating A Customer Satisfaction Survey

Customer Survey

Flexibility plays a major role in your relationship with clients. Effectively relating to your customers and pinpointing their needs will help you to build a loyal customer base. In addition, it will earn you a reputation as an invaluable

Setting Goals For Your Home Based Business

Business Goals

There are many skills that a successful entrepreneur uses to run a business. Listed amongst the most important is the ability to set goals. Goals are especially important for home business entrepreneurs who may get distracted with household