How To Turn An Idea Into A Business

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 the competition, and make sure your product is unique. If it isn’t, find […]

Federal Loans And Grants For Women Entrepreneurs

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 information. Do you know of a source with direct access to federal loans or […]

Federal Quotas For Import-Export Businesses

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 need a quota, or permission to import a […]

How Do I File A Patent?

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 it? Forget the old tale about mailing a dated description of […]

Should I Incorporate My Business – What Are The Advantages?

I want to start a Web-based consulting company with a partner. I’ve heard many conflicting things about corporations, limited liability companies and partnerships. I don’t know whether I should incorporate or not. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each business form? Incorporating offers a number of advantages over other business forms. Following are the […]

How To Present The Competitive Analysis In A Business Plan

When creating my business plan, how should I present and lay out the competitor-analysis section? And for my customer and market analyses, I need statistics on the estimated number of people studying in MBA programs in the U.S. An analysis of the competition provides critical data in a business plan because without knowing the competition, […]

Should I Tell A Potential Employer That I Am Pregnant?

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 place, and your belly is expanding by the minute! Not […]

Should I Lie About My Salary History In Interviews?

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 that the truth is not just what you are currently being […]

Tips On Becoming A Better 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. People are starting to get tired and most of them […]

Franchise Questions To Ask Owners Before Buying

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 daily units sold? I don’t want them to tell me to mind my own business! In […]

Learning To Charge Your Friends 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 cycle. What do I do? Still […]

How To Calculate The Value Of A Small Business

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 the contract. On a straight cash flow, profitability standpoint, it would appear fine. However, […]

How To Land A Product 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 ideas for “legal reasons,” yet they accept other people’s products. While many companies do license […]

Solving Small Business Cash Flow Problems

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 running into a cash flow issues. Do you think I should get […]