Ask Entrepreneur - Franchises

Franchise

Which Franchise Markets Are Most Profitable?

Given the current economy, when looking into buying a franchise, which franchise industries are the hottest for buying into right now? Which markets would you avoid? Why? What other advice can you share for choosing the right franchise to buy?
Jeff Elgin
Marketing

What's the Best Way to Acquire New Sales Leads?

I have launched a new company with my partners. We are using trial and error to acquire new leads but the difficulty of introducing a startup company seems far-fetched. How can we show our skills without scaring people away with pricing? Are there any strategies or tips you can suggest?
Michael Kaleikini
Marketing

How Can I Market My Online Business?

I am in the process of opening a bakery called Gabby's Bake Shop. We do not have a physical storefront for walk-in service. Instead, we have a website with an integrated shopping cart. We also have a Facebook page, but can't seem to generate sales on our site nor page "likes" on Facebook. Do you have any marketing advice?
Michael Kaleikini
Growth Strategies

How Do I Find Someone to Run My Business?

I own a small restaurant and bar that I operate from a rented building. I am looking for help to run the business because of a recent injury. How do I find someone who will run it honestly? What pitfalls should I look for when turning it over? Obviously I'd like to avoid being taken advantage of.
Brad Sugars
Growth Strategies

How Can I Land My First Client?

I have a small commercial cleaning company. I have been trying to get business for more than three months but have not been successful. I have been passing out flyers as business cards. And have not had one call yet. How can I get that first client? And how can I turn that first client into several?
Pattie Simone
Growth Strategies

Are Owners Required to Provide Past Employee Pay Slips?

As an employer in California, we provide printed pay slips and mail them to our employees. Many do not keep track of them and continue to ask us to send them six months of past pay slips. Legally do we have to provide these or is it the employee's responsibility to keep their records? What tips do you have to avoid this in the future?
Penny Morey
Starting a Business

Do I Need a Trademark?

My business is an internet-based film production company. Do I have to trademark my company name in order to use it in every state within the U.S. and countries outside of the U.S.? What other legal issues should I consider for a company like this?
Nina Kaufman
Starting a Business

How Can I Make Sure I Get Paid?

I currently have a small business that is bringing in a decent amount of work doing street light location design in Phoenix. I had been working with a smaller company that was bought by a larger company earlier this year and since that time I have not received any payment from them. First, the larger company was giving me problems because I was a sole proprietor and they didn't want to write a check to an individual. I have since formed an LLC and have filled out all their forms but still have not been paid. I try to contact their accounts payable department everyday, but I receive no response. Do I need to take legal action? What factors should I consider?
Nina Kaufman
Starting a Business

What Are My Rights as an Investor?

My partner and I started a restaurant two years ago. He put in the majority of the money, but I invested about 20 percent and have been running the restaurant by myself. Due to certain differences, he asked me to stop going to the restaurant and I'm not allowed access to any accounts. What are my rights as a minor but active stakeholer in the company? What should I do?
Nina Kaufman
Finance

How Much Should I Pay Retailers for Selling My Product?

I want to start selling my handmade jewelry in boutiques, but I do not know much of the profits should go to the owner of the shop. Any advice?
Brad Sugars
Starting a Business

How Do I Start an Online Business?

I want to start a health and wellness website. How do I go about getting this all put together? How much money should I expect to spend? What are some of the basic factors I'll need to consider to get the business started?
John Arnold
Marketing

How Do I Build a Social Network for My Business?

What would be the type and cost of information technology infrastructure necessary to build a new social networking platform with capabilities like Facebook or Linkedin from scratch? I'm looking for rough estimates on equipment like cost of servers and talent such as programmers and developers. I'm willing to spend up to $150,000 to start out. Is this realistic? Are there benefits to building our own versus using something else?
John Arnold
Starting a Business

How Can I Add E-Commerce to My Business?

We sell luggage products like trolley bags, suitcases, laptop bags, backpacks and more. We'd like to start selling them online, too. How should we get started? What should we consider? What resources can we use?
John Arnold
Franchises

How Do I Close Down My Franchise?

I sent a letter to our franchisor and to our lessor informing them that I am not renewing the franchise agreement. Since our lease contract will end soon, the franchisor offered to operate the business under our name and using our equipment until the lease expires so that we can get our security deposit back from the lessor. They asked us to give them a portion of the security deposit as a management fee and on the condition that all income will go to them as they will pay all the expenses. Is this legal? What document can we prepare to ensure that we have no obligations to them at the time the business closes?
Jeff Elgin
Starting a Business

How Do I Open a Bar?

It has been my dream to start a bar of some type. My mother and grandmother have worked as bartenders and cocktail waitresses. I don't want to open a grill or restaurant -- just a bar where people can go at the end of the night and enjoy a drink. Of course I want to have enough customers so that I can make some money. Is this a good business to get into? What are my first few steps?
Brad Sugars