Ask Entrepreneur - Grow Your Business

Growth Strategies

Should I Change My Company's Name?

I recently started a limited liability company (LLC) but have not purchased a company with it yet. I also haven't set up any credit accounts or bank account for it. My goal is to establish good business credit, which may in part assist me in purchasing a business. Would changing the name of the LLC affect any potential business credit? If so, should I just start a new LLC? What are the positives and negatives?
Nina Kaufman
Starting a Business

Where Can I Get Help Launching a Website?

I'd like to start a web business but I need help. How can I find a free consulting service? How can I make sure the consultant doesn't steal my idea?
John Arnold
Franchises

How Should I Prepare for a Franchise Discovery Day?

I've been researching franchises and have finally settled on one that seems to be a good match. I'm about to head to its franchise discovery day. What can I expect? How should I prepare? What should I be looking for?
Jeff Elgin
Franchises

What Do I Need to Buy a Franchise?

I'm interested in movie theaters. What certificates and documents would I need to have to buy a franchise in this market? Is it possible to buy a franchise without any capital?
Jeff Elgin
Starting a Business

How Can I Raise Money for My Nonprofit?

I am attempting to start a nonprofit organization that gives boxes of supplies to people in need -- locally and internationally. My first project will be to send a few hundred of these boxes to people in Haiti. But I've been funding this through individual donations and, so far, finding money to pay for bulk shipping has become a problem. How can I either get a grant or maybe contact an international delivery company for sponsorship? Do you have any ideas about where to go or ask for assistance?
Brad Sugars
Starting a Business

How Do I Use Benchmarking in My Business Plan?

I am writing a business plan on a new business in my market that will offer two distinct services not yet offered here. There are two companies offering these services successfully on another continent (therefore not in competition). If I want to help convince potential investors that this idea is viable, to what extent and how should I use a benchmarking comparison of these successfull companies and consequently shape my plan?
Tim Berry
Franchises

Is it Risky to Buy Into a Small Franchise?

I am currently investigating a franchise that only has one franchised unit open. What special considerations should I take when researching it? I want to make sure the franchise is going to be just as successful as any other with hundreds of units.
Jeff Elgin
Starting a Business

Should a Startup Hand Over Control to an Investor?

I am launching a small business in my town and it is only going to take $1,000 to get started. A friend wants to invest the $1,000 in the business but says he wants a 55 percent ownership stake of the company. Is that fair? What are the pros and cons?
Tim Berry
Franchises

Can I Start a Business with No Startup Capital?

I am an electrical engineer and want to be my own boss. But how can I start a business if I have zero capital to work with?
Tim Berry
Franchises

Should I Open a Pizza Franchise Abroad?

I am living in Mumbai and I am interested in starting my own business. I have not seen U.S.-based pizza businesses anywhere in Mumbai. Is it worth looking into buying a U.S. pizza franchise and opening it here? Can it be profitable?
Jeff Elgin
Starting a Business

What Are the Best Titles for Company Founders?

My partner and I are in the process of forming an LLC. However, we are torn over how to create appropriate titles for each other. One of us is focused on the technology side and the other on the business side (including sales and marketing). Any suggestions?
Nina Kaufman
Finance

What is a Good Resource for Determining Employee Pay Scales?

I'm in the process of developing a business plan for a cheerleading gym and am looking for a resource that will share pay information for other gym owners like me, as well as pay scale information for future staff. Any suggestions?
Penny Morey
Franchises

How Can I Know If I'd Be a Good Franchisee?

I've been out of work for almost two years and have been looking at franchise business ownership. There are so many franchises to choose from and although I feel like I could be successful, I'm not completely sure. Is there a way to accurately weigh my odds?
Jeff Elgin
Growth Strategies

How Do I Sell My Product to a Retail Store?

In my shop, I make a sheet-metal evaporative cooler jack. How can I sell it to a hardware store? Do I need some sort of certification and, if so, how do I do that?
Brad Sugars
Starting a Business

How Do I Decide Which Business Idea I Should Pursue?

I'm young and eager, and I have many ideas that I want to turn into businesses. The problem is I can't narrow down the list to just one. How do I pick one idea to move forward with?
Brad Sugars