Ask Entrepreneur

Marketing

Is there ever a reason to turn down business?

We rent vacation cabins but also have a few tent and trailer sites for rent on the property. Recently some of our customers who normally rent a cabin have switched to a trailer site, which is significantly cheaper. We're thinking of getting rid of the tent and trailer sites as we feel they cheapen the place but are not sure if this is a wise business choice because there's no guarantee that these customers would go back to renting a cabin.
Brad Sugars
Starting a Business

Are printed fabrics and textiles copyrighted?

I want to start a business designing and making handbags. However, I do not want to design my own fabrics for the purses. Is it legal to use purchased fabrics from fabric wholesalers and sell the purse under my business name?
Nina Kaufman
Starting a Business

Can a franchisee sue a franchisor for misrepresentaton?

I bought a cleaning franchise over 2.5 years ago. I've had all sorts of problems from the start in terms of marketing and getting customers, even though the franchise stressed there was a high amount of demand in the territory. The franchise promised to assist in marketing but their help wasn't useful. I followed their marketing program and basically have run out of money. Two other new owners in my area have already opened and closed because of not enough demand. What can we do?
Nina Kaufman
Starting a Business

What locations would be ideal for my law offices?

I'm planning to invest in a building to run my legal firm. It's a medium-sized office and my growth is unlimited. Should it be close to the city center where most of the giant companies operate or close to other legal firms? Should it be an easy access area or should it be within the crowded areas?
Kim T. Gordon
Starting a Business

How can I bring a U.S.-based retail brand to a foreign country?

I am a foreign citizen who is interested in introducing a U.S.-based retail brand to my country. What are the steps necessary to achieve this? I understand that this specific retail brand has not expanded internationally and does not offer franchise opportunities. How should I approach the owners and what would be the legal form of this kind of arrangement?
Brad Sugars
Marketing

Do women ever utilize golf as part of business?

Men have long used golf as a part of doing business, but how are women taking advantage of this great way to obtain business?
Paige Arnof-Fenn
Marketing

Will requiring online customers to register their email address turn away business?

I have an online restaurant menu for both pickup and delivery. I am wondering if most people are adverse to registering an online account before they can purchase. For customers that place an order for pickup at the restaurant, I need a name, email and phone number. For delivery, I need the same but the delivery address anyways.
Kim T. Gordon
Finance

Should we be using our business credit card for purchases yet?

My business partner and I have different philosophies on when to use a credit card. She'd like us to use our business card every time we're talking about our business or working on our business at a restaurant or coffee shop. Since we don't yet have any revenue, and I'm much more cautious about credit card spending, I'd like us to use our personal accounts, hold onto our receipts and have our business owe us back that money. It's a pretty divisive issue for us--any advice?
Pam Newman
Growth Strategies

How do I evaluate a PEO?

We are looking to outsource our HR functions. Do you have any recommendations for PEOs? Do you know any PEOs that will work with 1099 consultants? Or any PEOs that will offer benefits to part-time employees? What criteria would you use to determine effectiveness?
Penny Morey
Growth Strategies

What are the benefits and trade-offs of having 1099 employees versus W2 employees?

We want to be as flexible as possible with hiring. However, we are hearing that there are concerns about having a lot of 1099 employees. Can you help me understand the trade-offs and benefits of having 1099 employees or W2 employees?
Penny Morey
Marketing

How do I offer financing to my customers?

I want to offer financing to my customers but I do not know what documents and processes I should have set up before I do so.
Rosalind Resnick
Finance

How do you calculate or determine what your business is worth to an investor?

I have an investor who is interested in all of my businesses that are linked together. She would be an angel investor but I want her to be more involved and she's fine with that. The amount she is willing to give me is up to me. And the money would be spread out differently according to nature of the business but she is leavign that up to me also. So do I sell them as a whole and ask for a lump sum or seperate them
Rosalind Resnick
Growth Strategies

Can I give a personality test during the hiring process?

I am opening a business that necessitates very close working relationships between many employees and I feel that a personality test would determine if they would work well as a team. I have been told it is not legal to do this.
Penny Morey
Starting a Business

Is a PPM imperative when raising a $1 million equity offering?

My startup concept is a new website aimed at a niche demographic. I have a comprehensive business plan, but do not have a PPM. I am seeking $1 million from an equity investment.

My research indicates that a PPM could easily cost me $10-20,000--money which I do not have because I have used the money to develop a beta version of my site. Do I need to continue to pursue development of a PPM?
Could I save money by doing a mock-up of a PPM and simply have a lawyer edit it?
Nina Kaufman
Starting a Business

Are there limitations when signing an NDA from a company that is interested in buying me out?

I have only been in business with a product that I have invented, developed and taken to market for three months. Currently it's patent is pending. But at a recent trade show another company expressed an interest in buying me out with royalties. They want me to sign an NDA and I am having them sign my NDA. This is just so that we can share proprietary information but will a typical NDA restrict me from doing a deal with someone else? I highly doubt it, but I just wanted to make sure.

Thanks for your help on this. If you have any other answers relating to royalty agreements that I can look up, please let me know.

Rod
Nina Kaufman