Ask Entrepreneur - Marketing

Marketing

How much do I charge a client for a marketing plan?

Hi, I've submitted a lengthy and quite comprehensive proposal to a potential client to help increase the sales for their product and give them market presence, branding, etc., citing specific target customers, where I see they need the most help and why I am qualified to help them. They came back with a positive response to the proposal, but now want me to write a marketing plan! They are willing to pay for it, but specified 3-5 pages, target accounts, projections and so on. I thought I'd pretty much covered it in the proposal! I have never done a marketing plan and especially do not know what to charge.
Pattie Simone
Marketing

How can I get my product on QVC or HSN?

I'm a fitness guru and 9 time world weightlifting champion. I've been privileged enough to train some great people and help them get back to good health. I've written a book I would like to promote on these networks.
Pattie Simone
Finance

I do I file taxes on my independent contracting work without getting slammed every year?

I'm an independent contractor and I have another 9-5 job. My 9-5 takes taxes out but not my independent work. I make about $7,500 a year in untaxed income. How do I file taxes without getting slammed every year?

I'm married and we usually file a joint return and get a refund of approximately $5,000-7,000. I would like to continue to receive that refund and not owe anything.
Pam Newman
Finance

Should I use a W-9 document when obtaining a new business client?

I run a small IT/computer maintenance and repair business. I am now attempting to gain business clients and I was wondering, do I need to fill out a W-9 form for my business clients' payments or do I just have them pay me as my residential clients do?
Pam Newman
Marketing

How do I accurately measure my customers' experience when most are surveyed out?

Surveys are everywhere but people don't trust them. My mother even threatens to survey me on why I don't visit more often. So how does a company really know what the customer is feeling about your service?
Kim T. Gordon
Marketing

How can I remold my business to attract younger generations?

Our 35 year-old restaurant is an upper class 4 star restaurant that has been fortunate enough to grow with our current customers. Unfortunately, our customers are now either retiring or dead. We are trying to remold the company so that it's not only viewed as a great restaurant for special occasions, but also for the generation of 40 somethings to enjoy dinner during the week, corporate parties, to stop by and have a martini in our outside bar.
Kim T. Gordon
Marketing

What is the most lucrative way to market a new slogan?

I have done a basic search on the uspto.gov website, as well as an internet search, and have found nothing to dissuade me from believing that my slogan has not been used. I know there are other search avenues to which I may or may not have access, but allowing that this slogan has not been used before, how would I best protect it while I am trying to attach it to a product or service? I truly believe it would sell well on its own, but I think a larger business entity (e.g. Adidas, Converse) would want it for their own. I fear I will be the guppy that is swallowed by the bigger fish in the tank.
Kim T. Gordon
Growth Strategies

How can we enhance our maternity leave program beyond our legal obligations?

We are a very family-oriented company of 70 employees and would like to come up with a few special add-ons to enhance our maternity leave agreement. Are you familiar with any new trends or ideas in this area?
Penny Morey
Growth Strategies

Can you suggest an efficient payroll company that includes web portal access?

I started a consulting business last year and now want to hire some people full and part time. I am looking for an inexpensive payroll company that is efficient and can provide website portal access that allows the employer to edit employee details and allows employees to view pay stubs as well as submit hours.
Penny Morey
Starting a Business

Should I be worried about not having a college degree, even though my business career is going fine now?

I love my job right now, but I'm still concerned about my background. I didn't graduate from college. I am worried that someday our company is going to fast track and I am going to be stuck with nowhere to go and my intellect will have no credibility without the degree. Should I be as anxious as I am right now of the whole situation?
Brad Sugars
Growth Strategies

How do I get my employees to step up and take on more responsibilities without having to tell them what to do each step of the way?

I own a disaster restoration company and business is growing very fast. The problem is that I am unable to make it to each and every job myself and my employees are not stepping up and making decisions themselves, which is forcing me to go to the job site myself to give them step by step instructions. It's creating a lot of unneeded stress on myself and my family life. I am worried that if this problem is not solved fast I will lose my family or my business.
Elinor Robin
Growth Strategies

How do I get my programmers in India to finish my project?

My website was supposed to be completed by the end of December and it still isn't complete to launch. I talk with them on a daily basis and it seems they're always having resource problems. I have secured the investment to pay for the website; I am just waiting for them to complete the project then I will pay the remaining balance. This is an awesome project too! What do I do?
Lena West
Marketing

How do I introduce our company to a new region?

I work for a small engineering/surveying/planning/landscape architecture firm in New Jersey. I want to introduce the company to New York and Pennsylvania. The rules and regulations are different though. We are licensed to practice in those states. Where do I look for business contacts, land developers and land use attorneys?
Pattie Simone
Starting a Business

How can I test-drive a restaurant business?

Hi, I am an engineer who has a burning desire to start my own business. I have narrowed it to an Indian restaurant. Before spending a ton of money on location, cooks, and the whole works, I want to know if a cheaper, more viable way of finding out if this particular business model will be successful exists.
Brad Sugars
Growth Strategies

How can I prevent theft among employees?

I am an owner of a juice bar. We've been in business for about 4 months and noticed our expenses and profits didn't add up.
Pam Newman