Ask Entrepreneur

Franchises

Is now the right time to buy the business I've managed for 7 years?

I am considering purchasing a small business that I have managed for the past 7 years, but am reluctant as our sales in 2006 were good but every other year they seem to be slipping. With the higher costs of health care, auto insurance, etc., is 2008 a good year to make this business mine?
Tim Berry
Starting a Business

At what point should I make the full leap from my day job to my startup?

I have a photography business that I'm starting up, but don't know at what point I should make the full leap from my day job to this startup. Is there a certain amount of income I should reserve before I make the transition?
Tim Berry
Starting a Business

What should I be doing while the patent for my software is pending?

A year ago I developed a software based idea and have recently patented it. Currently it's at the patent pending stage, but I don't know how to proceed from here. I've researched, but don't know where to go from here. I've hit a wall! Do you have any suggestions?
Tim Berry
Finance

How can I start propositioning capitol investors if I'm not sure how much money I need yet?

I have invented a product in the automotive field that I absolutely know will be a huge success. I have obtained legal advise from a patent professional and his best advice is to find someone who has the capitol to start a business. But I find it very difficult to even come up with a business plan when I have no idea what my product will cost (each). Also patent protection is not cheap. My question I guess would be, how hard will it be to get some capitol investors to hear me out?
Tim Berry
Marketing

What is an effective way to advertise to millionaires?

I just started working under a company and my target market are those who are making around 5 million dollars . I am not new to sales, however I am new to this focus of networking. I want to be successful and would like some advice on how to make my business grow.
Kim T. Gordon
Starting a Business

What are the consequences of underestimating the fair market value of a pure startup in an 83(b) election?

Our company has just received its first round of funding which included issuance of restricted stock to the founders. Founders will elect 83(b) but want it to be a low as possible on the stock valuation to minimize current income tax. If the valuation used is later determined to be too low, does it risk invalidating the 83(b) election?
Nina Kaufman
Finance

How can I find the right person or program to help me get out of debt?

My fashion shop is in debt but I don't want to sell. I know I can make the money back, but it is hard to find an investor. Even if I sell everything, I still cannot pay my debts. I am running out of things to sell, but have no money to buy new lines with because of bills that need paying. My debt is topping $25,000.
Nina Kaufman
Starting a Business

How do I run an eBay business from abroad?

I am from Athens, Greece. Unfortunately, we don't have eBay Greek or any eBay association at all, but my dream is to export modern contemporary Greek art. What should I do?
Lena West
Technology

How should I go about getting a website domain from someone who already has it?

Someone has a website domain that I want and, looking through the records, it expires in 2008. What is the best and least expensive way to approach them about getting the URL?
Lena West
Technology

How do I find access to IT systems to allow for online scheduling on my side and online viewing of schedules by my clients?

My business is scheduling-intense and coordinating events. I would like an online availability for my customers to view what is going on at my business in real time (with us having the ability to continuously update the information on our side). I do not know the software or have the programming know-how but need this to grow my business. We would also like online payments and allow for the customer to have privacy in their accounts. Please help!
Ramon Ray
Franchises

Should I set up dealerships or franchises in order to expand my company?

I have created a garage improvement company in Boise, Idaho in the past six months. I considered purchasing a similar garage improvement franchise, but decided that I did not have to go that route. My company is ready to be launched and I have interested parties in other parts of the US. Although my company is new, I have little doubt that if I structure the business operations right, we could quite possibly exceed outfits like Premiere Garage.
Jeff Elgin
Marketing

How do I value sponsorships, advertising, and marketing by other businesses in my building?

I have a facility for year-round sports tournaments, camps, leagues, charities, and community use. I have a lot of people traffic and space for advertising, sponsorships, and businesses. How do I value these mediums to know what to ask for their use?
Roy Williams
Marketing

How can we get less people passing up our eatery for the one down the street?

I own a small eatery in an urban ethnic community with a lot of busy businesses. But it sometimes seems as if we get passed over a lot when people go to another hamburger joint down the street from us. What can we do better to attract more customers?
Roy Williams
Finance

I need some accounting help here--who should I give my 1099s to?

I am a marketing consultant with an LLC and I work alone. I sell event sponsorships for a local business who is the promoter of the events. I receive 20 percent on anything I sell. Many times I negotiate with the customers and they are billed for the sponsorship through my LLC. Once I am paid by customers, I immediately pay the promoter the sponsorsip money and I take my 20 percent. Do I have to give the promoter a 1099 on the money I gave them? Would it be better to have the promoter bill the customer and the promoter pay me? Please advise!
Pam Newman