Ask Entrepreneur

Starting a Business

How Do I Partner with Another Startup Company?

I have my own app startup company and I’m preparing to partner with another startup app company. What is the best way to go about this? Do you think it would be smart to create a subsidiary company in which I hire the other person as a co-founder of the subsidiary?
Brad Sugars
Marketing

How Can I Attract More Customers to My Website?

I have a website that connects buyers of promotional products with companies that offer promotional products. So, essentially, I am a middle man. How can I attract people who work in marketing departments to my website? Aside from the standard pay-per-click and social media routes, where do marketing people hang out online? What are some best practices to targeting these people specifically?
Michael Kaleikini
Starting a Business

How Do I Start a Hotel Business?

I have a unique idea for a specific type of hotel in a specific city. I believe this hotel concept would fulfill a need that is not currently being met by any other hotels in this particular market. What should be my next step? I have absolutely no hospitality industry experience, so am I better off pitching this idea to an existing hotel chain or trying to develop the concept on my own?
Brad Sugars
Starting a Business

What Type of Holding Company Should I Create?

I would like to create a holding company that I can use to purchase existing small businesses. My plan is to purchase an existing "Beverage Drive-Thru" business that has been established for approximately 15 years and is currently making a profit. My ultimate goal will be to continue in purchasing small existing businesses under the holding company that I create. Which would be the best option to minimize my personal tax impact, as my wife and I will continue to work our day jobs? What other factors should we consider?
Nina Kaufman
Starting a Business

Are There Mentorship Programs for Product Developers?

It seems as though there are a lot of incubator sites out there for tech startups. But where do people turn if they want help developing a physical product and executing it? Are there certain programs you'd recommend? What other ways exist to get advice?
Ryan Himmel
Starting a Business

How Do I Sell My Homemade BBQ Sauce?

Everyone loves my BBQ sauce. Right now, I am making it and giving it away as Christmas presents. But how do I get started or what do I need to do to start selling it locally and eventually in larger markets? What about bottling and marketing? Do I have to go through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration? What advice do you have for getting started?
Tim Berry
Marketing

How Can I Get Businesses to Advertise on My Website?

I created a website that I think will actually make people want to view advertisements. I need ads before I can get traffic, but advertisers want traffic first. What do you suggest?
John Arnold
Marketing

What Can I Do When a Customer Relationship Gets Shaky?

Do you have any tips for what to do when a client you provide great customer service to "throws you under the bus" to his or her higher ups without bringing the issue to your attention first? Should I try to fix the situation or walk away? What are the options?
Michael Kaleikini
Growth Strategies

What is a Business Owner's Relationship with Freelancers?

Is the enterprise head the employer of the freelancer? Or is he or she the client of the freelancer? Are there any legal issues to consider? What tips can you share for managing this type of business relationship?
Penny Morey
Growth Strategies

How Can I Break into a Competitive Industry?

We are a food company that has quality products and manageable prices. How can I get the attention of distributors and larger retail stores when the items we are selling are similar to other products that are already in supermarkets? Right now, they tell us they are fine carrying out competition. What can we do? Do we have to come up with new products?
Michael Kaleikini
Marketing

Can One Failed Business Affect My Future?

I worked at a small company for three years but it went out of business in May. A lot of former customers have a negative image of the former business. As an independent contractor, I am hesitant to mention my association with the company in fear of being judged for what I had no authority over. How do I avoid the negative image and the aftermath from interfering with my future?
Brad Sugars
Technology

Should I Learn Web Development?

I have an idea of a particular kind of micro-blogging website which I think will be both beneficial to the world and also make a good profit. But I have to decide which path to take: Should I learn web development -- including front-end design, back-end coding -- and create the website myself or hire someone else to make the website for me? What factors should I consider? What are the costs? Is there another way?
John Arnold
Growth Strategies

Can I Buy Wholesale Merchandise Before Starting Up?

I'm thinking about opening a kayak rental business but I don't want to spend more money than I have to for equipment and supplies. Is it possible to buy kayaks wholesale if I have not opened the business yet. If so, how? What advice do you have?
Brad Sugars
Technology

How Can I Streamline My E-Commerce Operation?

Is it possible to allow customers who have an account on my website to pay with the click of a button without having to fill out their credit card information each time? I am considering PayPal for all my online transactions but the impression I get is that even with Website Payments Pro, the customer has to input his or her credit card information every time. What's the best way to make it so customers only have to fill their credit card information only once? What are the options?
John Arnold
Franchises

How Do Master Franchise Owners Get Paid?

Are master franchisees that are hired by the franchise companies paid normal, fixed incomes or do they only receive sales commissions? How does this work? What are some of the positives and negatives of being a master franchisee, as you see them? Any tips you have are appreciated.
Jeff Elgin