Ask Entrepreneur

The Basics of Pitching Investors

Our expert says having a firm grasp on what will make your company successful is key.
Dave Lavinsky

Put Your Best Foot Forward at Conferences and Trade Shows

Our expert advises a reader about the most effective ways to connect with potential partners and clients at big events.
Mike Fishbein

How Can I Tell If There Will Be Strong Demand for My Product?

Our expert explains how to find and take advantage of profitable markets
Christopher Hawker

How to Build a Great Team While Keeping Costs Low

Our expert advises a reader about how to hire smart on a budget.
Victor Hwang

Do I Need to Go to Business School?

Our expert explains how pluses and minuses of formal business training.
Tim Berry

Growing Your Business When You Can't Trademark Your Name

Lack of a trademark your name doesn't have to stop your company's growth.
Karen Leland

How Can I Turn My Hobby Into a Home Business?

I am a homemaker, and I crochet during my leisure hours. I would like to begin selling my crocheted items. How can I arrive at pricing and market my products effectively? What are the most important things to keep in mind when doing online sales? Finally, should I set up my own website to sell my products or create a page on an e-commerce site?
Michael Kaleikini

When is It Time to Bring in a Managing Partner?

In 2008, I started a construction business specializing in rainwater harvesting and solar energy systems. The first few years were very slow, but this year is showing several hundred percent annual growth in sales. I find myself neglecting the solar aspect of our offerings due to the lack of available time and am losing customers due to the slow service (as indicated in customer feedback). I see the competition booming in the solar field, but I have no time to put in the effort that I need to capitalize on a very fast-growing industry. I am afraid to put someone on payroll due to the uncertainty of business over the past few years, but I need serious help running what equates to half of the business. Should I bring in a managing partner in return for a percentage of the company, or if I should just hire a "manager" to oversee the solar part?
Penny Morey

How Should I Incorporate My Small Business (Sole Proprietor)?

My small cleaning business currently has eight employees and makes around $500,000 per year. To protect my personal assets, I'd like to incorporate -- but I'm not sure which option is best for me. Should I go with an LLC, an S-Corp or a C-Corp?
Nina Kaufman

When Should I Move Into Real Office Space?

My wife and I own a consultancy which is registered as an LLP. We have been operating it out of our home for the past year, but we're starting to feel hampered by the lack of real office space. When is the right time to set up a dedicated office, and what are the steps that we should take toward this goal?
Ryan Himmel

Can a Company Use Two Logos?

My wife and my sister-in-law launched an online women's clothing boutique this year. Now my sister-in-law wants to change the logo and go back and forth between using the old logo and the new one. I am not a marketing person, but this does not make sense to me. What do you think?
Karen Leland

What Entrepreneurial Project Can I Do With 12th Graders?

I am working with five groups of 12th-grade students at local high schools to implement one or more entrepreneurial projects to expose the students to the traits of successful entrepreneurs, including but not limited to: planning, money management, marketing vs. sales, wearing multiple hats, building a team, customer management and organization. The program will run for 60-120 days. What sorts of projects should I do with them?
Ryan Himmel

How Do I Go About Franchising My Business?

For the past 12 years, I have run a pest control business. I'm now considering my options for the future, and I'm interested to know how I might go about turning it into a franchise.
Jeff Elgin

What Is the Best Degree for Young Entrepreneurs?

For young people like myself with an entrepreneurial bent who are about to enter college, currently enrolled or considering to which schools to submit applications, what is the best degree to prepare to be a founder? Some schools allow you to major in Entrepreneurship, but I'm not sure this is the best path to take.
Ryan Himmel

What Top 3 Things Should I Do in a Recession?

In difficult economic times, what should a persevering professional do to succeed or simply make it through?
Ryan Himmel