Ask Entrepreneur

How should one keep track of used coupons?

If I give a coupon offering a free meal at my restaurant, do I record anything at the time the coupon is used?
Pam Newman

Should we invest in a company right before retirement?

My husband has been offered a partnership in a construction co that he has worked at for the past 21 years. What questions should we ask before jumping in? The owner is 60, looking to retire in 5 years. There are 2 other employees being offered the same deal.

This has taken us by surprise. This is a commercial construction company in its 30th year. He had 2 other people in the office buy in a few years ago for bonding purposes, but now has offered 3 others the same. My husband is the field supervisor and handles the men very well, but we are not business savvy. My husband is 51 years old, so he would like to retire in 10 years. We would have to borrow the money to invest. All our major money is in either Roth, 401K or mutual funds for retirement. What should we ask for a feeling of comfort? Construction has been slow, but that business does go up and down.
Tim Berry

Should we invest in a company right before retirement?

My husband has been offered a partnership in a construction co that he has worked at for the past 21 years. What questions should we ask before jumping in? The owner is 60, looking to retire in 5 years. There are 2 other employees being offered the same deal.

This has taken us by surprise. This is a commercial construction company in its 30th year. He had 2 other people in the office buy in a few years ago for bonding purposes, but now has offered 3 others the same. My husband is the field supervisor and handles the men very well, but we are not business savvy. My husband is 51 years old, so he would like to retire in 10 years. We would have to borrow the money to invest. All our major money is in either Roth, 401K or mutual funds for retirement. What should we ask for a feeling of comfort? Construction has been slow, but that business does go up and down.
Pam Newman

I bought out my partner with "owner financing." Is the interest I am paying on the loan deductable?

I own an S corporation and recently bought out my business partner. The payment was in the form of owner financing. I pay a capital payment each month and then interest on the outstanding balance at the end of the year. Can I claim the interest as a business expense/tax deduction?
Pam Newman

Is it possible to find out the annual revenue of my competitors?

I'd like to expand my online business and open up a brick and mortar shop. I'm curious to know if it's possible to find out how much my competitors are making so I have a better idea of what I could expect.
Tim Berry

Is it possible to find out the annual revenue of my competitors?

I'd like to expand my online business and open up a brick and mortar shop. I'm curious to know if it's possible to find out how much my competitors are making so I have a better idea of what I could expect.
Pam Newman

What do you think of obtaining a credit card receivables loan in order to supplement cash flow when the business currently cannot work through a more traditional borrower?

I have checked with more traditional business lenders about increasing current line of credit and was told the business does not currently qualify due to current debt load.
Tim Berry

What do you think of obtaining a credit card receivables loan in order to supplement cash flow when the business currently cannot work through a more traditional borrower?

I have checked with more traditional business lenders about increasing current line of credit and was told the business does not currently qualify due to current debt load.
Pam Newman

Do commissions from a sale get included in payroll taxes?

One of our employees works for commission. When I put them through as a payroll item, taxes are withdrawn and I have to pay twice as much on Social Security and Medicare.
Pam Newman

What is the best refund policy for a small business that hosts events?

I am co-owner of a small business that hosts weekend get-aways at local hotels to scrapbookers. Every weekend that we host, we seem to have a customer who at the very last minute can't make it due to a family emergency, acute illness etc. We need advanced notice in order to cancel hotel rooms, meals etc. otherwise we lose the money (still need to pay the hotel/catering). We posted a refund policy, but have lost a customer over this issue. Since we are a new business, we currently don't have the financial cushion to support these incidents, but I am willing to hear suggestions from a 3rd party. Thanks for your time!
Pam Newman

What is the best refund policy for a small business that hosts events?

I am co-owner of a small business that hosts weekend get-aways at local hotels to scrapbookers. Every weekend that we host, we seem to have a customer who at the very last minute can't make it due to a family emergency, acute illness etc. We need advanced notice in order to cancel hotel rooms, meals etc. otherwise we lose the money (still need to pay the hotel/catering). We posted a refund policy, but have lost a customer over this issue. Since we are a new business, we currently don't have the financial cushion to support these incidents, but I am willing to hear suggestions from a 3rd party. Thanks for your time!
Tim Berry

What is the best refund policy for a small business that hosts events?

I am co-owner of a small business that hosts weekend get-aways at local hotels to scrapbookers. Every weekend that we host, we seem to have a customer who at the very last minute can't make it due to a family emergency, acute illness etc. We need advanced notice in order to cancel hotel rooms, meals etc. otherwise we lose the money (still need to pay the hotel/catering). We posted a refund policy, but have lost a customer over this issue. Since we are a new business, we currently don't have the financial cushion to support these incidents, but I am willing to hear suggestions from a 3rd party. Thanks for your time!
Brad Sugars

How does one determine shareholding in a new business?

We would like to start a media company specializing in indoor and outdoor advertising. We have a potential investor but would like to know more about how to share distribution between us, the founders, and the investor.
Pam Newman

How does one determine shareholding in a new business?

We would like to start a media company specializing in indoor and outdoor advertising. We have a potential investor but would like to know more about how to share distribution between us, the founders, and the investor.
Tim Berry