Ask Entrepreneur

Looking to Stand Out? Stake Out Your Niche

Our expert says that when competing against major, established players, differentiating yourself is the key to success.
Omer Shai

My New Restaurant Has Rave Reviews, But Business Is Slowing Down Dramatically. Why?

A new train-themed restaurant started off well, but the number of diners on board is dropping. Ask Entrepreneur's expert offers advice to help this business get back on track.
Ryan Himmel

How Can I Turn Price-Sensitive Shoppers Into Customers?

A business is having trouble with sales after expanding into a new market. Ask Entrepreneur's business operations expert offers ideas that are right on the money.
Ryan Himmel

How Can I Grow My Home-Based Business?

A home-based small-business owner wants more clients. Ask Entrepreneur's business operations expert shares optimal paths to grow and what she'll need for the journey.
Ryan Himmel

How Do I Find Someone to Run My Business?

I own a small restaurant and bar that I operate from a rented building. I am looking for help to run the business because of a recent injury. How do I find someone who will run it honestly? What pitfalls should I look for when turning it over? Obviously I'd like to avoid being taken advantage of.
Brad Sugars

How Can I Land My First Client?

I have a small commercial cleaning company. I have been trying to get business for more than three months but have not been successful. I have been passing out flyers as business cards. And have not had one call yet. How can I get that first client? And how can I turn that first client into several?
Pattie Simone

How Do I Value My Stake in a Business?

We own a security fencing company and a solar technology company. I was trying to figure out what my portion of the company would be worth. I own 8 percent of each company. What's the best way to calculate that? What factors do I need to consider? Are there any resources you'd suggest?
Tim Berry

How Do I Re-Start My Business?

I purchased a small deli, with no experience and as an absentee owner. After two years, many mistakes have been made and revenues have been declining. I'm thinking of closing the doors. But I still believe it can be a successful business and I'm wondering how to start over -- back to the startup process. But where do I begin? How can I find a manager who can help with the process? What are your suggestions?
Tim Berry

How Should I Donate Business Sales to Charity?

I'm an artist who plans to start a website where I will donate partial proceeds of the sales of my work to various charities on a permanent basis. What is the best system is to do this? Should the partial proceeds be transferred to each charity on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis? Will the relationship be different with each charity? Also, how can I be transparent to my customers? Will they request proof of their donation and, if so, how do I go about doing this? Will the donation be a tax write-off for the customer, or for my business?
Nina Kaufman

How Can I Attract More Customers?

I own an Internet cafe and am wondering: What's the best way for me to attract more customers?
Pattie Simone

Can a Partial Partner Shut Down a Business?

A 50-percent partner has put more money into a business than the second partner. He has threatened to file dissolution, or to shut the business down, if the second partner doesn't put an equal amount of money into the company. Can he do that legally without the second partner? What factors should both partners consider?
Nina Kaufman

Should I Change My Company's Name?

I recently started a limited liability company (LLC) but have not purchased a company with it yet. I also haven't set up any credit accounts or bank account for it. My goal is to establish good business credit, which may in part assist me in purchasing a business. Would changing the name of the LLC affect any potential business credit? If so, should I just start a new LLC? What are the positives and negatives?
Nina Kaufman

How Do I Sell My Product to a Retail Store?

In my shop, I make a sheet-metal evaporative cooler jack. How can I sell it to a hardware store? Do I need some sort of certification and, if so, how do I do that?
Brad Sugars

Can Vets Get a Special Deal on Franchises?

I just got out of the military, have saved some money, and want to buy a franchise. How do I get started? Are there special programs or discounts for veterans?
Jeff Elgin

How Can I Find Market Information for My Business Plan?

I'm in barber school and would like to open an "all female" barber shop. I'm stuck on how to find market data for my business plan. For example, I'm trying to research the number of barber shops in my county and their average yearly income. What are the best online resources to use?
Tim Berry