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Most Recent Questions in Grow Your Business

Do I need a "license to assemble?"

Zoning ordinances and permits are very prickly things. Running a retail business that has some foot traffic is very different from running an event space where you can expect larger groups to... (more)

What is sweat equity and how does it work?

"Sweat equity" is the term usually given to the time and effort a cash-strapped entrepreneur puts into a business in order to earn his/her ownership share -- as opposed to contributing... (more)

How do you deal with an employee who doesn't get along with the rest of the staff?

There are two sides to every story. Has anyone genuinely asked the woman what is going on? Often, workplace dynamics lend themselves to demonizing or scapegoating one employee. Having one... (more)

Should we package our product differently for online sales vs. retail sales?

Yes, what pops off the shelf is different than what catches your eye online so consider the context when you are looking at packaging options. How will it look under fluorescent lights in store at... (more)

To incorporate or not to incorporate? That is the question.

There are benefits far beyond taxes that would lead you to incorporate -- such as protecting your personal assets. It doesn't matter how little you earn, if you are not doing business as a... (more)

How difficult is it to change the status of your business from a general partnership to an LLC?

In general, it is difficult, if not impossible to change status, but it really depends on the laws of your particular state. Your best bet would be to talk to your accountant or attorney to see the... (more)

Is my only choice to file bankruptcy and shut down my convenience store?

Did you re-sign a new lease agreement with the new landlord? If not, your old agreement should be in effect. Talk to your attorney to see what your options are and DO NOT negotiate another lease or... (more)

I'm taking a product I sell locally to a more regional level which means I will now have to deal with shipping. Who pays for the shipping when a store places an order with me?

You do. You can build it into your overall costs--but make sure it is part of your cost structure as you do your numbers or you will be looking at some heavy expenses you didn't account for or... (more)

Should I trade out of a recession, given my business is only 4 months old?

Cut the unprofitable locations and keep the good locations. Then, make the phone call to the landlord and make it simple: do you want to keep me or not? In a soft economy, you have some leverage in... (more)

How do I calculate my business taxes for a company I plan to start?

It is dependent on the type of business as well as the taxable income. I would visit with your personal accountant as they know your overall tax situation (personal and potential business). (more)

Am I legally obligated to let an exempt employee in California work through his six-week notice?

Employers often provide required notice periods so that they're not caught by surprise when one decides to leave. However, once an employee gives notice, it can create an awkward situation for the... (more)

How do I promote my art business in these economic times?

Success right now rests on interpersonal interaction. The more one-on-one relationship building you can do the better. Invite your affluent customers to smaller private showings. Send them personal... (more)

Is it necessary to trademark my business name?

As an entrepreneur, you are wise to seek a second opinion, especially in matters of intellectual property. Your attorney is right to the extent that you don't need to trademark your business name... (more)

How do I acquire the skills I lack when it comes to running a business?

Wow!  In just a few lines you have efficiently listed many pitfalls entrepreneurs face. The quickest way to take on your lack of focus is one that was first put forth by Ivey Lee to Andrew... (more)

Can I seek advice from a CEO who started a business like mine a long time ago?

Thanks so much for this terrific question! Yes, you absolutely should try to contact more established people in the tea business. You have nothing to lose by doing so and everything to gain.... (more)

What would be the best way to pay my business debt?

Tough problems. Maybe you can renegotiate with your debtors to take a longer time to pay. The debtors want mainly to know they will eventually get paid. Only you can decide whether you want to... (more)

I own 50 percent of a plumbing business. We intend to sell it to our two key employees. We need someone to take over the inner workings and have a third party willing to buy in, but she wants to include her bookkeeping business as part of the package.

By "we intend," do you mean that you and your other 50 percent partner (assuming there is only one) intend to sell, or is it just you? That can change the dynamics of all this. Also,... (more)

How do I find good wholesalers for women's contemporary clothing up to size 5x?

Contact the stores that sell those items and ask who their wholesaler is, or search for a wider range of trade shows. Is there a market for this type of clothing? If not, move on to something... (more)

My cash flow has dried up and we are at a standstill. How do I continue in this retail enviroment?

If you can, buy a building, which is the preferred way to stay in retail long term. If that's not possible, reduce the inventory of your slowest-moving items by 25 percent. Also, look to cut back... (more)

I want to relocate a retail store to a more successful location.

Move as soon as you can, and look at rent in your retail business as part of your overall marketing budget. Until you become a "destination" retailer (which is difficult unless you have a... (more)
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