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Most Recent Questions in Grow Your Business

Will China's "score management" system work in a western country?

It sounds as if this system is fairly straightforward and adopted from western business. The best example of this was General Electric under Jack Welch, who adopted a system where the bottom... (more)

How do I improve my profit margine and cut my expenses?

The general rule for hiring is to bring someone on when you can afford to pay half the employee's wage. This is a valuable benchmark because at that level, the employee will pay for himself by the... (more)

How can the owners merge three separate businesses in three different countries?

You can merge three separate businesses from three different countries into one business . . . but whether you would really want to is another matter. Depending on the size and industry of the... (more)

Is there some central place to find current business plan competitions?

No, there isn't really a central site. The closest one I know of is this: http://www.paloalto.com/academic/competitions/. But there are competitions coming up all the time. Search Google and... (more)

Where do I get a bar code for a book that I have written and how can I get the bar code label printed?

You can obtain an ISBN through R.R. Bowker, the U.S. ISBN agency. It is responsible for assigning ISBNs as well as providing information and advice on the uses of the ISBN system to publishers and... (more)

How do you put a dollar value on 19 years of sweat equity?

Wow, tough situation, tough question to be asking. There isn't a book somewhere that has this kind of thing written down. Ownership normally starts with shares, like shares of stock, even in small... (more)

How much money will I need to keep monthly cash flow going?

You're way off. Cash flow is about flow and timing: Factors like how fast you pay and how fast you get paid are vital, but you know nothing of that by just knowing the sales, costs and expenses.... (more)

What is a good rule of thumb for budgeting for conferences and seminars?

Your budget doesn't stand alone. It fits your strategy. Prepare a sales forecast you can live with, and then a cost of sales and expense budget to make sure you have enough money to cover costs and... (more)

How do I determine what percentage of the profit for a product I developed should be mine and how much should be the jobber's?

Pricing is magic. It's a combination of common sense, knowing your costs, understanding what drives your customers and making the deal a good value for everybody in the chain. Standard margins... (more)

How can I find someone to run my business until I can sell it?

Not knowing what industry you are in, my general answer would be to go to a competitor and arrange some sort of vendor finance where you could get paid back over the next two to three years. I... (more)

How can I monitor outgoing stock for a food-cart business?

For this type of business, you can determine a trend per dollar sold. Once you know your approximate level used per dollar level of sales, you can benchmark it and use it as a foundation for sales... (more)

I am thinking of locating my upscale clothing store in a brand-new strip plaza where the only other business is a barbershop that just opened. Should I choose this location?

You really want to be in a space occupied by a supermarket or dry cleaning business or other renters that generate good foot traffic, preferably in the type of demographic you are trying to target.... (more)

How do we structure future partner agreements (financial and voting) in a new pediatric urgent care center with three founders who are equal partners?

Professional limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships and professional corporations/associations can permit you to structure different tiers of ownership interests. You can... (more)

When launching a complementary, add-on product or service or distantly related service, should we create a totally separate company or brand, or an in-house division?

Look at your current database as your greatest asset and keep your new brand under the existing business for the time being--but only if it is truly complementary to your current product or service... (more)

My partner doesn't bill or collect from clients; how can I deal with this?

Sounds like you have a big mess on your hands. I'm impressed that you've been able to operate without his share of the revenue. How much longer will the company be able to operate without these... (more)

How do I establish a Subchapter S for a business that has three divisions/brands?

You can certainly have three brands within the umbrella of a single company. You'll need an attentive and bright bookkeeper to set up your books to account for the three lines of business... (more)

As an existing 501(c)3 operating as a medical clinic in Florida, can we open a soup kitchen as a dba under the same status?

Generally, when you form a not-for-profit entity, you have to state the specific public purpose of the entity--for example, "a clinic to provide medical services at no charge to people living... (more)

How can I make my hair salon a multimillion-dollar business?

Start out small and do it yourself from your own store. You've got a retail advantage over someone in his or her home kitchen who doesn't have any retail "shelf space" whatsoever. Then... (more)

How can we clarify roles among leadership in a small, but growing, consulting/technology company?

First, realize you are still a relatively small company and too much emphasis is being placed on a seeming need for titles. The real need is to generate business and to draw up an organizational... (more)

I'm a restaurateur. How can I bottle and sell my popular cooking and barbecue sauces nationwide?

Start out small and do it yourself from your own store. You've got a retail advantage over someone in his or her home kitchen who doesn't have any retail "shelf space" whatsoever. Then... (more)
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