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Most Recent Questions in Grow Your Business

How do I find out what my competitors charge their clients?

Good question. There are several ways to determine where your fees fall. If there's an industry association, that's a good place to find out the range of fees in your area. Your local chamber of... (more)

Why do I need a traffic impact study?

Government agencies typically require a traffic study when there is controversy with a neighborhood group about your project or your development needs to go through an environmental review process.... (more)

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

I've been in business for 17 years. I've hired independent contractors as stylists and also hourly people, which ends up costing more. How do I make this work? I've owned two salons at times, but... (more)

Should I restructure my small-volume discount levels to make them more competitive?

Yes, a price restructuring is needed. With an overall environment of inflation (i.e., a rise in the cost of basic goods and commodities, especially fuel), it's expected and understood that... (more)

My competitor just got acquired, and I'm still in startup mode. Is the writing on the wall?

First off, I'd say stop "competing" and start being unique. What sets you apart in the marketplace that you can use to leverage existing resources or assets to your target market?... (more)

Is merging two companies a good idea when they are family owned and operated?

A better strategy would be to build each separately . . . and if successful, look to merge them at a later date. Ice cream kings Baskin and Robbins did exactly that years ago, and the merger worked... (more)

How can I sell a nonprofitable business that is relatively new?

Sell the contract--preferably to one of the bidders you beat out. They will have a better idea of the value of the contract (they will discount the value of the contract back to a present value and... (more)

How can I sell FOB without the manufacturer knowing my sales price?

It sounds as if this is just a paperwork issue--and you would need to work to make sure that what is contained on the shipping documents is not the same as is contained in any other billing or... (more)

I sell clothing for tall women. Should I diversify and add custom-made jeans for all women?

First, I would forget the notion that "if you build it, they will come." Start by asking your current customers if they would buy customized jeans and at what price point. Then you are... (more)

How can we take our football coaching business to the next level?

I understand and sympathize with your situation . . . and was in a similar one when I started my own business coaching business. I decided franchising was the best way to create systems and train... (more)

What are the pros and cons of a buyout vs. an IPO as an exit strategy?

It really comes down to the terms of the deal in either case and looking at them in the context of both financial and personal goals. Going public today is a big endeavor, so you have to be... (more)

Should I keep struggling with a slow business that was once successful or move on?

Before you "hang it up," you may want to get an outside perspective from a coach or consultant. I’ve found that long-time business owners sometimes "don’t know what they don’t... (more)

Need help on determining what the proper cost of sales percentage should be for my firm.

I don't blame you. Everybody wants and needs some sort of standards and guidelines for his or her industry. For packaged software, my industry, I can buy some ratios from a newsletter provider that... (more)

How do I start a creative outsourcing company in Chicago?

First, you could buy “Creative Outsourcing” as a dot-com name, as well as variants like “Chicago Creative Outsourcing” or other iterations, and create a web portal for your business. More than... (more)

Is there a benchline for how much a business owner should pay in rent vs. his/her gross profit?

Not really ... profit is a function of output, and rent overhead is also dependent on whether a company is a business-to-business (B-to-B) firm or a retail/business-to-consumer (B-to-C) company... (more)

What are the legal and tax ramifications of an Indian company creating a U.S. branch?

In a nutshell, the legal and tax ramifications are that you are subjecting your Indian company to the laws and taxes of the United States. Your branch office in California will be subject to... (more)

How can I get rid of a small business that I don't want to be in?

Great question with a simple answer: You can sell the shares to his widow on on vendor finance, instead of paying you up front. (more)

What is the appropriate structure for international expansion?

Start with broad, Canada is really no different to another US state when it comes to doing business; each state has different laws and so does Canada. In fact, each province in Canada has... (more)

What's the best way to partner up with my spouse?

According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2002 Economic Census, more than 3.6 million businesses in the U.S. are run by co-preneurs--husband-wife entrepreneurial teams. Certainly, no single model fits... (more)

How do we restructure ourselves after a partnership?

Well, that's a complex question, but I'll try to give a simple answer. Generally an LLC is a much preferred structure over a partnership because it gives far more legal protection and a far more... (more)
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