Ask Entrepreneur

Is there a database of firms who have experience selling online media?

I am specifically interested in firms that have experience selling online multi-cultural advertising. We have the product offering; we are looking for rep firms that can sell the products.
Roy Williams

How is the value of existing inventory determined?

I'm currently contemplating the purchase of a manufacturing company that has been in operation for many years. Part of the agreement would be that the current inventory levels would be maintained and included in the sale. How does one go about determining the value of this inventory?
Brad Sugars

What's the best way for a small manufacturing company to obtain corporate clients?

We are a small ammunition manufacturer looking to place our product on store shelves. Currently, we do mail-order ammunition sales to consumers, but would like to expand and get our product on store shelves. What is the best way for us to approach this? Would we set up a consignment deal or contract purchase? What do stores look for in small companies before they decide to put our product on their shelf? I will be the one spearheading this expansion and need some direction for information or advice. Thanks!
Brad Sugars

How do we determine volume discounts?

My company sells a software product (soon to be more products). I have been asked a few times about volume discounts, but am unsure how to decide what to offer. Do I offer breaks at 10 units? 50 units? 100 units? How much of a break do I offer? Do resellers get less of a discount than a big box store? What about non-profit discounts? I don't want to offer such large discounts that I'm stuck when Wal-Mart comes calling (dream on!). What is a good way to break out a discount structure? My profit margins are fairly good, but if I sell for much less than 50 percent off, I'm not really making enough money to run operations and grow the business.
Brad Sugars

How do I raise prices without scaring away my clientele?

I have been in business since 2002 and the cost for the services I provide have never increased. With the cost of overhead more than creeping up each year, my profit is at a standstill and I feel as though I am running this business just to make a living for everyone around me. How do I increase the cost of services without losing the clientele I have worked so hard to build?
Pattie Simone

How do I raise prices without scaring away my clientele?

I have been in business since 2002 and the cost for the services I provide have never increased. With the cost of overhead more than creeping up each year, my profit is at a standstill and I feel as though I am running this business just to make a living for everyone around me. How do I increase the cost of services without losing the clientele I have worked so hard to build?
Kim T. Gordon

How do you obtain a sponsorship?

My company throws different events throughout the year and gives a large percentage of the proceeds to charity. It is a great opportunity for companies going after the same demographics that we aim at. But how do I obtain sponsorship from large companies? How do I assure them I'm not trying to rip them off?
Roy Williams

How can I advertise my new green advertising firm?

I live in Greece and green advertising is still in its first stages here. All green advertisements lack quality and effectiveness. That's why I have decided to open up a consulting firm for green products and companies practicing CSR. How should I advertise my new business and what key elements of my service should I emphasize in order to grab the possible clients' attention?
Kim T. Gordon

How do I court restaurants with my food product?

I have a unique dessert product, with excellent presentation and marketability. After sitting down with a S.C.O.R.E. counselor, I have a business plan to market this product as a delivery service to the local college. The S.C.O.R.E. counselor asked me to think about my plan for expansion, because he anticipated that the product will sell well. But I think adding drivers will make operations more complicated than I want them to be. So I was thinking that maybe I could sell this dessert on the menu of some of our favorite restaurants. Is there such a person as a food broker that I could hire to try to get my dessert on the menu of a chain? Or is that as likely to happen as winning the lottery?
Kim T. Gordon

What is the best marketing technique for the kind of rental business I'm starting?

I am a student at Occidental College. Next semester, I am starting my own business called Rent-A-Calc. This business will provide rental calculators for students which will save them lots of money. My idea was inspired by friends who bought $110 calculators but only used them for 1 or 2 classes throughout all 4-5 years at my college.
Kim T. Gordon

How much do I charge a client for a marketing plan?

Hi, I've submitted a lengthy and quite comprehensive proposal to a potential client to help increase the sales for their product and give them market presence, branding, etc., citing specific target customers, where I see they need the most help and why I am qualified to help them. They came back with a positive response to the proposal, but now want me to write a marketing plan! They are willing to pay for it, but specified 3-5 pages, target accounts, projections and so on. I thought I'd pretty much covered it in the proposal! I have never done a marketing plan and especially do not know what to charge.
Pattie Simone

How can I get my product on QVC or HSN?

I'm a fitness guru and 9 time world weightlifting champion. I've been privileged enough to train some great people and help them get back to good health. I've written a book I would like to promote on these networks.
Pattie Simone

How do I accurately measure my customers' experience when most are surveyed out?

Surveys are everywhere but people don't trust them. My mother even threatens to survey me on why I don't visit more often. So how does a company really know what the customer is feeling about your service?
Kim T. Gordon

How can I remold my business to attract younger generations?

Our 35 year-old restaurant is an upper class 4 star restaurant that has been fortunate enough to grow with our current customers. Unfortunately, our customers are now either retiring or dead. We are trying to remold the company so that it's not only viewed as a great restaurant for special occasions, but also for the generation of 40 somethings to enjoy dinner during the week, corporate parties, to stop by and have a martini in our outside bar.
Kim T. Gordon

What is the most lucrative way to market a new slogan?

I have done a basic search on the uspto.gov website, as well as an internet search, and have found nothing to dissuade me from believing that my slogan has not been used. I know there are other search avenues to which I may or may not have access, but allowing that this slogan has not been used before, how would I best protect it while I am trying to attach it to a product or service? I truly believe it would sell well on its own, but I think a larger business entity (e.g. Adidas, Converse) would want it for their own. I fear I will be the guppy that is swallowed by the bigger fish in the tank.
Kim T. Gordon