Ask Entrepreneur - Franchises

How can I recognize a growth opportunity?

I always hear people talk about "growth opportunities," but how can you judge when an opportunity is a growth opportunity? When is a good time to grow your business and what is the best way to go about it?
Greg Digneo

When buying a franchise, should you stick with the industry you know?

I've been in human resources for a long time and I'm desperate to change careers. I've been thinking of buying a franchise, maybe a mall kiosk with pretzels or cookies - something simple. I want to know if that's a bad idea and if I should stick with what I know if I buy a business.
Jeff Elgin

How do I find investors for a franchise?

I have entrepreneurial ability but I lack capital and since I have no credit I can't even get a business loan. I want to open an ice cream franchise location in the Los Angeles area.
Jeff Elgin

What do you think about buying a franchise right out of college?

I'm a college student and my parents are willing to buy a business for me (like a pizza franchise) but want me to work for a couple of years first. I would like to skip the grunt work and go right to being the boss. My grades are pretty good and I'm taking all of the business classes.
Jeff Elgin

How do I startup a print magazine?

Are there special publishing certificates I would need to acquire? I want my magazine to be filled with fashion tips for women and men, Zodiac signs, love and work advice and health information.
Brad Sugars

In this tough economy, should I add a second retail/service location?

I currently have a small computer business with one location. We are getting by with a slight profit. However, there is a competitor 12 miles away going out of business and I have the option to get take over that building and phone number.

The landlord is willing to give me a great rate for a month-to-month lease. I have enough working capital for three months if I expand to a second location. Should I take this risk with the bad economy? My business attracts walk ins for PC repair and some b2b customers.
Brad Sugars

What certification is required to open a cigar humidor and bar?

Do you need special permits or licenses? Is it difficult to operate a humidor? How much of an initial investment would be required?
Nina Kaufman

Do I need a separate business license in every state that my web consulting business operates?

I am starting a web consulting business. Can I just get one state's license, or do I even need a license at all?
Nina Kaufman

Is it feasible to ship auto parts to from the United States to sell in Dubai?

My friend lives in Dubai and owns a trading company there. I have special connections with auto part manufacturers in the U.S. Our main difficulty is finding any solid market research in Dubai or other large cities in UAE.

We need help finding out what the prices for receiving parts in the UAE area currently is. I have tried via e-mail but I have not received any responses that way so far. My friend lives in Dubai and could actually meet some people face to face but we don't really know where to send him.
Brad Sugars

What are the top three major concerns small business entrepreneurs have as it relates to growing their business in 2009?

As a growth strategy coach in Cincinnati, Ohio, I conduct educational seminars. Let's face it. Small business entrepreneurs are the backbone of our country and their success is what it will take to move us forward again and strengthen our economy during these uncertain times.
Brad Sugars

Would it be a bad idea for me to open an auto repair shop right right by NTB and Fast Tire?

The location is right at a major intersection, but there is a Fast Tire about 500 feet away and an NTB right across the street. Would opening a shop there be a bad decision?
Brad Sugars

How do I find new suppliers for a distribution business in Arkansas?

I serviced convenience stores with snack foods and beverages. How do I find new suppliers with differerent products?
Brad Sugars

Where would I begin to start bottling/marketing/selling an amazing salsa?

My mom makes this really good sala. At least, that's the opinion of more than 500 family and friends who have tried it. I know if I took it to El Paso or Pace they would want to bottle it themselves. How can I take this idea somewhere?
Brad Sugars

What license/permits do I need to start a salon and beauty supply store?

I want to open my store in North Carolina. Also, where do I go to purchase products from distributors?
Brad Sugars

Do I need permission from the city to place benches on sidewalks and in public places for a bench advertising business?

I reside in NYC and would like to know if I need to have any type of permission or license from the city before placing the benches around the city for a bench advertising business. If yes, what department do I get in contact with?
Nina Kaufman