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Most Recent Questions in Starting a Business

How do I determine if there is a market for a disease management company?

To determine if there is a market, you need to see if the companies you are thinking of targeting would actually be willing to pay for your type of service. What is the benefit, in terms of dollars... (more)

How do I capitalize on a business idea when I have little money as a startup?

First off, I would go and get a job in a restaurant to learn more about the business, preferably in a franchised restaurant environment. The reason for this is that the odds of you getting... (more)

Should I drop out of college and use the money to fund my business?

Isn't there an obvious clue in this question? You say those who graduated from college say it's absolutely essential, and those who dropped out or didn't go say a college diploma doesn't mean much... (more)

What will happen to small business if the Democrats win the election?

Nothing, really. The economy goes up or down no matter who is in office. What makes a difference is what you do, and a big part of that is determining to succeed no matter who is running the... (more)

Starting an online invitation business

What you do has to match your strategy, and that's a matter of your strengths and weaknesses, resources and long-term goals--mixed, of course, with the reality of what your customers will want and... (more)

How do I determine the estimated population needed to support an apparel business venture in the Austin or San Antonio area?

The best place to start with your research is a retail trade or industry association. You may need to contact several for your lines, but they are a wealth of information you'll need to make better... (more)

Is a letter of credit from our bank enough to start a freight broker business?

It's not clear what form you�re talking about, as this is a business that requires a number of different forms. There's a lot that goes into starting a freight broker business,... (more)

What area of study would be best to pursue if looking to open my own business in the future?

Study what interests you most. Choose the area that attracts you. That can be as simple as looking at which subjects and classes you'd like to be in. Try to spread it out; sample different areas to... (more)

I am in the beginning stages of a vending business. How do I write a proposal to put my machines in a college that hasn't opened yet?

There's no set formula for something like this. Here's what I'd suggest, but I may be wrong, so ask others as well: a short proposal, including an introductory paragraph that reminds the reader of... (more)

Is there a form or preferred format for creating an equity proposal to a potential investor?

Don't worry about form or format. Worry about valuation. To calculate your valuation, divide the money you're asking for from investors by the percentage you're offering to the investors in return.... (more)

How can I address, in my business plan, the threat that an established large competitor poses for my business?

Yes, you ask an excellent question, but not one for which there is some simple formula to answer. You have to answer it, though, or accept a lot more risk than you'd like.   Don't... (more)

How does one calculate projected sales for a restaurant?

I have an example you can use, with a lot of illustrations, on the following website, free: That should give you at least... (more)

What is the best way to accept payment from cutomers for mobile mechanic services?

Checks are a good place to start. You may also look to join a chamber of commerce or some other kind of business cooperative that offers credit card services to its members. That way, you may... (more)

Is it possible to profit from organizing a career/job fair?

Yes. Job fairs are an excellent way to profit because you can get income from both sides--from companies wanting to appear at the fair (booth space rental) and job seekers (tickets). That said,... (more)

We want to open a second sushi bar. What should we ask for in negotiating a lease?

As my mother always says, "If you don’t ask, you don’t get." If the pipes are damaged, the ceiling is leaking and the drain is clogged, ask the landlord to fix them before you move in.... (more)

I am pre-startup and need a mentor for my jewelry e-business.

Lily, You have made excellent steps toward getting your business started successfully. Finding a mentor who is a good fit is, as you are finding, not always an easy task. There is a terrific... (more)

How do I research the need for a spa in a particular area?

Yes, you do need to do research. Initially, it is basic market research. Who are your target buyers? What is their demographic profile (age, sex, income level)? Where do they live (most r (more)

Should I finish my MBA and wait until I have money to invest, or should I start real small to get a business going sooner rather than later?

Why not start a small, home-based business while you're earning your MBA? The biggest challenge for business owners day-to-day is simply learning what it takes to run a business profitably on a... (more)

I have a startup clothing company that could be much larger if it were a joint venture with another company with more experience and know-how than I have. How do I make appointments to discuss this with name-brand companies?

First off, congrats on your new venture! Clothing is a very lucrative business to be in, especially if you have a fabulous line that can be marketed to the same demographic segments that major... (more)

Where can I find estimates of the startup costs of a copy/print/mail center?

Industry associations are great for this type of information. Look there first or talk to some business owners in the industry (you’d be surprised at how much information people will share with... (more)
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