Ask Entrepreneur

Will Getting an MBA or Professional License Benefit Me As an Entrepreneur?

Would a professional license or graduate degree, such as a CPA, CFA, MBA or JD, help me become more successful as an entrepreneur? Are there any unique benefits or skills I couldn't otherwise access, both during the learning experience and after? Once I'm in a startup environment, would these kind of skills still be applicable?
Ryan Himmel

How Do I Move a Product Idea Forward?

I'm a product designer and have just designed a product I think has a lot of potential. Since I don't have prior business experience, I'm not sure what to do next. I know I'll need a business plan, some marketing strategies, a manufacturer, staff and definitely funding. Can you point me in the right direction as to what I'll need to address first and some tips on the best ways to get those things done?
Ryan Himmel

Without Knowing Much About Technology, How Can I Launch an Online Service Platform?

A tutor would like to sell his services online, but doesn't have the tech chops to bring it to life. Ask Entrepreneur's business expert suggests a CTO and other solutions.
Ryan Himmel

Should I Create One or Two Websites for My Business?

One product. Two target markets. How many websites should be created? Ask Entrepreneur's branding and marketing expert solves the equation and shows how one size can indeed fit all.
Karen Leland

What Legal Issues Should I Consider Before Starting a Social Network?

I'm interested in creating a social network. Are there any legal issues I should consider before I start or along the way? For example, could the data I'd like to collect from users (and how I use that data) have legal issues that need to be addressed? What about how members will interact with each other or the types of content members can create and share? With so many social networks already out there, are there ways I can minimize risk when it comes to getting sued by others who may see my site as competition?
Nina Kaufman

How Should We Divide Equity Among Co-Founders?

I understand that one's share of equity should be contribution-based. However, when you are making arrangements with co-founders, is there a generic rule of thumb that you must follow? If you want to control future decisions of the startup as originator of the concept, how do you make sure to retain the full control?
Ryan Himmel

What Are the Rewards of Entrepreneurship?

It's easy to see the value in entrepreneurship if you launch the next Instagram or Pinterest, but what if your business never gets to that point? Are there rewards to the entrepreneurial path even if your business stays pretty small?
Ryan Himmel

How Can I Start a Business With No Experience?

I have a business idea that I'd like to get off the ground but have no previous experience in business. Where would it be best to go first for advice, planning and development of my idea?
Ryan Himmel

How Do I Start an Online Business?

I want to start a health and wellness website. How do I go about getting this all put together? How much money should I expect to spend? What are some of the basic factors I'll need to consider to get the business started?
John Arnold

How Can I Add E-Commerce to My Business?

We sell luggage products like trolley bags, suitcases, laptop bags, backpacks and more. We'd like to start selling them online, too. How should we get started? What should we consider? What resources can we use?
John Arnold

How Do I Open a Bar?

It has been my dream to start a bar of some type. My mother and grandmother have worked as bartenders and cocktail waitresses. I don't want to open a grill or restaurant -- just a bar where people can go at the end of the night and enjoy a drink. Of course I want to have enough customers so that I can make some money. Is this a good business to get into? What are my first few steps?
Brad Sugars

Should I Finish School Before Starting a Business?

I have lots of ideas that I have written down that I would like to see become products, but because I am still a kid I lack credibility that an adult would have. Also, school is important to me and if I did commit to a product it most likely will affect my grades and performance in school. Of course, I would need startup cash which I lack at the moment to fully invest in my products. What can I do? Are there any resources for younger, aspiring entrepreneurs? Should I finish school first?
Tim Berry

Can I Use Another Business's Name?

I decided to give my business a particular name but have since discovered that it's been taken by another company. Can I use the same name or should I change it? What kind of trademark issues, if any, should I consider? What other legal issues should I explore?
Nina Kaufman

How Much Will It Cost to Launch an E-Commerce Site?

I am starting a group buying e-commerce website. While writing a business plan I struggle with coming up with realistic numbers as far as operation expenses. Also, how can I project how many unique visitors to expect? Are there any benchmarks?
John Arnold

Should I Bring a Mentor into the Business?

I'm building a startup and because I have no experience other than a great idea, I enlisted the help of a mentor. Since then, I've been working with him and paying him by the hour. Now that I'm getting ready to hire a team, the mentor offered to come on board as the CEO and wants a certain percent of the company. Until I raise enough money, he said he'd work on a part-time basis at a reduced rate. What ownership percentage is normal to offer? I really need his help, but should I find someone else to be CEO?
Tim Berry