Ask Entrepreneur

What are the top three most important things to do when opening a business?

Would the three things be planning, research and marketing?
Tim Berry

How can I market an idea I feel would be beneficial to parents when shopping with their children?

I have an idea I can picture in my head for a baby/toddler product that parents could use when shopping. I'm unsure where to begin with this idea. I'm also afraid that if I give out the specs, someone else will steal it. Can you help me get started?
Tim Berry

how would I go about showing my product to potential Investors?

I have a website, www.hiscrossmaker.com. I make crosses, and I've been approched by some companies to make several thousand each month! I'm only able to make 100 a week, and I need to make many more. But I want to be cautious as to whom I might talk with!
Tim Berry

What degree looks better to an employer, an entrepreurship degree or a finance degree?

I know it all depends on what you want to do. I would like to start a company but I would also like to raise money by working for a high end company out of Cal State Fullerton.
Tim Berry

What kind of clientele should I focus on for my cleaning business if I am only available evenings and weekends?

My cleaning business will offer residential maid service, but I will only be available part-time for the evenings and weekends to start. Can you offer advice on who would be my mostly likely target population?
Brad Sugars

Starting a new product line

I am a 20-year-old female who is thinking of starting a new bath and makeup preparation line, but I'm afraid I don't have enough experience. I have a lot of wonderful ideas, but I don't know where to present them. I would appreciate advice and an idea about how much starting a new line can cost.
Tim Berry

What business ideas would you suggest for a small town in a developing country?

The town is in Cambodia and is very popular with tourists. It is very hot most of the year, and there is a rainy season. The town is developing rapidly, and I'm looking for a good business to take maximum advantage now.
Brad Sugars

What are the pros and cons of a product-based business?

I am an engineer and I've designed a machine and got it patented. I am struggling between selling my patent or starting my own business. I am trying to balance out all the pros and cons of a product-based business. I had really great offers for my patent, but I think more money can be made if I manufacture the machine and sell it myself. What do you think?
Tim Berry

How can I sell business ideas or investment ideas without becoming an entrepreneur myself?

I believe that I have ideas that can make great money in the hands of real entrepreneurs. I do not want to be the one who spends my whole life applying them, writing the business plan, looking for money, finding the right team, etc.
Tim Berry

What locations would be ideal for my law offices?

I'm planning to invest in a building to run my legal firm. It's a medium-sized office and my growth is unlimited. Should it be close to the city center where most of the giant companies operate or close to other legal firms? Should it be an easy access area or should it be within the crowded areas?
Kim T. Gordon

How can I bring a U.S.-based retail brand to a foreign country?

I am a foreign citizen who is interested in introducing a U.S.-based retail brand to my country. What are the steps necessary to achieve this? I understand that this specific retail brand has not expanded internationally and does not offer franchise opportunities. How should I approach the owners and what would be the legal form of this kind of arrangement?
Brad Sugars

How can I use my business experience in another venture?

I had a mortgage company for 10 years and lost it overnight. I really enjoy both the financial and real estate part of it. I've worked with builders, developers and customers and would like to know if there is another business that I can start that can incorporate everything I've done. I currently manage a branch for a large regional bank but miss the thrill of running my own show and making things happen.
Pam Newman

How do I establish a U.S. based business while I'm traveling abroad?

I'm an American citizen, but I've been living in Turkey for the last couple of years. I'm opening a translation agency while traveling abroad, but want it to be based in America for tax purposes. What legal hurdles may I encounter while trying to do this?
Nina Kaufman

How do you partner with an existing company to produce and market your idea?

I have an invention, but not the capital to produce it. Who do I contact at the company and how do I know they won't just steal my idea? Can you patent an idea?
Kim T. Gordon

How can a minor obtain a business loan for a start up?

I like many other 16 year-olds, I do not have thousands of dollars to pull out of my pocket. However, I do believe I have great entrepreneurial skills. I think I have nice-looking layout for an e-commerce site that's being quoted at around $5,000 in addition to other expenses. Banks and everyone else are reluctant to letting you borrow money because you are not an adult so you can't sign a legal document. My parents do not have the best credit, and they don't want to put it on the line for me. I guess I am the only that believes I can be successful, but I am hoping there is an alternative way to get funding besides working at a minimum wage job.
Nina Kaufman