Inside the December 2003 Issue
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Hot Stuff

Want to know what's hot for 2004? We've got the businesses, markets and trends you shouldn't miss out on.

Driven to Success

With incentives, tax breaks and price wars sweetening the pot, there's never been a better time to shop for new business vehicles. Let our guide to commercial vehicles get you started.


Be Your Own Boss Features

New in Town

Get geared up for 2004 with today's freshest franchising concepts.
Be Your Own Boss Features

Great Escape

All wound up about what kind of business to start? Then take a hint from the millions of Americans looking to break away from the daily grind--head to a day spa.
Biz 101

Growing Up

Want to start an artistic business? A creative incubator could be just what you need to come out of your shell.
Biz 101

Roast of the Town

Fed up with working for others, one couple decided to take a stand—a barbecue stand, that is.
Biz 101

Two in One

Finding an investor is great. But finding an investor who's also a mentor? Now you're talking.
Biz 101

Youthful Optimism

Need a dose of inspiration? These stories about young, successful entrepreneurs will fire you up.

Warm Reception

How you can revolutionize a stagnant product on a limited budget and still win over your target market

Perfect Timing

What do you do when your company decides to go the franchising route? Join in on the fun, of course.

Ultimate Makeover

Appearances aren't everything at this skin-care salon.

What's New 12/03

Healthy meals make a splash.
Real Life

Speed Bumps

Jack and Diane find a few surprises waiting for them as they move closer to realizing their goal.
Smart Ideas

Smells Like School Spirit

When it comes to designing quality collegiate purses, it looks like these sisters-in-law have bagged a winner.
Success Coach

Take a Breather

Can't seem to cut that monstrous to-do list down to size? Maybe it's time to relax, step back and regroup.
Whats Your Problem

Treasure Hunt

Hit the mark when you're hunting for products to sell.
Almost Famous

Mint Condition

With a fresh, funky twist on a familiar product, one candyman gets a taste of small-business success.
Editors Note

Best of Times


Feedback 12/03

Letters from our readers

Resources 12/03

Web sites, organizations, events and more to grow your business
Creative Zone

Fuel the Fire

Seven tips to keep your company's creativity sizzling

A Closer Look

Will your agent need to visit your business before writing a policy?

Losing Battle?

It may be tempting to sue when someone bashes your company online, but free speech has the upper hand.
Management Buzz

Management Buzz 12/03

Determining who's an employee and who's not; hiring vets might be your best bet
Real Deal

Don't Cry Over . . .

Everyone strikes a bad deal at one time or another. The key is to learn from your mistakes.
Smart Moves

A Tight Ship

Profitability management helped PC maker Dell pull off a turnaround. Can it help you do the same?
Staff Smarts

An Art in Itself

Managing your creative employees can be a challenge, but doing it well is crucial to your business.
A+ Ads

Measuring Up

Side-by-side comparison ads can persuade prospects to buy in the blink of an eye.
Ask the Expert

To the Letter

How to really reach out with a newsletter
Marketing Buzz

Marketing Buzz 12/03

The golden state bans unsolicited e-mail.
Net Sales

What a Deal!

Attract customers with online coupons.
Retail Register

In the Spotlight

Choosing products for ad campaigns
Sales Force

End Game

The year's almost over, but it's no time to let your guard down. What can you do to keep sales from going into hibernation?
Sales Success

Star Power

Want to pump up sales? Then think like a stellar sales champion, and watch your business shoot through the roof.

No Regrets

Didn't get the results you wanted from your marketing this year? You can get a fresh start in 2004.
Dollar Signs

Going Private?

For companies tired of taking a beating in the market, deregistration may be a temporary shelter in the storm.

Anything Goes

Here's a top-performing fund that's got flexibility on its side.
Money Buzz

Money Buzz 12/03

The state of VC investments in minority-owned firms, the rising cost of audits and accounting, and more
Personal Finance

How Low?

With new tax brackets, now's the time to lower your withholding.
Raising Money

New or Used?

Buying an existing business may get lenders on your side faster than building from scratch.
Tax Talk

For a Limited Time

Want to take advantage of the cut in dividend taxes? You'll need to strike while the iron's hot.
Biz Travel

Spacing Out

How to avoid the big squeeze on your next business flight

Silver Lining

How looking on the bright side can help you run your business
Capitol Issues

Taking Credit

Washington shields businesses from identity theft losses.
Hot Seat

Charity Begins at Work

Here's one entrepreneur with divine inspiration.
It Figures

It Figures 12/03

The popularity of e-mail, complaining customers and more

Washington Watch

Congressional representatives discuss the state of small business in today's economy.
Smarts Features

A Happy New Year?

Experts weigh in on whether 2004 will be the year the economy turns around.
Smarts Features

Easy Read

Build business relationships with a company blog.
Smarts Features

Overtime Overhaul?

Congress challenges proposed changes to overtime eligibility.
Smarts Features

Show of Good Faith

It's more important than ever to show customers you'll keep their information private.
Smarts Features

Who's Next?

Strategies for prepping the next generation of employees
Smarts Features

No Options

The big guys may be letting stock options go, but should you?
Smarts Features

Office Space

The office of tomorrow might look the same, but it sure acts different.
Smarts Features

On Location

Making your business the star of the big screen could mean big bucks and local exposure.
Smarts Features

Spin City

How do you weather a PR crisis-and come out on top?

George Antoniadis

42, founder of Alpha Flying Inc. in Manchester, New Hampshire
Tech Toy

Tee Time

A high-tech way to improve your golf swing
Whats the Point

Family Circle

Make the most of your family business by managing these five resources.

Road Rewards

Ready to treat yourself? Here are three luxury roadsters to choose from.

Teaching by Example

Mothers and daughters discuss the impact of entrepreneurship on their relationships.
Buyers Guide

Crystal Clear

Sure, they're a little pricey. But it's plain to see that oversize flat-panel displays can be great investments for your business.
Digital Edge

Powering Up

Is Linux really ready to be plugged in to the desktop? The answer is at your fingertips.

Gear 12/03

A professional-looking digital camera, the most versatile DVD recorder and more
Hot Disks

Hot Disks 12/03

Eliminating your paper trail, a mobile phonebook and more
Hot Topic

Ahead of the Pack

Small businesses are zipping past bigger companies on the tech-investment track.
Net Profits

A World of Goods

In spite of the risks, there are lots of great reasons to start thinking about going global.

Eye on the Prize

Keep your business secure even when you're away—try a wireless surveillance device on for size.

Magic Touch

With a few tricks up their sleeves, two brothers take PC design to a whole new level.
Tech Buzz

Tech Buzz 12/03

Improving your business's Web search status; a full office suite for next-to-nothing

To the WiMAX

A new protocol spices up the 802.x alphabet soup.

Let's Chat

Instant messaging hits the road.
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