Inside the March 2004 Issue
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Features

Battle of the Brand

Is image really everything when it comes to your business? Listen as entrepreneurs and experts sound off about whether branding is crucial for success, then decide for yourself.

The Wonder Years

Are your kids starting to ask questions about where businesses come from? Remember, it's never too early to teach young people the value of entrepreneurship.

Columns

Be Your Own Boss Features

Good Sports

Get off the sidelines and into the game! Starting a business based on professional sports could put you in the big leagues.
Be Your Own Boss Features

Home Grown

Are you ready to plant the seeds of a new business? Start by reaping the harvest of these 101 homebased franchises.
Biz 101

Habit Your Way

Seven success habits you won't want to break
Biz 101

What's the Occasion?

Special events don't have to be few and far between. Keep things exciting by having them regularly.
Biz 101

Take a Load Off

Weighed down by a ton of duties? Maybe it's time to outsource some of that work.
Biz 101

Mentor Notes

Finding a great mentor is crucial, but it takes a lot of legwork. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Biz 101

Life in the Fast Lane

Are you dreaming of explosive growth during your first year of business? Be careful what you wish for.
Innovations

The Cost Is Clear

Or is it? Keep manufacturing costs in check so you can compete with the big names.
Opportunities

What's New 03/04

Prepared for take off
Opportunities

Having It Nailed

A zest for woodworking helped this entrepreneur get out of a rut.
Opportunities

A New Lease on Life

Real estate franchising gets a fresh twist from one seasoned veteran.
Real Life

Portrait of a Franchise

It's been a rocky road, but Jack and Diane are finally nearing their destination: franchise ownership.
Smart Ideas

Smart Ideas 03/04

Cookie-party store, job listings for ex-military personnel and more
Success Coach

Give-and-Take Growth

When it comes to achieving success in your business, compromise doesn't have to mean surrender.
Whats Your Problem

Ready to Make the Leap?

How to know if the time is right to start a business
Almost Famous

Hit for Misses

With high fashion at low prices, this clothes-minded dynamo's store is right on target with young women.
Editors Note

Reality Check

Feedback

Feedback 3/04

Letters from our readers
Resources

Resources 03/04

Web sites, organizations, events and more to grow your business
Insurance

Pick and Save

Get with the health-care savings programs!
Legal

Search Party

If you need to find a good attorney, forget the Yellow Pages and hop online.
Management Buzz

Management Buzz 3/04

Insuring international expansion, office socializing breeds productivity, and more
Real Deal

On Your Terms

To protect and control your interests, keep these tips in mind when negotiating with consultants.
Smart Moves

Letting Grow

The road to expansion is open, even if your business is built around your own specialized skills.
Staff Smarts

Otherwise Engaged

Get blase employees motivated about their jobs, and they'll really take care of business.
A+ Ads

Against the Tide

To grab attention in a crowded marketplace, try breaking away from the pack with an understated ad.
Ask the Expert

Name-Dropper

How to successfully navigate a name change
Marketing Buzz

Marketing Buzz 03/04

Getting A-list clients
Retail Register

A Clothes Call

Tips for creating uniforms that work
Sales Force

Trump Card

Could adopting a straight-commission system be a good bet for your business?
Sales Success

Hitting the Wall

Is talking to certain prospects like talking to a brick wall? It may be time to cut your losses and walk.
Tactics

Team Effort

Talk is cheap; failed marketing programs aren't. To get results, get sales and marketing teams working together.
Dollar Signs

Road to Riches?

Convertible bonds are still in vogue, but proceed with caution around the bend.
Funds

Smooth Sailin'

This fund navigates well, even in rough waters.
Money Buzz

Money Buzz 3/04

A drop in 401(k) enrollment, micro-payments and more
Personal Finance

Do It Your Way

Tailor your portfolio with separately managed accounts.
Raising Money

I Take It Back!

When a merger goes awry and you want to buy your company back, there are plenty of ways to do it.
Tax Talk

Easy Street

A new IRS regulation makes it a snap to calculate and report company vehicle deductions on your next tax return.
Biz Travel

Need for Speed

Hotels say hello to high-speed Internet access-and goodbye to high usage fees.
Books

Don't Be a Hero?

Not if this book has anything to say about it.
Capitol Issues

Healthy Choice

Congress comes up with a better alternative to the troubled MSA.
Hot Seat

It's a Style Thing

Style really does stand for something, says this author.
It Figures

It Figures 3/04

Public companies going private, abandoning e-mail and more
Point-Counterpoint

Health of a Nation

The debate rages on about the cure for America's rising health insurance costs.
Smarts Features

Guarding the Flock

As the economy improves, how can you keep your employees in the fold?
Smarts Features

Labor Dispute

Maternity leave is a hot issue. Find out how to handle it without ruffling any feathers.
Smarts Features

Think Bid

Want your business to grow? Maybe eBay can help.
Smarts Features

The Sun Also Rises

Is a revival on the horizon for Japan's economy? That may be good news for you.
Smarts Features

Shoot for the Stars

Aim high, and you could land a big-name investor.
Smarts Features

Get In the Game

Score marketing points with video game product placement.
Smarts Features

Open Up!

More businesses are choosing open source software.
Smarts Features

Mixed Messages

Is California driving away businesses--or setting an example for other states?
Snapshot

Snapshot 03/04

Steve Appelbaum, 44, founder of Animal Behavior & Training Associates Inc. (ABTA) in Los Angeles
Tech Toy

Get snappy

Carry this camera along with your car keys.
Whats the Point

If There's a Will . . .

Simply having a desire won't cut it if you want to make your dream of business expansion a reality.
Wheels

Fancy That!

Show 'em who's boss by rolling up in one of these posh cars.
Women

Psst! Pass It On

Entrepreneurs reflect on the hand-me-down advice they've loved and loathed.
Buyers Guide

In Living Color

Time to upgrade your color printer? Think about your production needs and budget before choosing.
Connections

Soft Spot

Software that turns your wi-fi connection into a "phone line"? You bet, and it could save you big bucks.
Digital Edge

Dial for Discounts

VoIP promises a slew of fresh messaging options to boost your productivity--and save you money.
Gear

Gear 03/04

Seeing double and one-push data back-up
Hot Disks

Hot Disks 03/04

Data protection, recycling computers and more
Net Profits

Canning Spam

Spam concerns have forced many e-tailers to rethink their e-mail marketing programs. Should you?
Spotlight

Early Birds

Before DVDs became big business, this pair of entrepreneurs saw the chance to get in on the ground floor.
Tech Buzz

Tech Buzz 3/04

Voice control, protecting your laptop and more.
Wireless

I Want My Cell TV

Now you can get TV right in the palm of your hand.
Wireless

In the Cards

Grab wireless data at broadband speeds.
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