Inside the April 2004 Issue
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Drab to Fab

Take a long, hard look at your business. Is it looking a little worn around the edges? With our office, tech, marketing, personal finance and money-raising makeover strategies, it'll be worthy of snaps in no time.

Flying High

When it comes to offering the most bang for your buck, the winners of this year's 11th Annual Business Travel Awards soar above the rest.

Secure Horizons

Are worries about spam, viruses and hackers keeping you up at night? Our Internet security guide will help you protect the future of your business so you can sleep soundly.


Be Your Own Boss Features

Simply the Best

Presenting the top 111 industry-leading companies from our 2004 Franchise 500 listing
Be Your Own Boss Features

Puttin' on the Glitz

Dreaming of starting a glamorous business? Take a behind-the-scenes look at what it's really like to be a fashion designer, a restaurateur and more.
Biz 101

For Sanity's Sake!

All work and no play makes you a dull entrepreneur, so find a healthy balance between your life and your business.
Biz 101

Nice to Meet You

These entrepreneurs proved you can find business partners in the strangest places.
Biz 101

Put It to the Test

Want to see if your product will be a hit? A trial run on eBay can shed some light on the subject.
Biz 101

Pinch Those Pennies

How do you start a business on a budget? One author shares his thoughts on the subject.

Sky's the Limit

Think your product has limited appeal? It may have more potential than you know.

A Brew Attitude

It takes more than your average Joe to go up against the likes of Starbucks.

Sister Act

Working together is helping these women build a healthy franchise.

What's New 04/04

Just released...
Real Life

On the Right Track

Wondering what the first year of startup is like? Get an insider's view as we follow one entrepreneur's journey.
Smart Ideas

Smart Ideas 04/04

Multicultural wallpaper, post-prom events and more
Success Coach

Follow Your Leader

Move forward faster by learning from the experience of a mentor.
Whats Your Problem

Have I Chosen a Stable Business?

No worries-medical billing is still a viable business.
Almost Famous

Eye Candy

Life is sweet for two visionaries who mix sugary treats with style.
Editors Note

Makeover Mania


Feedback 4/04

Letters from our readers

Resources 04/04

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

Extra Special

Everybody wins with supplemental insurance.

The Name Game

Want to expand your trademark globally? Watch your step—or you'll be putting your name on the line.
Management Buzz

Management Buzz 4/04

Covering expenses for employees on active duty, calculating employee loyalty and more
Real Deal

What's Your Hurry?

Don't rush into a deal you might regret. Slow down, step back and climb high to get the big picture first.
Smart Moves

Tell and Show

RFID chips revolutionize the way you get info about products, even before you open the box.
Staff Smarts

Out With the "In"

If you want happy, harmonious employees, it's time to kick those workplace cliques to the curb.
A+ Ads

Quick Study

When you need to capture your prospects' attention in the blink of an eye, remember: less is more.
Ask the Expert

Good Graces

Get the word out to people in the right places.
Marketing Buzz

Marketing Buzz 04/04

Sponsored weddings and boosting customer interaction
Net Sales

Surf's Up

Use Web analytics to help your site work smarter, not harder.
Retail Register

Feed the Need

Can serving up food and drink improve your sales?
Sales Force

Fighting Mad

Is infighting among your sales reps sidelining your business? Try these tips to get back on track.
Sales Success

All Ears?

In business and in life, learning to listen is one of the most important skills you can develop.

In the Mix

If your marketing efforts don't already include ethnic and minority media, now is the time to start.
Dollar Signs

Give 'Em Credit

Extending credit to your customers can be a boon to your business, but only if you do it wisely.

Riding It Out

This telecom fund has major staying power.
Money Buzz

Money Buzz 4/04

Tracking insider selling and recover tax overpayments
Personal Finance

Brace Yourself

Want to avoid getting hit by the IRS? Plan ahead.
Raising Money

Branching Out

An employee stock ownership plan is more than just a great way to boost morale-it's also a cheap source of growth capital.
Tax Talk

Hey, Give a Little!

. . . or a lot, if you like. Either way, charitable donations are still a smart idea.
Biz Travel

Winner's Circle

Kudos to these Web sites for offering terrific travel tips.

Living Large

Want to expand your business? Then make the most of what you've got, one step at a time.
Capitol Issues

High and Dry?

A new federal contract program may not be an oasis after all.
It Figures

It Figures 04/04

Online retail sales increasing, our love-hate relationship with the cell phone and more
Smarts Features

New World Order

The European Union will soon be a bigger cash cow.
Smarts Features

Game On!

Game-makers are definitely not sleeping in Seattle.
Smarts Features

Status Woe

Contractors' illegal workers could put you in a legal pickle.
Smarts Features

Age Rage

Younger employees are crying age discrimination.
Smarts Features

Tuning In?

The used-digital-music market could be fertile ground for pioneering entrepreneurs.
Smarts Features

Quick Fix

Do SBA express loans really shortchange entrepreneurs?
Smarts Features

Do We Have Lift-Off?

VoIP is a bottle rocket, but red tape could ground it.
Smarts Features

Carb Your Enthusiasm

Here's the skinny on how to tap into the hot low-carb market.
Smarts Features

Just Woo It

It's possible to flirt with success after all.
Smarts Features

Fridge Wars

Employees duking it out in the kitchen? Stop the madness!

Snapshot 04/04

Leo Rivera, 33, founder of Bishops Barbershop in Portland, Oregon
Tech Toy

Ear and Far

Stay in touch and stay connected with this cell phone accessory.

Let's Do Launch

Ford and Mercury debut new and upgraded business-friendly vehicles.

Let's Talk About Sexism

Do sexist attitudes still exist in business? Women sound off.
Buyers Guide

Feeling Insecure?

If so, wireless surveillance cameras could help you make your business environment safer.

Got It Handled?

If your business needs to take call handling to the next level, an IP telephony system could be the answer.
Digital Edge

You've Got Mail . . .

. . . Too much mail, that is. Tame your inbox-and get more from messaging-with an integrated system.

Gear 04/04

Scanners get thinner and Macs get stronger
Hot Disks

Hot Disks 04/04

Accounting software grows with your business, IM'ing with Lotus and more
Net Profits

Public Image?

With Internet companies back on the IPO map and VCs becoming interested again, should you follow the pack?
Tech Buzz

Tech Buzz 4/04

Recycling hardware, 3-D desktops and more

Two Birds

You can have your Wi-Fi and extra memory, too.

Making a Pass

Credit card purchases without the swiping?
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