Inside the December 2004 Issue
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Features

Fever Pitch

Pull out your thermometers, 'cause things are heating up! Here's our annual roundup of the newest trends, hottest markets and business ideas that promise to sizzle in 2005.

Hit the Road

Itching to throw your business into high gear? We have everything you need to get your business fleet up to speed in our 2005 guide to commercial vehicles

Columns

Be Your Own Boss Features

Out With the Old

Get 2005 off to a fresh start with one of these new franchises.
Be Your Own Boss Features

Turning the Tables

You worked for them, and now you want them to "work" for you. Find out what you need to know to land your former employer as your startup's first client.
Biz 101

Lease Lessons

Follow these 6 tips when negotiating your first commercial lease.
Biz 101

Try Again

Business fell flat? No use whining about it. Here's how you can bounce back.
Biz 101

Magic Markets

The experts use marketing mojo on our tech makeover winner.
Biz 101

The Write Stuff

What does it take to launch a brand-new product?
Biz U

Big Biz on Campus

Class is now in session for college entrepreneurs. Are you ready to enroll?
Innovations

Taking License

It pays to do your homework before signing a licensing agreement.
Opportunities

No Place Like Home

One couple makes it their business to care for homebound clients.
Opportunities

What's New 12/04

Stretch your limits
Opportunities

Groom to Grow

Animal grooming is more than a pet project for a former HR executive.
Smart Ideas

Smart Ideas 12/04

No slip headbands, online used-car sales and more
Success Coach

Survival of the Fittest

As your business grows, so do the challenges. Meet them with confidence.
Whats Your Problem

Full Disclosure?

When to tell customers you work from your home
Almost Famous

Java Enabled

For this former film student, the road to Hollywood--and business success--is paved with coffee beans.
Editors Note

Leaving Their Mark

Feedback

Feedback 12/04

Resources

Resources 12/04

Websites, organizations, events and more to grow your business
Legal

Good Libations?

Not if you give employees too much to drink at the company holiday party. Consider these sobering facts.
Management Buzz

Management Buzz 12/04

Rewarding top-rung employees, the work/life balance and more
Real Deal

Say What?

Decipher common contract legalese.
Smart Moves

This Is a Test

Don't be tempted to use ROI analyses the wrong way, or you risk creating a formula for disaster.
Staff Smarts

By Degrees

You can show highly educated employees the corporate ropes--but you'd better do it step by step.
A+ Ads

Twin Picks

Dare your audience to compare, and your product is sure to get a lot of attention. Here's how to pull off a great side-by-side comparison ad.
Ask the Expert

Patriot Acts

Should you play up the "Made in the USA" angle?
Marketing Buzz

Marketing Buzz 12/04

Mints for Santa, net service at Sam's Club and more
Net Sales

Hot on Their Trail

How to use the net to track offline customers
Retail Register

What's It Worth?

Get your prices right, or it'll cost you.
Sales Force

Remote Control

Allowing sales reps to work off-site definitely has its perks, but before you try it, be sure telecommuting makes sense for your business.
Sales Success

Reaching Out

Finding good leads takes more than just making a few phone calls. Use a creative prospecting strategy to get yourself out there.
Tactics

What's the Plan?

Need a marketing plan? Here are strategies to fit penny pinchers, big spenders and everyone in between.
Dollar Signs

A Class Act

Whether in an MBA program or an online course, hitting the books can help you stay on top.
Funds

Black Gold

Oil is key to the success of this Russian fund.
Insurance

Live Long and Prosper

New life insurance policies offer refunds.
Money Buzz

Money Buzz 12/04

Informal investments, independent investment research and more
Personal Finance

Wrap It Up Right

Like your holiday packages, year-end finances are all about presentation--and planning.
Raising Money

Coming Up Short

Short-term financing could help your company overcome temporary setbacks or cash-flow issues.
Tax Talk

Think Fast

Take advantage of faster depreciation.
Biz Travel

Keep In Touch

. . . even in the air. These new tech features are ready for takeoff.
Books

A Work of Art

Creating a business masterpiece takes a palette of different ideas.
Capitol Issues

What's Cookin'?

The FTC is serving up a new and improved franchise rule, but is it what small-business owners ordered?
It Figures

It Figures 12/04

Teenage business ambitions, working at home and more
Smarts Features

Bar None

You'd better get in compliance with the new bar code rules before time runs out.
Smarts Features

Blogger's Block

Sick of blogging? Here's how to deal with business blog burnout.
Smarts Features

Shell Shock?

New rules are driving small firms into shells, where they could get a nasty surprise.
Smarts Features

Not Lost in Translation

Marketing tactics from abroad can work just as well here, too.
Smarts Features

Working It

A surge in part-time workers can pay off for your business.
Smarts Features

Make a List, Check It Twice

Ever wonder what's on other entrepreneurs' to-do lists?
Smarts Features

Bald Ambition

Hell-bent on getting attention? Try a zany marketing stunt.
Smarts Features

Crisis Mode

A personal crisis needn't spell disaster for your business--not if you prepare for it.
Snapshot

Snapshot 12/04

Michael and Meredith Wickliffe, 40 and 38, founders of Wick's Pizza Parlor and Pub in Louisville, Kentucky
Tech Toy

Here Comes the Sun

Stay on time with this self-calibrating watch
Wheels

Extra Special

Why settle for the ordinary when you've got these special-edition vehicles to choose from?
Women

Going Global

International business tips make a world of difference.
Buyers Guide

Feel the Burn

If you've been making do without a DVD burner, now's the time to take advantage of recent advancements and upgrade your hardware.
Connections

Tall Order

Cellular carriers have been busy improving call quality, but will it last?
Digital Edge

Color-Blind?

They're practically giving away color laser printers, but watch out for those toner prices.
Gear

Gear 12/04

Wireless networks for travelers and big VoIP functions for small companies
Hot Disks

Hot Disks 12/04

Password protection, publishing made easy and more
Net Profits

All Systems Go

Sure, integrating your front- and back-end systems might be a headache--but it's well-worth the effort.
Tech Buzz

Tech Buzz 12/04

Linux for laptops, news gathering services and more
Wireless

What's Next?

Harware that can straddle wireless LANs and cellular networks
Wireless

Cut the Cord

Presentations don't have to be a hassle.
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