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Inside the December 2004 Issue

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
Get 2005 off to a fresh start with one of these new franchises.
Be Your Own Boss Features
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
Business fell flat? No use whining about it. Here's how you can bounce back.
Biz 101
What does it take to launch a brand-new product?
Biz 101
Follow these 6 tips when negotiating your first commercial lease.
Biz 101
The experts use marketing mojo on our tech makeover winner.
Biz U
Class is now in session for college entrepreneurs. Are you ready to enroll?
Innovations
It pays to do your homework before signing a licensing agreement.
Opportunities
Animal grooming is more than a pet project for a former HR executive.
Opportunities
One couple makes it their business to care for homebound clients.
Opportunities
Stretch your limits
Smart Ideas
No slip headbands, online used-car sales and more
Success Coach
As your business grows, so do the challenges. Meet them with confidence.
Whats Your Problem
When to tell customers you work from your home
Almost Famous
For this former film student, the road to Hollywood--and business success--is paved with coffee beans.
Editors Note
Feedback
Resources
Websites, organizations, events and more to grow your business
Legal
Not if you give employees too much to drink at the company holiday party. Consider these sobering facts.
Management Buzz
Rewarding top-rung employees, the work/life balance and more
Real Deal
Decipher common contract legalese.
Smart Moves
Don't be tempted to use ROI analyses the wrong way, or you risk creating a formula for disaster.
Staff Smarts
You can show highly educated employees the corporate ropes--but you'd better do it step by step.
A+ Ads
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
Should you play up the "Made in the USA" angle?
Marketing Buzz
Mints for Santa, net service at Sam's Club and more
Net Sales
How to use the net to track offline customers
Retail Register
Get your prices right, or it'll cost you.
Sales Force
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
Finding good leads takes more than just making a few phone calls. Use a creative prospecting strategy to get yourself out there.
Tactics
Need a marketing plan? Here are strategies to fit penny pinchers, big spenders and everyone in between.
Dollar Signs
Whether in an MBA program or an online course, hitting the books can help you stay on top.
Funds
Oil is key to the success of this Russian fund.
Insurance
New life insurance policies offer refunds.
Money Buzz
Informal investments, independent investment research and more
Personal Finance
Like your holiday packages, year-end finances are all about presentation--and planning.
Raising Money
Short-term financing could help your company overcome temporary setbacks or cash-flow issues.
Tax Talk
Take advantage of faster depreciation.
Biz Travel
. . . even in the air. These new tech features are ready for takeoff.
Books
Creating a business masterpiece takes a palette of different ideas.
Capitol Issues
The FTC is serving up a new and improved franchise rule, but is it what small-business owners ordered?
It Figures
Teenage business ambitions, working at home and more
Smarts Features
New rules are driving small firms into shells, where they could get a nasty surprise.
Smarts Features
Marketing tactics from abroad can work just as well here, too.
Smarts Features
A surge in part-time workers can pay off for your business.
Smarts Features
You'd better get in compliance with the new bar code rules before time runs out.
Smarts Features
Ever wonder what's on other entrepreneurs' to-do lists?
Smarts Features
Hell-bent on getting attention? Try a zany marketing stunt.
Smarts Features
A personal crisis needn't spell disaster for your business--not if you prepare for it.
Smarts Features
Sick of blogging? Here's how to deal with business blog burnout.
Snapshot
Michael and Meredith Wickliffe, 40 and 38, founders of Wick's Pizza Parlor and Pub in Louisville, Kentucky
Tech Toy
Stay on time with this self-calibrating watch
Wheels
Why settle for the ordinary when you've got these special-edition vehicles to choose from?
Women
International business tips make a world of difference.
Buyers Guide
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
Cellular carriers have been busy improving call quality, but will it last?
Digital Edge
They're practically giving away color laser printers, but watch out for those toner prices.
Gear
Wireless networks for travelers and big VoIP functions for small companies
Hot Disks
Password protection, publishing made easy and more
Net Profits
Sure, integrating your front- and back-end systems might be a headache--but it's well-worth the effort.
Tech Buzz
Linux for laptops, news gathering services and more
Wireless
Harware that can straddle wireless LANs and cellular networks
Wireless
Presentations don't have to be a hassle.
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