Ask Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs

What Should I Study to Be an Entrepreneur?

As a new college student with my eye on the prize of becoming an entrepreneur, are there specific classes I should be taking to prepare myself for my future as a founder? Should I try to major in entrepreneurship? Get an advanced degree? Please advise.
Marketing

How Can I Build My Reputation?

I am a 24-year-old entrepreneur currently running a startup that helps small businesses and nonprofits to market their brands using social media. I am focusing on working with as many clients as possible to help build my reputation in the social media world. In social media, reputation is everything, so I am trying to think of other ways (besides my strong experience and client list) to present my "scope of work" to clients in a more professional way: business cards, logo, marketing material, client lists, website and so on. My question is: Is all this really necessary? Are prospective small-business clients going to expect these things when I pitch my services, or are they going to be content with seeing me selling my services to them without all of the material?
Growth Strategies

What Permits and Patents Do I Need to Sell My BBQ Sauce?

My dad and I want to start selling his homemade barbeque sauce. What sort of permits and patents would we need in order to sell the sauce legally?
Growth Strategies

Should I Apologize for Yelling At an Employee?

The other day was very intense and stressful, and an incident arose that led me to yell at an ordinarily productive employee. In fact, this employee is one of my superstars. Although I felt at the time that I was in the right, it may negatively affect our working relationship in the future. When does a well-deserved reprimand from a boss cross over into inappropriately reaming someone out?
Growth Strategies

Who Should I Hire for My Ecommerce Site?

Who are the major types of employees that one should hire to run a successful ecommerce website? Why?
Growth Strategies

Is It Legal to Buy and Resell Items?

I have a home-based clothing store. I'm wondering whether it's legal for me to buy items on sale in retail chain stores and resell them through my business. I know I could sell the items on eBay as an individual, but I'm wondering whether the laws are different somehow when I'm running a business.
Entrepreneurs

What Personality Traits Made Steve Jobs Successful?

I know many factors go into the success of an entrepreneur like Steve Jobs (and maybe Jobs was truly unique), but I'm wondering what personality traits are central to that kind of success. What can I work on and cultivate in myself to be a better entrepreneur?
Marketing

How Can I Market My Architecture Visualization Business?

We are a team of ten talented artists. We started an architecture visualization firm, Vivendi Media Works (http://www.vivendimediaworks.com) in our home city of Chennai, India. We are facing a lack not of skill but of marketing ideas. Please help us to develop our business.
Finance

How Can I Fund a New Business Idea Without Crowdfunding?

My partners and I have an idea for a new product. We know what the market will be, why and where, but we simply can't reveal the product at this time on any crowdfunding website. Banks won't touch us. Any suggestions as to how we can finance it?
Ready for Anything

How Can I Connect With Purchasing Agents?

We are a plastics manufacturer and our products are sold in the United States and abroad. We are looking for more customers to utilize our expertise as a manufacturer for both new and existing products, but it is difficult to discover clients overseas. How can we promote ourselves and find new clients (i.e., purchasing agents)?
Ready for Anything

Do I Need a Business License for an Online Store?

If I'm getting started in the world of online retail, and I am trying to find out what steps to take as far as license, permits and so on. Do I need a business license before I launch my online store? Are the requirements different for independent sellers on websites such as Etsy and eBay than they are for business owners with dedicated websites for selling their merchandise?
Starting a Business

How Should We Divide Equity Among Co-Founders?

I understand that one's share of equity should be contribution-based. However, when you are making arrangements with co-founders, is there a generic rule of thumb that you must follow? If you want to control future decisions of the startup as originator of the concept, how do you make sure to retain the full control?
Marketing

How Can I Get My First Few Clients?

I'm the co-founder of a new business consultancy that deals mostly in statistical analysis. We are really good at statistical analysis but not so good at getting clients. We are a small team of five dedicated people. None of us have much idea about how to approach companies. How should we approach potential clients and what preparations should we do before we meet? Also, how can we convince them to give us just a single chance to prove ourselves?
Starting a Business

How Can I Get Out of a Non-Compete?

I signed a two-year non-compete agreement last November with a company for which I used to work. I haven't been doing much since leaving that position. Now I have a can't-miss opportunity to do similar work for a competitor company. Is there anything I can do that would enable me to take this job? How can I determine whether my non-compete has a loophole, or whether my former employer might be willing to let me off the hook? Does that ever happen?
Marketing

How Can I Get Started With Online Marketing?

I've recently launched an architecture business with a colleague. My business partner doesn't know much about online marketing, and it's new to me too, but I've agreed to handle this side of the business (among other duties, of course). How can I get my feet wet with online marketing and start building a following for my business, with the goal of gaining customers?

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