A Small Business Legal and Tax Checklist

As a small business lawyer and business guru, I am asked lots of legal and tax questions. Most are asked by newbies -- people starting businesses for the first time. But even owners of established businesses should always be thinking about their legal and tax environment.

On Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016, I will be hosting a one-hour webinar on ...Read more

From a Tiny Grain of Sand

This week's column is an excerpt of a talk given by Cliff Ennico to participants in a recent business plan competition.

"It was a pleasure to be a judge at this year's competition. You are all to be congratulated on the amount of work you put into your business plans, even though some of them, well, need a little more thought.

"You are all ...Read more

Is it good? Is it bad? Who knows?

There's an old vaudeville comedy routine that goes by the name "That's good. No, that's bad." This routine was (at least for my generation) made famous by the late Archie Campbell, a country comedian who performed on "Hee Haw" and other comedy-variety television programs of the 1960s and 1970s. (For an audio clip of Campbell's performance, ...Read more

The 4 Ways Nonprofits Can Raise Money

For the past several years, I've given a talk to local business groups on "the secrets of nonprofit success." Each year, my audiences get bigger and bigger. It sometimes seems that nobody wants to make a profit anymore.

I always begin my talk the same way: I offer to give a free, autographed copy of one of my books to anyone who can answer ...Read more

Cold Calling: Lessons From a Third-Grader

If you are a regular reader of this column or if you have seen any of my videos posted on YouTube, you know that I am no fan of cold calling as a way of generating business.

When you are cold calling, it means you are stuck with inventory that probably no one wants and are willing to tell people anything to get rid of the stuff. It's a waste ...Read more

Report From eCom Chicago and an Old Beatles Song

I just got back from speaking at this year's eCom Chicago conference for online retailers. A little history: About eight years ago, when eBay started cutting back on its popular outreach programs for eBay sellers, sellers started forming their own support groups called meetups. (For a complete list of all eBay meetup groups around the U.S., ...Read more

Keeping the Bromance Alive

"My brother and I formed a small business several years ago, and it has done very well. We make enough to support ourselves and our families.

"We have always been 50/50 owners of the business, which has always worked out. We even have equal titles -- I am president, and he is chairman. My concern is the future. We have been approached by a ...Read more

How Should You Vote in November? Part 2 of 2

If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner, how should you vote in November?

In my last two columns, I offered some suggestions and historical observations regarding presidential elections. As some of my readers have pointed out, I can't dodge the bullet forever. After much soul-searching, I've reached my decision, for better or worse...Read more

How Should You Vote in November? Part 1 of 2

I got a lot of feedback on last week's column about how small business owners and entrepreneurs should vote in the presidential election in November.

You will recall that I gave two suggestions for small business owners who haven't decided who to vote for:

--Focus on a party and its platform, not on individual candidates.

--Focus on your ...Read more

Questions You Should Be Asking Your Candidates

As a small business owner or entrepreneur, who are you going to vote for in November?

Right now, it's impossible to tell exactly where the candidates stand on issues that small businesses care about because, quite frankly, they aren't paying attention to them. Oh, yes, whenever a reporter or debate moderator utters the phrase "small business,...Read more

Before You Sell Your Website

If you have spent years building a successful business on your website and social media pages, sooner or later you will think about selling it. But selling a web-based business is different -- a lot different -- than selling a brick-and-mortar business.

To illustrate how the process works, I'm going to bring back a childhood memory. Do you ...Read more

Before You Buy a Website

"I have been laid off for over a year now and have decided it's time to start a business of my own.

I recently came across business brokers who specialize in buying and selling web-based businesses. They represent companies and individuals who have built traffic on a website. You buy the domain name and the web content and continue growing ...Read more

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