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

'The Purpose Is Profit': Not Just Another Startup Guide

If you go to your local bookstore (they still exist, don't they?) or search for "entrepreneur" or "small business" on Amazon, you will find thousands of books and e-books on how to start a business.

To paraphrase the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, of making many startup success books there is no end, including -- truth be told -- a ...Read more

'We Know You Have A Choice'

As a professional speaker, I spend a lot of time in airports. But lately I've been spending too much time in airports.

Because my clients are (How do I say this gracefully?) cost conscious, they usually request that I fly coach on the cheapest airline I can find, which means that most of the time I find myself on one particular airline (which...Read more

How Ray Bradbury's 'The Murderer' Nails Our Times

Sometimes, inspiration for this column comes from the most unusual places.

Each year my summer beach reading has a theme. This year it's classic science fiction -- the works of the pioneers Isaac Asimov, Harlan Ellison, Philip K. Dick, Arthur C. Clarke, William Gibson, Frank Herbert, Orson Scott Card and a guy named Ray Bradbury (1920-2012), ...Read more

How Can a Non-U.S. Citizen Set Up a U.S. Company?

"Hello, sir, I am a permanent resident of Slovenia, and I have been a loyal follower of your column and YouTube channel. I want to set up a web-based service business, but I will need to set up a U.S. company and address for payments and correspondence. What is the best way to do this legally?"

Setting up a business in the U.S. requires ...Read more

The Fine Art of Managing Misfits

The future of eBay Inc. is becoming a little clearer.

I was privileged to attend and speak at last week's eBay OPEN conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, which attracted several hundred sellers from around the country, despite the summer heat. (One reason it's smart to host a conference in Vegas in July: The audience won't wander off into 120-...Read more


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