When We Emerge From Our Foxholes

Like just about everyone else right now, I'm wondering what life is going to be like once enough Americans have been vaccinated for COVID-19 that people feel comfortable venturing out into public life again.

For many small business owners, this is more than just an intellectual exercise: If you own a restaurant, bar, fitness facility or any ...Read more

Cheat Me Once, Shame on You; Cheat Me Twice...

Spring has sprung, and with the arrival of flowers, bunny rabbits and taxes come a trove of emails from building contractors proving beyond a doubt that "April is the cruelest month" for many small-business owners.

"I recently had an addition put on my house, and I became very friendly with our contractor and his son. While our contractor was...Read more

Nonfungible Tokens and the Law

Like most Americans, I was intrigued by the recent Christie's auction in which "Beeple," a digital artist, received $69.3 million for a digital artwork that was authenticated by a "nonfungible token" (or NFT).

Like most Americans, I hadn't the foggiest clue what an NFT was.

As a lawyer, I represent quite a few artists, photographers, writers...Read more

The Pros and Cons of Affiliate Programs

"I have a small line of consumer products that I promote mostly from our company website.

"A number of my competitors have set up affiliate programs in the past year, where people can sell their stuff from their own websites and get a commission. I'm thinking about doing the same, but our products have a 'luxury' cachet that I'm afraid will ...Read more

Should You Hire a Business Broker to Help Sell Your Business?

"I run a small manufacturing business. We have only one product, but it's a doozy; even during the pandemic, our annual sales have been in the mid-six figures. Since I'm the only one working in the business, our profit margins are 80% or better.

"We had a patent and trademark for this product years ago, but I let them both expire. There's ...Read more

Thinking About a Telehealth Practice?

"I am a young (mid-30s) physician who has just completed his residency and recently bought a suburban general medicine (internist) practice.

Your column last week about building a successful medical practice struck a chord with me, and I hope you won't mind a related question.

My practice is in a rural area, and, while I have enough patients...Read more

How to Destroy a Thriving Medical Practice

"I am a young (mid-30s) physician who has just completed his residency and wants to buy a suburban general medicine (internist) practice.

"I have been a fan of your YouTube videos for years and wonder if you have any advice for me -- not so much on how to buy the practice but how to keep the patients on board after I do."

First of all, let ...Read more

'Moonlighting' and the Law

"I am a full-time employee at a large tech company.

"My son, who lives in another state, wants to start a small consulting business. He will need my personal expertise in servicing his clients, because I have more knowledge of the technology than he has. He wants to set up a limited liability company for this business and give me a one-third ...Read more

'Cancel Culture' and Your Clients

"I have a consulting business with over 50 clients, but I'm afraid that won't last much longer unless I get some tough love from you.

"In working with my clients, it's inevitable that we will discuss things other than the project at hand. Although I try to avoid discussing politics with my clients, several have recently asked me point-blank ...Read more

Are You a 'Small Business' or a 'Startup'?

For the past 30-plus years, this has been a column for people who run small businesses. But what exactly is a "small business"?

Well, 50 years ago, we knew what a small business was: a storefront somewhere in town that could accommodate only a few customers at a time, run by a local family and selling everyday stuff. That type of small ...Read more

Some Billing Tips for Consultants

Many if not most clients are operating on extremely tight profit margins these days; people are obsessed with controlling costs of all kinds, including legal fees. Consultants and other professional service providers must be clear at all times about how their fees are calculated, how much a project will cost, and when payment will be due.

To ...Read more

The Joy of NAICS Codes

"I am trying to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan for my small business, but I've hit a snag.

My local bank, which is part of the PPP, is telling me I can't apply for a loan because my current NAICS Code is incorrect. I didn't even know what a NAICS Code was, much less that I had one. I've been in business for over 20 years, and ...Read more

The Outlook for 2021

Whenever you forecast the future, you take your feet, stick them in your mouth and chomp down hard. Anyone who tried to predict 2020 trends for small business last January ended up eating a considerable amount of anatomy.

But that doesn't stop us, does it?

Last week, I hosted a Zoom webinar for the Fairfield County, Connecticut, SCORE ...Read more



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