"My wife and I have been running a for-profit service business for the past 10 years.
"We have recently learned that our business may qualify as a nonprofit organization, as we frequently provide our services for free or at an extremely low cost to people who can't afford them.
"We're looking to retire shortly and think it would be fun to ...Read more
"About 10 years ago, I bought a franchise that provides an essential service for building contractors.
"Because the franchise was new, I was able to cut a terrific deal for a large territory in my state. I'm paying only a flat royalty fee each month, not a percentage of my gross sales as is typical for most franchises, so my margins are very ...Read more
"A friend of mine and I bought a metal fabrication business 15 years ago. We've been very successful and have increased sales and profits dramatically since we took over the business.
"For many years, my friend and I were the sole directors and shareholders of our corporation. A few years ago, on the advice of our accountant, we brought a ...Read more
"I'm a retired engineer who is spending his Golden Years designing new household products.
"I've obtained several patents for my inventions but haven't yet done anything with them. I've started getting emails from companies offering to take my patents and develop them into marketable products.
"The offers are tempting and appear to be low ...Read more
"I read your recent column on selling a business and found it very useful when someone approached me a month ago offering to buy my small retail business. My wife and I have been thinking about retiring in Florida for some time now, so we felt that now was the time to make the move.
"Except we hit a snag and don't know what to do about it.
Last week's column -- in which I gave my readers a (perhaps too) candid look into what I personally will be doing (and not doing) in the next year or two as we emerge from our pandemic foxholes -- generated a fair amount of comment, both positive and negative.
An example of the latter: "Up to now I've always respected what you do for the ...Read more
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
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
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
"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
"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