Should You Be a Guinea Pig for a New Franchise?

"I was downsized from a corporate job about a year ago. I have never run my own business before, but I am realizing now there is no future for me in corporate America (I am over 50 years of age), so I am looking at entrepreneurial options.

My outplacement firm recommended that I consider buying a franchise. The problem with franchises, though...Read more

When Customer Service Bumps up Against Economic Reality

On a recent business trip to Orlando, Florida, I was called upon to find a good local restaurant for two important Florida-based contacts who wanted to meet with me over dinner.

As it happened, both of them liked steakhouses, and the hotel where I was staying boasted one of the top steakhouses in the area.

I made it a point to check out the ...Read more

The 12 Dumbest, Most Common Small Business Mistakes

With more and more people starting businesses of their own -- out of necessity, not choice -- I'm seeing more and more people making the same mistakes over and over again.

Here is my top 12 list of the dumbest entrepreneurial moves. All are easily avoidable with a little common sense and street smarts.

Not Knowing Your Customers. Without ...Read more

Surviving Your Next Networking Group Meeting

I don't know about you, but I find most networking groups to be exceedingly boring, unproductive and, in some cases, cringe-inducing.

I'm not generally a fan of networking groups. I'm not sure people get much new business out of them. Still, they have their upside. They can be great places to find people who do not compete with you but serve ...Read more

Homer's 'Iliad' and the Obamacare Debacle

Those trying to figure out the mood of the American voter right now are bound to be scratching their heads.

Last November, the voters threw Republicans into Congress and the White House in almost record numbers with a mandate to slash government spending, end Obamacare and enact massive tax cuts. Straightforward enough, right?

Yet last month...Read more

A Legal Checklist for a Retail Website

"I'm planning to set up a fashion accessories website.

"I think I will be selling mostly on Amazon, eBay and other online platforms, but after watching your YouTube video 'Doing Business on the Internet' (, I realize it's going to be tough to build a distinctive brand without my own website.

"What are some...Read more

Buying a Business That Has an EBay, Amazon or Etsy Account

It's no secret that selling merchandise on eBay, Amazon, Etsy and other online e-commerce platforms is big business.

According to Quora, the number of people worldwide earning a full- or part-time income on eBay was estimated between 8 and 12 million in 2015.

In 2016, more than 100,000 third-party sellers on Amazon made more than $100,000 in...Read more

Setting up a Worker Cooperative With an LLC

"I have run a successful service business for many years.

"I am getting ready to retire and have been approached by several local competitors who would love to buy my business.

"The problem is that I have several long-serving employees in their 40s and 50s who would probably be terminated if I sold the business, with little chance of their ...Read more

Before You Launch Your Business Opportunity: Part 2 of 2

You have built a successful business and set up a training program to teach people how to start and run that business successfully. They don't have to use your name, nor will they be given assigned territories. But they will have to pay a sizable upfront fee for the training program, as well as additional amounts for annual refresher courses, ...Read more

Before You Launch Your Business Opportunity: Part 1 of 2

"We have operated a successful service business for many years.

"We no longer want to run the business ourselves, but we think this type of business is an excellent opportunity for other people. So we have come up with a training program to teach other people how to build a business like ours.

"Customers will pay $10,000 up front for the ...Read more

Some Random Thoughts on the Amazon-Whole Foods Merger

As the whole world knows by now, web retailer Amazon announced that it will buy the Whole Foods upscale grocery chain. The merger will give Amazon access to dozens of brick-and-mortar supermarkets in virtually every major city in the U.S.

Amazon has made some pretty interesting acquisitions over the years, including some real head-scratchers ...Read more


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