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

Some Thorny Lease Problems

This week's emails are all from small businesses negotiating leases for retail and office space.

"My company has an opportunity to lease space in a large office tower in our city -- a very prestigious address.

"The problem is that we can only sublease the space. The current tenant is having financial problems and no longer can afford the ...Read more

Cutting Costs the Right Way

"We have a retail business (both brick-and-mortar and Internet).

"We have tried every marketing trick in the book but we can't seem to push our sales up beyond a certain point due to too much competition.

"We need to grow our business but are not sure how to do it in such a tough climate. Any suggestions?"

There are only two ways to grow a ...Read more

Preparing for Your First Investor

"We set up a limited liability company last year for a tech business. There are three of us -- one of us acts as 'managing member' and the other two vote only on important decisions. We have never had a written agreement for our business.

"A wealthy individual has indicated an interest in investing in us, and our accountant is telling us we ...Read more

Building Your Marketing Brain

My guest columnist this week is Randye Spina of Affordable Marketing Solutions in Fairfield, Connecticut. The following is an excerpt from her presentation "Tips for Manifesting a Marketing Mindset" (taken with permission), which is available on the Affordable Marketing Solutions website:

"Prioritize Marketing. Of all the business functions ...Read more

Before You Buy a Franchise: Part 2

Are you thinking about buying a franchise?

If so, here are more tough questions you should ask the franchise management team after reviewing its franchise disclosure document, or FDD.

Is the franchise adapting to changes in the market, technology, etc.? We live in a time of rapid social and technological change. Is your franchise making ...Read more

Before You Buy a Franchise: Part 1

If you have downsized from a corporate job or are in your 40s, 50s or 60s and looking for a new career, you may be thinking about buying a franchise.

Franchises give people the opportunity to live an entrepreneurial life with much lower risk than starting a business from scratch. A franchise will assign you an exclusive territory for your ...Read more

The Graduation Speech Your Kids Really, Really Need to Hear

This column, which originally appeared in May 2009, is one of the most requested and reprinted "Succeeding in Your Business" columns, especially during graduation season.

Members of the class of 2017:

I was sorry to hear that the reality TV star who was to have been your commencement speaker today had to bow out at the last minute. I was ...Read more

Time Management for People With No Time to Manage: Part 2 of 2

Once you have mastered (or at least accepted as truth) the three basic principles of time management described in last week's column, it's time to tackle the tough job: organizing your time day to day so you can start enjoying life.

Getting control of your time is, at least in my experience, a two-step process: compartmentalization and ...Read more

Time Management for People With No Time to Manage: Part 1 of 2

Let's face it: We are all feeling a bit time-starved these days.

And there's a reason for that: technology.

Thanks to our wonderful laptops, notebooks, notepads and smartphones, which were supposed to free us from menial tasks so we could spend more time meditating on the meaning of life, we have less time to ourselves than we did before.

...Read more

The Right Way to Value a Small Business: Part 2 of 2

There is no perfect or right way to value a small business. There are, however, lots of wrong ways to do it.

When a partner or owner dies, becomes disabled or leaves the business, the business must be valued so that a fair price for his or her ownership interest can be determined. But a process that takes too long to value the company is fair...Read more

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