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Make e-mail your ally to enhance the way you market and sell products and services over the Internet, writes this technological entrepreneur. As you turn to e-commerce, turn first to e-mail to develop a list of potential customers who also want to hear from you, get the word out about your offerings, and eventually customize your pitches for individual buyers, the author advises. Just avoid the big e-mail no-no: spamming.
Entrepreneurs launching growth companies need an understanding of the financial basics to work with professionals and spot problems early, says a serial entrepreneur and investor. Tips for acquiring literacy are provided.
As the credit crisis has made it tougher for small businesses to get funding, some would-be entrepreneurs have exploited a loophole that lets them finance a startup with 401(k) retirement funds without facing any taxes or penalties. Now the technique is catching the attention of the IRS, which plans to step up audits of such transactions.
Approximately 80% of all U.S. firms with employees have less than $1 million in sales, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
In the first three years of running her printing solutions company, Wendy Fergerson borrowed roughly $60,000 per month on credit cards without paying any interest. Out of that experience, she recommends credit cards as a way to bootstrap a company as long as you pay attention to the details on each card for which you apply.
Under the Immigration Act of 1990, the U.S. Congress set aside 10,000 annual visas for foreign investors looking for opportunities in America. Those carrots are coming in handy during what remains a debilitating credit crunch for U.S. entrepreneurs. Rather than wait a year or longer for other immigrant visas, foreign investors--through the so-called EB-5 program--can snag a slice of equity and a quick-and-dirty U.S. visa in just three-to-six months; plus, unlike other immigrant visas that might expire in a few years, the EB-5 flavor offers permanent residency. EB-5 minimum requirements: a $1 million investment from a lawful source in a new or existing commercial enterprise that directly creates at least 10 U.S. jobs. Investors can put up as little as $500,000 if the company is in a rural area or in a county sporting 150% of the average national unemployment rate. (Canada has a similar program, called the Canadian Business Immigrant Investment Program, though it doesn't impose any job-creation requirements.)
Companies that turn to contractors must structure both the business and the specific nature of the work accordingly, according to a software-company entrepreneur. On the business side, founders need to retain a competent attorney and match the right worker to the job; on the tech side, they must require that contractors produce their work within a framework that can be replicated for other projects, the author advises.
An experienced small businessman, Thaine Fischer now enjoys helping others in the Leadership Roundtable organized through the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce.
What does "Lean" mean? This article provides the basic background, terminology, and insight entrepreneurs need to understand how specific, proven processes lead to reduced costs, improved quality, and delighted customers. It also briefly considers the next logical extension of Lean Manufacturing (Lean Thinking), which allows service companies to benefit from the hard-won lessons of manufacturers.
SHANGHAI -- Books these days regularly cheer innovation. You rarely go to a conference without hearing how important it is. Copying others has a bit of a stigma.
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