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I joked last time that I was having an existential crisis about my own value by discussing how much I should pay myself when starting a business, but this week’s post kicks it into high gear as we ask: Are you the right person to start this business? Well, now, these questions are not getting any easier. And, this one definitely leads to a lot more questions that I have to answer. For one, what…
As we have discussed before, January 1 brings a new year and a new crop of copyrighted works entering into the public domain. This year, works from 1924 become available. We wish you a wonderful, fulfilling new year with lots of great works to build on! A few of my favorites: All these shorts and feature films (mostly silent), including: Movies Buster Keaton’s Sherlock Jr. and The Navigator Songs “How Come You Do Me Like You…
As we have discussed before, January 1 brings a new year and a new crop of copyrighted works entering into the public domain. This year, works from 1924 become available. We wish you a wonderful, fulfilling new year with lots of great works to build on! A few of my favorites: All these shorts and feature films (mostly silent), including: Movies Buster Keaton’s Sherlock Jr. and The Navigator Songs “How Come You Do Me Like You…
Perhaps one of the most important questions that someone thinking of starting a business (or adding a new line to their existing business) is: Will you make money? Or as Gary put it: Can you compete and still make a reasonable return on your investment?  This is an easy, yet hard question. Often, people will look at their raw costs of what went into a product and stop there. But that’s just the beginning. Let’s…
Last time, we took a look around to see if people are actually buying handmade soap. We found my friend from kindergarten and some other sellers on Etsy. But, does that really answer Gary’s second question? Who else is selling a competing product, and at what price?  Not really. It is just saying that some people are selling and buying what I am proposing to make. This is really asking what else are people buying…
Back to our little soap opera. What dilemma is our start-up hero facing today? Last time, we discussed what it is that we want to sell: Handmade soap. The next question is: Does anyone need or want what you are planning to sell? Wow. Harsh reality hits fast and hard. Just because I want to sell something, it doesn’t mean that someone wants to buy it. That is a very important thing to realize, and…
Last time in my soap opera, I discussed professionals that I would need to talk to before I started any soap business. I received a nice email from Gary Barber, a committed volunteer at the Madison Chapter of SCORE. He proposed that his first steps are not the professionals, but rather something else: My first thoughts when someone says the plan to start a business are 1) does anyone need/want what you are planning to…
If you have heard me present lately, you will know that I have started to make soap. I have gone full nerd on it using graduated cylanders and all. It has been fun to build a new knowledge set, bust out my old chemistry and lab skills, and try out a whole bunch of fragrances. (My latest favorites are lemongrass essential oil and something called Santa’s Pipe fragrance oil.) But what has been really interesting…
We’ve all seen the legal dramas on TV where the lawyers storm into court with vicious questioning and killer closing arguments. But in the real world, most disputes don’t end up in court. Many go to what is called “alternative dispute resolution” or ADR. The two most common of those are arbitration and mediation. Arbitration is a bit like court without as many formalities and often the ability to appeal. In arbitration, there is an…