September 15, 2009 |
Dear Karen: Last year I started an online business for ladies' apparel, but I have yet to sell an item. Where can I buy products? Answer: If you're having trouble sourcing product, you haven't done enough research into the apparel industry, said Ilse Metchek, president of the California Fashion Assn. "Locating manufacturers is not a problem in Los Angeles. There are thousands of them in the Fashion District" downtown, Metchek said. "I suggest that writing a business plan is in order."
April 29, 1998
Developing the operations of a business and including them in a business plan may seem like a snap to most business owners, who believe they already know all there is to know about running their business. But operations planning should go beyond normal day-to-day functions and include contingency plans for times the business doesn't work as it's supposed to. Even a seasoned small-business owner can be caught by surprise by natural disasters and by supply and production problems.
February 11, 1997 |
Q: How can I put together a real financial outline of costs for my business? Do you have any good references for how to write a business plan? --Kim Conrad, San Fernando Valley * A: A business plan is divided into three separate but interrelated areas: administrative, marketing and financial. The time to write a business plan is when you begin to seriously consider starting a business; that way you will go through the door with your eyes open.
March 11, 1998
A basic element of any business plan, regardless of the industry, is an explanation of how a product or service is unique, fulfills a special need and occupies a niche in the market. Before you start your business, you should make sure that your product or service is, in fact, different from the competition. What makes it stand out? Why do people need your product or service? What problem does your product or service solve or what need does it fill?
January 5, 2000 |
The electronic age has good news for business owners who want to find outside investors to make their operations grow. The Web is not the be-all and end-all when it comes to raising outside capital, but it does promise to make the job easier for business owners and investors alike. As outlined in this space last week, you can get a business loan on the Internet from a growing number of e-lenders targeting small and mid-sized businesses.
July 10, 2001 |
At 34, triathlete Bill Howard is living proof that a man can multi-task. Over the last 14 years, he's juggled a series of jobs, school and a seasonal Christmas lighting business while training for a grueling endurance contest that involves a 2 1/2-mile ocean swim, a 112-mile bicycle race and a marathon. During the Ironman Triathlon in Oceanside on May 19, Howard finished 138th out of 1,666 competitors with a time of 10 hours, 16 minutes and 45 seconds.
August 18, 1999 |
Entrepreneurs who need a business plan to woo potential investors, but who lack the big bucks to get one professionally written--or the time and know-how to do it themselves--now have an alternative. Santa Monica-based BestBizPlan.com promises to prepare business plans with all the bells and whistles for a fraction of what you'd pay a consultant or accountant. The company is the creation of David Lavinsky, a UCLA MBA and aspiring entrepreneur.
February 3, 1989 |
Cliff Williamson had a gambler's guts and a banker's brains. With a combo like that, he figured, what could go wrong? On paper, the thing looked like a lock: He would open a deli at the corner of heavily traveled Westminster and Beach boulevards in Westminster. From there, he could see at least three banks, as well as city and county office buildings. Those people had to eat, didn't they? To the budding deli owner, that added up to lots of lunchtime customers.
October 20, 2007 |
It's a tough time to be a mortgage broker, which is why Ulrik Singontiko spent Friday at the West Coast Franchise Expo. After looking into a few restaurants that would have required a big cash investment, Singontiko said he was "seriously considering" putting $9,800 into a CruiseOne franchise, which would turn him into a part-time travel agent. "I have a lot of spare time on my hands," said Singontiko, a father of four who lives in Chatsworth.
December 11, 1990 |
Not all winners of the annual San Diego State University business plan competition go on to start a business, much less become successful. But Larry Imperiale did and is. His company, SalePoint, has become a leading producer of point-of-sale systems used by specialty retailers to track sales and inventory and to improve store operations. SalePoint expects to do more than $4 million in sales in 1990, only its third full year in business.