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Lessons Learned


The Tricky Business of Family Business
When Peg Walsh brought family members into her business, she thought she was capitalizing on an untapped labor resource. She instead found out family business is not without its politics and pitfalls.


Avoid the Catch-22 Credit Crunch
Arnaldo Lopez thought he was cashing in on the dot-com craze, but instead found his credit maxed out and his business flagging. But with a little perserverance, he's still in business and he's a little wiser.


Keep Your Name in the Public Eye
A mere David among Hollywood's Goliaths, Jack Rooney understands the importance of maintaining his solid reputation and garnering exposure for his film production company.


Face Your Fears
Writing a business plan helped Joanne Eglash overcome her fears, discover a few things about herself and set goals that enabled her to become a full-time entrepreneur.


Have the Courage to Fly Solo
Erica Kalkofen searched hard for a business partner with complementary skills. But when she couldn't find one, she launched her business anyway.


Learn As You Go
David Rogers didn`t let his lack of e-commerce experience get in the way of his dream. He found that Web success relies more on resourcefulness, attention to detail and hard work.


Tap Your Inner Talents
When Paulette Ensign stopped teaching elementary school, she didn't leave her talents in the classroom. Today the consultant and author shows others how to turn their knowledge into income.


Recruiting Technology Workers Requires a High-Tech Approach
Raju Patel discovered that using the Web is the best way to find tech-savvy workers for his rapidly growing software company.


Shop Around for a Reliable Web Host
Unreliable Web hosting caused Gary Pfalzbot to miss several promotional opportunities for his business's site. He learned the hard way that it's essential to find a dependable company to host your site.


Picking the Proper Price Point
Carlene Lower found a niche in the window-treatment business almost a decade ago. She tapped the middle market and found a way to offer quality windows treatments at affordable prices.


Researching Your Pipe Dream
The idea for Laurie Bebout's door-to-door advertising business just popped into her head one night. Proving that it should become a reality took a year of market research.


Following Up Builds the Best Relationships
Julie Lech Boura, an alternative healthcare products distributor, spends most of her day researching questions for clients and developing friendships. That time and effort leads to lots of sales and word-of-mouth referrals.


Patents Take Patience
It took Art Crawford 18 long months to patent his SoxBox. Let his experience help you cut your trademark time in half.


Attention! Military Teaches Teamwork and Leadership
The Army taught businessman Lee Handley that individuals die, team members live.


Student by Day, Entrepreneur by Night
Web designer Jonathan Patton tells the trials and tribulations of being a teenage entrepreneur, and how in the process of triumphing, he's cracked the marketing nut.


Stick to Your Mission
By focusing on his core business and not jumping at every opportunity that comes his way, Auren Hoffman has built an online staffing exchange that has attracted $9 million in venture capital.


Hire Professional Financial Advice
Helen Driscoll liquidated her profit-sharing plan to personally ready retail space for her store, Fine Paper Co. Then she discovered she couldn't deduct her own labor come tax time, leaving her with a big bill to pay.


Building a Credible Brand
Thomas Burns, a software developer and founder of a Java software programming portal, demonstrates why it pays not only to know your audience, but to actually be a part of it.


Well-Placed PR Worth the Price
Matthew Hollingsworth's IT employment agency booms after a PR agency gets his company's story in the news.


Put Your Clients on Your Board of Directors
Critical customer feedback taught Todd Cameron that the best of board of directors is comprised of clients.


Raise As Much Seed Money As You Can
Rosemary Brisco, founder of WomenAsia.com, raised $425,000 in seed money a seemingly sizable amount. Six months later, its already time to hit the fundraising trail again.


Contract Out Your Global Web Site Creation, Hosting and Promotion
When Genichi Ikeda decided to take his Japanese business international, he knew better than to try to do it himself. Check out his economical solution for going global.


Dare to Be Different
When Three-C Body Shop of Columbus, Ohio, began to lose customers, owner Bob Juniper knew he had to do something radically different.


Getting Funded by Friends and Family
Duke Rohlen raised $600,000 from family and friends to start his first restaurant and will teach you how to do it too!


Do What You Know
Got a great idea but don´t know how to execute it? "You can´t be successful without an airtight concept," says Fran Lent, founder of Fran´s Healthy Helpings. Learn from Lent and get your idea off the ground.


Embrace Boredom
After three years at the same business, boredom can set in. Find out how Erik Stuebe revived his interest in his vintage baseball cap and clothing business.


Funding a Woman-Owned Business
Women-owned businesses can find funding in todays marketplace, says Denise Brosseau, executive director of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs, but they can't leave any stone unturned when looking for it.


Keeping Your Day Job
Irania El-Amin is trying to build her four-person company while continuing to work 25 hours a week at a day job.


Why Business Plans Matter
In reality, the presentation of a business plan is just as important as the document itself when it comes to securing financing, says Jerry Engel, executive director for the University of California at Berkeley´s Lester Center for Entrepreneurship. A business plan is your company´s road map and everyone must know the directions.


Selling Receivables to Free Up Cash Flow
Don´t let a lack of cash flow stunt your company´s growth. Lura Harrison will teach you the ins and outs of factoring and show you how to get the short-term money you need.


Dissolving a Business Partnership
Tobias Hemmerling started his backcountry ski company with a friend. But when they went looking for funding, investors only wanted one of them to hold stock.


Strategic Partners vs. Financial Backers
John Kilcullen, co-founder of the For Dummies series, chose to enter into a strategic partnership with IDG Books rather than search for plain-old financial backing where his technology publishing kingdom would be his own. What are the advantages of strategic partners vs. financial backers?


Find a Niche
If you are not going to make your cool idea big enough to ward off the large industry players, says serial entrepreneur Atilla Kocsis, then you better find a niche and dig in deep.


Learn What Keeps Your Customers Up at Night
Adrienne Lumpkin's sales philosophy: Once you make a sale, it's the beginning of a relationship, not the end. Get your customers to tell you - not your competitors - what they need.


Command a Premium Price
Julie Morgenstern, a professional organizer, didn't know how much to charge her first clients. She quickly learned that more is better.


Learn to Run the Numbers
Tom Sherburne has grown his kayak-helmet manufacturing company without the help of outside financing. His secret: monitoring his financials to keep expenses and overhead at a minimum and keep the cash flowing.


Take Your Time
Quay Tao´s Moroccan Restaurant, Tizi Melloul, took 14 months and more money than he anticipated to open, but he thinks that in the end, his attention to details will draw more repeat customers. Is it worth it to take the high road?

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