Our Contributing Authors

Chris Martin

Chris Martin has been a professional writer for the last seven years. He is interested in franchises and equity acquisition.

Articles written by Chris Martin

  • 4 Ways to Work In Your Home - Perhaps you've longed for a job where you could stay home and make money. Here are four home-based businesses that are popular today -- along with the pros and cons associated with each kind of enterprise.
  • A Shot of Google Caffeine for your Business - A new indexing system called Google Caffeine helps provide 50% fresher content to people who use the Google search engine. This means that if your business's website has more updated content, more people will find it. So how do you accomplish that?
  • Addressing Poor Online Reviews - You like to use online reviews as source of feedback for your company's products or services. But there's a chance your company's reputation may be damaged by a negative online review. What can you do about it?
  • Avoiding Jet Lag - For many entrepreneurs, life lots of means travel. This means countless hours spent at airports and on airline flights -- which could lead to jet lag. Here are some tips for avoiding jet lag during business travel.
  • Blog Hosting Strategy Pros and Cons - You've finally decided to start a blog on your company website to boost your SEO ratings. There are three basic strategies for hosting your blog. Here are the pros and cons of using a standalone domain, subdomain, and subdirectory.
  • Budgeting for Your New Website - Almost every successful business needs a strong web presence. So it's important that your company website be functional and attractive to web surfers. But what will it cost you to get such a website?
  • Build a Brand without Blowing Budget - Separating your products or services from those of your competitors is one of the most difficult challenges that entrepreneurs have to face. That means creating a successful brand. Wouldn't it be great if you could build your brand while staying within your budget?
  • Business Plans Help Prevent Key Startup Mistakes - Assembling an accurate and thorough business plan is an excellent way to avoid mistakes during your business's early months and years. Here are some of the ways that having a solid business plan can help you do that.
  • Choosing the Right Content Management System - Entrepreneurs always look for new additions to their footprint as well as an increase in online content. How can you get a part of this action?
  • College Financing for Entrepreneurs - People become entrepreneurs because they want to have more control over providing financial security for themselves and their families. For some entrepreneurs, this also means furthering their children's education -- but saving for college can be difficult for entrepreneurs. Here are some suggestions for small business owners who are trying to fund their kids' higher education.
  • College Students: Don't Put Off Your Entrepreneurial Dreams - The "typical" career plan is to go to college, graduate, get a job, and work your way along your career path. But there are some college-age entrepreneurs who wonder if that plan is for them. If you're thinking about becoming an entrepreneur right after you graduate, here are some reasons why you should.
  • Comparing Various Merchant Accounts - If an entrepreneur wishes to accept credit card payments, there are many different types of merchant services processing arrangements. Selecting the ideal provider and account are vital if the entrepreneur wishes to receive revenue in a timely manner. Here are some of the options available to entrepreneurs.
  • Consult A Doctor: Real Health Care Reform - Ever wonder what sickness your child has, but been unable to take him to the clinic because it's closed? Consult A Doctor was set up to offer round-the-clock assistance to families who called.
  • Credit Card Reform? Not For Business Cards - America demanded credit card reform. So lawmakers in Washington passed the Credit Card Act of 2009 to give consumers protections from some of the draconian tactics of credit card companies. But those protections do no apply to business credit cards.
  • Cybercriminals Have You in Their Sights - It gets a little crazy out on the frontier known as the internet. How can you protect yourself from the masked bandits known as hackers?
  • Dan Shifrin: Matching Franchisees with Investors - Shifrin brought franchisees and investors together through the use of the internet. Need to network? Head online, and you'll find the resources you need.
  • Do Your Employees Think You're Great? - You can try to rule your employees with an iron fist. Then you'll wonder why productivity is low and turnover is high. Or you can invest in your employees and build their loyalty. Here are some ways to accomplish this.
  • Does Your Business Need a Merchant Account? - One of the choices you must make as an entrepreneur is whether or not to accept credit cards as a form of payment. To help you resolve this issue, here are some myths associated with credit card processing.
  • Doing Business in a Bar - A new trend in business is hosting meetings in a bar instead of a boardroom. Many entrepreneurs feel that this practice fosters a more creative and relaxed atmosphere. Here are some suggestions for you if you are thinking about moving your meetings to the bar.
  • Dos and Don'ts for Getting Paid by Customers - Many small businesses have clients who are tardy with their payments on invoices. It's important as a business owner to get paid, but you don't want to chase away a customer by being too aggressive in demanding payment. Here are some suggestions on getting invoices paid on time.
  • Drew Brees: Quarterback, Champion, Entrepreneur - Drew Brees led the New Orleans Saints to their first Super Bowl victory ever in 2010. But Brees is also an accomplished entrepreneur. He is a franchisee for a sandwich shop chain, a clothing designer, and a founder of his own charitable organization.
  • Dukky: The 21st Century Version of Direct Mail - Direct mail is a popular option for entrepreneurs. But it's hard to measure the success of a direct mail campaign. That may be changing with Dukky, a service that combines direct mail with the power of the Internet.
  • Ed Mumm Presents Sandbox Fun for Grownups - Ever need some of that good old Tonka toy nostalgia? Ed Mumm brings that to life for $750 a day to play in a trencher.
  • Electric Motorcycles - The Next Mean Green Machine? - Entrepreneurs are always looking for the next big break in the marketplace. Nowadays, many of these opportunities are popping up in eco-friendly or "green" industries. One example is electric motorcycles, which are being produced by companies which are hoping to ride the next wave of green commuter vehicles.
  • Fabrice Penot: the Ultra-Persistent Entrepreneur - Fabrice Penot is the quintessential entrepreneur. He not only pursued his dream of independence on his own terms, but he also refused to quit after facing extraordinary adversity.
  • Get Your Shots Before You Go Travel Industry - Entrepreneurs all have one thing in common: they strive to utilize their experience and expertise to fill a need in the marketplace. For some, that may mean creating an entirely new industry. Which is exactly what Fran Lessans did with Passport Health.
  • Going Green: Opportunity or Bubble? - Green technology, also known as alternative energy, appears to be an area that is poised on the brink of productive expansion. But is alternative energy a lucrative opportunity? Or is the country just headed for a "green bubble?"
  • Guidelines for Taking Credit Cards - Entrepreneurs may appreciate the importance of allowing customers to pay with credit cards. But these business owners may not be well-versed in the details of merchant services. Here are some guidelines for enabling a business to accept and process credit card payments.
  • Hot Tech in 2010 - There are going to be some hot new technologies coming out in 2010. As an entrepreneur, how can you use them to help you capitalize?
  • How Matt Moman Got Rich - Have you ever noticed an innovative object -- often something small or trivial -- which prompted you to ask, "I wonder who thought of that?" Chances are, the answer is an entrepreneur. Exhibit A: the New Corona Extra Lime Bottle Opener.
  • How Merchant Accounts Improve Transactions - Entrepreneurs who sell products or services must decide whether to accept credit cards. When mulling their choice, they often center on the costs associated with and revenues which may be generated by having a merchant services account to process credit card payments. But they may overlook the fact that merchant accounts actually improve the efficiency of their transactions.
  • How Not to Waste Money - Entrepreneurs have an image of being frugal and cost-conscious. However, many small businesses waste money on things that don't help them get more business. Here are some examples.
  • How to Grow Your Company Without Blowing Your Budget - Even though your business may be running smoothly, you may not have enough funds to expand your company or its customer base. Here are some ways to accomplish that without spending a lot of (or any) money.
  • How to Handle Lying Employees - Even in small businesses, entrepreneurs may come across an employee who is lying. There are certain steps to take when you believe this is happening in your company.
  • How to Network Without Sounding Generic - Effective networking is not about making contacts. It's about establishing and building relationships which have the potential to lead to future sales or business dealings. But you have to network correctly in order for this to happen -- which means avoiding generic-sounding solicitations.
  • How Twitter can Help Business - As an entrepreneur, you're probably pretty good at utilizing the fashionable social media like Facebook and MySpace to help promote your company. But what about Twitter? There are several Twitter sources that may be able to add value to your business.
  • If They Won't Buy it, Lease it to Them - If a recession hits, many of your customers might begin canceling contracts and new sales could become extraordinarily difficult if not impossible. You may have never thought about leasing before. But if you sell a product or service which requires hefty initial outlays of money from your customers, leasing may be a way to maintain your customer relationships.
  • Ignore Your Competition - Are you an entrepreneur who constantly worries about what your competitors are up to? If so, then you may be guilty of placing too much emphasis on what your competition is doing. So what's the best way to break this habit? Ignore the competition.
  • Incentivizing Client Referrals - The most sought-after type of marketing is word-of-mouth referrals. And there are ways to encourage these referrals for your business. Here are some suggestions on how to incentivize client referrals
  • Incorporating Images Into Your SEO Strategy - Online Entrepreneurs love to get as many visitors as possible, but how do they do it? How do small business websites balloon up into large companies? Here's a strategy that may get you going on the right track.
  • Is a Flash Website Worth the Cash? - Should you spend the money to obtain a Flash website for your enterprise? Before you make a decision, you should get a complete picture of acquiring and maintaining a Flash site.
  • John Ruocco Reinvents the Breathalyzer - Ruocco has reinvented the Breathalyzer so that it can be installed on the cars whose drivers received a DUI. The device disables the ignition system if it detects any breath alcohol content.
  • Keeping Bag Costs Down (Under Your Seat) - The future of business travel may be even more restrictive. In April 2010, Sprint Airlines began charging customers $45 for each carry on bag which fit into the overhead compartment? Will the other airlines follow suit? If so, what does that mean for business travelers? Will you have to put all of your carry-on luggage underneath an airline seat in order to avoid extra charges? One man thinks it can be done.
  • Keeping Business Plans Simple - All businesses need a business plan, but many entrepreneurs shudder at the idea of creating one. Many of them think that business plans have to be totally comprehensive and predictive, when in fact that's not really the case. Here are some myths about writing a business plan.
  • Keeping Employee Loyalty During Layoffs - If an entrepreneur's company falls on hard times, downsizing may be required. But some business owners focus too much on the layoffs themselves. It is just as important to maintain the loyalty of employees who do not lose their jobs.
  • Lawmaker Aims to Simplify E-Commerce Sales Taxes - There is movement in Congress toward simplifying sales taxes schemes for e-commerce websites. That means your online business may soon have to charge sales taxes to all of its customers.
  • Merchant Account Solutions for Online Businesses - All online businesses must obtain a merchant services account in order to process credit card payments. There are numerous merchant services providers out there that can help with this. Here are some suggestions on what to look for before engaging their services.
  • Merchant Accounts - Accepting Credit Cards at Your Business - One of the choices you must make as an entrepreneur is whether or not to accept credit cards as a form of payment. To help you resolve this issue, here are some myths associated with credit card processing.
  • Microfunding: The Newest Way to Get Venture Capital - Many entrepreneurs find it difficult to acquire startup capital. But there's a relatively new trend called microfunding that is helping many small business owners get funding. One company has created a platform to link microloan seekers with potential investors.
  • Mixing iPads Into Your Business - iPads are among the hottest selling items in the consumer technology industry. There are certainly many good things about them, but are iPads appropriate for your small business? Here's a closer look at the pros and cons of integrating iPads into your business.
  • Negotiating a Lease for your Business - Before entrepreneurs can move into office space, they have to first negotiate a lease. And that process can be confusing, time-consuming, and frustrating. They also run the risk of entering into a problematic agreement which can retard the growth of a business or even sink it altogether. So negotiating a favorable lease agreement is vital to a company's growth and long-term stability. Here are the steps you must take in order to navigate this process smoothly.
  • Not Seeking Capital? You Still Need a Business Plan - If you're starting your company with just your own capital and resources, you may think that you do not need a business plan. But this is a false assumption. A good business plan lays out the roadmap for your company's success.
  • Online Banking: Safe or Scary? - Many entrepreneurs opt for online banking because it is easy, quick, and user-friendly. They may have even received incentives from their banks to transition to a paperless way to pay their bills and manage their accounts.
  • Outsource Almost Everything - Outsourcing has been a part of business for decades. But today's technology has made it easier to outsource more business functions than ever. Here are some examples of outsourcing which you may not be aware of.
  • Patagonia: How to Thrive in a Recession - If you've been an entrepreneur in recent years, you don't have to be told what effect that a recession can have on a business. Maybe you saw sales numbers plummet. Perhaps you had to lay off employees as a result. You may have even had to delay or scuttle plans for repairs or expansion.
  • Relationship Advice For Entrepreneurs and Venture Capitalists - Sometimes entrepreneurs and venture capitalists get into fights like cats and dogs owned by an old married couple. Here's how to avoid those volatile circurmstances.
  • Resellers: IT Department on a Budget? - Let's face it, programming is tough. A good IT department may cost you, but there are ways to pinch pennies. How can you save money on an IT department? Read on to find out.
  • Resources for Business Travelers - It's becoming increasingly more difficult to find ways to maximize your travel budget while minimizing your time spent away from your home base. Here are some resources for entrepreneurs that you may not be familiar with - but they have the potential to shrink your business travel expense budget.
  • Stake for Services: Deal or No Deal? - Operating a low budget but high revenue business is every entrepreneurs dream. However it is difficult to attain that status. What can you do to come closer to a more frugal business?
  • Starting a Business without Outside Funding - In the 21st century, there are numerous services and resources which cater to the small business owner, startup creator, or individual with an idea and a dream. In fact, if you utilize all of the resources listed below, you can launch your business with just $1,000 or less in your bank account for the first year.
  • Starting an Internship Program - Entrepreneurs and business owners are looking for ways to do more with less. This is precisely why the idea of bringing on an unpaid intern can be so enticing. But offering unpaid internships is more than just pulling in someone to do gruntwork and run errands for free.
  • Stats for Startup Business - What do you need to know before starting up a business? Where can you get this information? This article will give you some nice tips on where you can dig for the data.
  • Steps to Franchising - Have you entertained the idea of opening up a second site for your business? Are you discouraged by the idea of shuttling between shops every day? Has a friend approached you and shown interest in being a part of your company, but you aren't willing to assume the risk of taking them on as a partner? In these scenarios, franchising might be the solution that is best suited for you.
  • Success Stories: Business School to Real Life Company - Though it often is painted as a factory of management clones or Wall Street number-crunchers, the business school experience has encouraged many individuals to embrace the entrepreneurial vision. Furthermore, some entrepreneurs even formulate their ideas and launch their companies during business school and then go on to great success after they graduate.
  • Surviving the Off-Peak Season in a Seasonal Business - Seasonal Business is a well traveled route for the beginning entrepreneur, but what do they do during the off season? How does a business keep hibernation from becoming comatose?
  • Surviving the Recession - It's easy to succumb to a gloomy outlook for your business during a recession. But there's no law that says you have to see the glass as half-empty. Here are some ways to make lemonade out of lemons during poor economic times.
  • Take Your Elliptical Trainer for a Ride - Many people like to ride bicycles outdoors for exercise, while some prefer the elliptical trainer. Imagine if you could combine the two exercise forms into one device. That's exactly what two men did when they invented the ElliptiGo.
  • The Green Marketing Bar Has Been Raised - Over the past decade, many companies embraced "green marketing" by promoting environmentally-friendly policies and initiatives. But it's no longer possible just to give lip service to eco-friendly ideas - you have to back it up as well.
  • The Pros and Cons of Factoring - If an entrepreneur high is billing orders but is experiencing cashflow problems because of clients who are tardy on paying their invoices, they may turn to factoring. Companies who provide factoring agree to pay business owners for their accounts receivables at a discount. But is factoring a good solution?
  • Tips on Surviving Your First Year in Business - The first year in business can be highly stressful for an entrepreneur. Often, what happens during a company's rookie year can determine whether or not it will succeed in the future. Here are some suggestions for surviving your first year in business.
  • Using Retirement Funds for Business Capital: Opportunity or Bad Idea? - Entrepreneurs frequently have trouble raising money for the new businesses. They often wonder if they should cash in their existing retirement funds in order to obtain startup capital. Here are the pros and cons of doing that.
  • Venture Capitalists: No Means No (Referrals) - Many people are taught in business school, conferences, and seminars to "always ask for a referral if you are rejected." In some circumstances, this is sound advice. But when soliciting venture capitalists, asking for a referral after you have been rebuffed is an inappropriate breach of courtesy.
  • Waking Up from a PR Nightmare - Public relations can help a business succeed - but it can also sink it. Sometimes, companies find themselves on the receiving end of negative public relations. Here are some suggestions for dealing with a PR crisis.
  • Washington's Small Business Assistance: Truth or Fiction? - The Obama administration has pledged support for small businesses as they try to recover from the recession. But is Washington putting its money where its mouth is? Karen G. Mills, the head of the Small Business Administration, weighs in.
  • What Do Your Customers Want From Your Website? - Entrepreneurs often have lots of ideas of what to put on their business website. But what do your customers want to see on it? Here are some ideas.
  • Why Do Customers Buy Local? - The "buy local" movement encourages consumers to support the local businesses in their communities instead of patronizing national chain establishments. How can an entrepreneur leverage the buy-local sentiment and convert it into new customers for his or her business?


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