This month we heard from a newspaper start-up, a pest-control company, and a relocated business, asking about everything from writing a business plan to selling the company. And in Resources, experts advise a reader on winning respect for his home-based auto-parts business.* * *
Fit to Print?
I'm trying to write a business plan for an industry newspaper, Flea Market Weekly. The one book I found on setting up a newspaper was published in 1981 by a bunch of Harvard students. I need something a little more timely and applicable. Does anyone know where I can find sample business plans for newspaper- or magazine-publishing companies? And since I'm writing this to get financing, should I seek capital within the industry, from venture capitalists, or from Mom and Dad?
Onyx Publication Co.
Atlanta* * *
My company provides termite and pest control, landscaping, and lawn maintenance. I'd like to start bidding on local, state, and federal contracts, but I don't know where to begin. Where do I find out about jobs coming up for bid? Do the different levels of government and the various offices collect bids separately? There have to be some pointers out there.
Two Nice Guys Environmental Services Inc.
St. Louis* * *
Getting to Know You
I recently relocated my business from Philadelphia to Minneapolis. The company succeeded in Philadelphia because we knew our potential clients in that market and could judge their financial health, and we avoided bad debt. As I expand my client base in a new city, I want to know if I can run credit checks on prospects without paying an up-front subscription fee to a service. I can't justify that expense if I'll need to check on only one or two companies each month.
Mary M. Koppel
Koppel & Co.
Minneapolis* * *
I am selling my business, and the prospective buyer is looking into low-interest loans for minorities. Can Network readers suggest any sources?
Name withheld by request
Monrovia, Calif.* * *