In March ("Curbing Cutthroat Couriers," [Article link]) Tom Cupp asked if his struggling start-up could compete with the more mature mail couriers in his local market. (It can.) Here's an overlooked public-relations move:

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Often, established companies are successful because of their involvement in community organizations and the chamber of commerce. A new business must be at least equally involved to compete for name recognition and favorable positioning.

Joe Colella


Marketing Innovations

Germantown, Md.

P.S. Important: Don't just join -- be active.

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Last February a reader popped the question, Can you sell a house to fund a start-up without incurring a capital-gains tax ("Greener Acres," [Article link])? Our short and literal answer was, No, you can't. But where there's a will, there's a way.

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Donate the home to a charitable organization with confirmed 501C3 status. The charity would get the proceeds from the sale of the house and could turn around and lend you back the money for the start-up.

Pierre Renaud


J. Elwin Wright Education & Research Foundation

Silverton, Oreg.

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Steve Smith was looking to advertise his handicapped-access aids in someone else's catalog ("Catalog Curiosity," March, [Article link]). A former industry insider says that demand for products like Smith's exceeds supply, so he'd do well by signing on directly with qualified databases -- and by producing his own catalog.

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Emergency Care Research Institute (215-825-6000) maintains a database of devices like yours. List yourself (it's free) to reach the many hospitals and rehab centers that have on-line access to it. Industry trade associations typically share their lists of practicing occupational and physical therapists with whoever is interested. Start with the National Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (703-648-9300) and the National Association of Rehabilitation Professionals (617-566-4432). Also check the library for a directory of nursing homes. Then buy some desktop-publishing software and produce your own catalog.

Linda Ashley

Corporate Librarian

BIS Strategic Decisions

Norwell, Mass.