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Ask the Readers

History of Pizza Delivery

A reader asked: Why is the pizza the only food you can get delivered? What’s the history of pizza delivery? According to PizzaDelivery.com, in 1889, King Umberto and Queen Margherita had the privilege of...

Reader’s Mailbag

Danil from Moscow writes, I want to share a business idea with you and learn your opinion on it. The idea is to produce sticky flash-notes for learning languages etc. You take a post-it pad and...
  QUESTION FROM A READER: Hello my name is Rolando, I want to ask you for your help. My friend and I are thinking about starting a video rental business that we are going to run it...
Every day my inbox is full of people with over-the-top business ideas. Someone always wants to know if I think their business will fly. Some of them will work, for sure, but here’s...
There are a dozen homes in Detroit, Michigan that you can get for less than $100. Most have a listing price of only $1. Some of them even have walls and doors! Readers, what would you do...
A reader wrote: I want to send a quick note. I recently wrote an article comparing the newest version of Quickbooks to Sage’s Peachtree accounting software, primarily aimed at small business owners. I...
A reader wrote: Hi Dane. I just posted up a new article that I thought might be of interest to you, given your site’s focus on new business opportunities. It highlights a...
A reader wrote: I’m struggling in my marketing. I understand that I advertise benefits and not features, but since some of my company’s products are, shall me say, odd, I don’t really know...
Does anyone use a standup desk? I've been looking at this standup workstation, and it is awesome, but at $579, it's almost as much as a new computer. Does anyone know of anything...
A reader wrote: Hi Dane, can you recommend a website where I can find business plans that I can modified and use as models of my own? Sure! BusinessPlanTemplate.net is a website with more than...

Reader Mailbag: Sell My Idea?

A reader asked: Where can I sell my business idea? You can’t. Ideas by and of themselves are worthless. It’s the execution of the idea that has value. Do something, anything, with your idea...

Is This Stealing?

A reader wrote: Is using coupons like they are in this video stealing? My wife thinks that since the coupons typically say something like “One coupon per purchase” it is unethical to use them like...
A reader wrote: What do you think about starting a house cleaning business? There’s something all-American about entrepreneurs who start from scratch. Cleaning — a person and some rags and soap — is the quintessential...

Shark Tank Casting?

A reader wrote: Dear Mr. Carlson, How would I go about submitting an idea to the television show Shark Tank? Email them at [email protected] Include your name, age, contact info, a recent photo, and a brief,...
A reader wrote: What do you think about starting a coffee shop? I think that many people think that they want to start a coffee shop, but, in fact, what they really want to do...
A reader wrote: Am I right to be so concerned about everyone stealing my business idea? No. Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If it’s original, you will have to ram it down...
Harry writes, "Can you suggest websites where I might contact people already in a dog walking/dog sitting business? I'm looking for hints & tips as to how to get started, upfront costs such as liability...

Reader Mailbag #1

In response to all of the email I receive, I’ve decided to start a "reader mailbag" to handle a lot of the simpler questions that I get that don’t necessarily warrant a full article by...
A reader wrote: I have a question about working from home. Can you work from home for a company based in Canada and you live in say like US (Florida). How does the currency work?...
A reader wrote: Who said “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door?” Is it true? The phrase is usually attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson. The phrase is...