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About Tim Knox

Tim Knox is a nationally-known small business expert who writes and speaks frequently on the topic. For more information or to contact Tim please visit one of his sites below.

http://www.dropshipwholesale.net

http://www.smallbusinessqa.com
Protect Your Ideas With Copyrights and Patents
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Q: Can you tell me the difference between a copyright and a patent? Also is that something I should let a lawyer handle for me?

The Business Failed, But Did You?

Q: After years of dreaming about starting my own business, I finally took the plunge a little over a year ago. To say the least, my dream quickly became a nightmare. The business didn’t do nearly as well as I had hoped. I ran out of money within six months and had to take out a second mortgage on my house just to keep things going. I have now closed the business and am left with a pile of bills that will probably put me in personal bankruptcy. I don’t mean to take it out on you, but instead of telling people how great having your own business is all the time you should also warn them that starting a business is not easy and can be devastating when things go wrong. — Gene K.

How To Handle Customer Billing Snafus

Q: I just discovered that for the past six months I have been billing a client half of what I should have been. Should I just include the total of the past due balance on his next bill or contact him first to let him know that it’s coming? This client has been difficult in the past, so I’d rather not deal with him until I absolutely have to. My partner, on the other hand, thinks we should call the client and let him know what’s going on before sending the bill. What do you think? — Louis K.

Choosing A Business That’s Right For You

Q: I really want to start my own business, but I have no idea what business would be best suited for me. I’m also eager to get started, but I don’t want to pick the wrong business just because I’m impatient. How should I go about deciding what business would be best for me? — Samuel J.

Business Lessons Learned From The Mall

Normally in this column I dispense highly-intelligent small business advice in response to thought-provoking questions submitted by future and fellow entrepreneurs. This week, however, I have a couple of questions for myself, one of which makes me wonder how truly intelligent I really am.

If It Was Easy, Everybody Would Do It

Q: I started my business about a year ago and everything is going fine. We’re growing and making a profit, but the stress of running the business is really starting to get to me. I spend more time worrying than working. Sometimes the pressure is almost more than I can take. I’m starting to think that I’m not cut out to run my own business. Do you have any advice that might help me decide what to do? — Steven S.

Writing The Book On Great Customer Service

Q: One of the big chain bookstores recently opened up near my small book store. Already I can see my business starting to decline. Is there anything I can do to compete with the bigger store or should I just accept the inevitable? — Peter Q.