What is your one burning business question for Barbara Corcoran?

Entrepreneur, speaker, and investor on ABC’s Shark Tank, Barbara Corcoran has partnered with OnDeck and Business.com to answer small business owners’ most burning questions when it comes to running a business.

Funding your business, writing a business plan, or identifying your customer base are a few ideas to get you thinking about the types of questions you can ask. Post your question below to be considered for an answer from Barbara.

Tips for getting your question picked:

• Tell us what your business is. General business topics are great, but advice can vary depending on what industry you are in. Help Barbara give more actionable advice by sharing what your business or business idea is all about.

• Keep it short. Barbara’s advice is always no-nonsense and straight to the point. Only 1-2 sentences after your question is necessary to get the advice you need.

We will notify you if your question gets picked.

Thank you for participating and helping each other make smarter business decisions!

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5

Hello Barbara,

Having developed many ideas to address different markets and opportunities, I have yet to actually launch a venture. The reasoning of late is that I have a strong Accounting/Finance/Operational background and know my weakness is in sales/marketing and developing the actual core product/service. I have created business plans and am able to articulate the value propositions however do not have the network or partner/capital to ever get any venture off the ground. I have a few models right now that I know would do well and provide a great return for investors but don't have the skill/network to actually develop the product (application/network). Do you have any suggestions on how entrepreneurs can seek out expertise for specific areas on new venture creation while protecting the idea and how to find the right partner(s)? Thank you for your time and consideration.

5

My client operates a novel food truck. They have made the decision to open a brick and mortar shop (truck business is booming), for a variety of justifiable reasons. Their biggest challenge is identifying and hiring the right people. Folks who are willing to work very hard, stick it out until the rewards can be reaped, and help to grow this budding operation. I have a offered a number of suggestions, which are actionable and, I believe valuable. However, I am confident that you can bring even more valuable suggestions to the table. Thanks in advance for your consideration.

Best,

Ed Drozda, The Small Business Doctor

4

Magnificent Marketing is a full service marketing agency with a specialization in content marketing & search (SEO). You can visit us at www.Magnificent.com.

Some of the hottest topics and areas of discussion I am seeing these days focus around personalization. Where are all the areas a company can apply it, how do you accomplish this and when does it makes sense for a business to spend money, time and energy around personalizing their marketing messages.

3

Hello Barbara!
We are seeking financing for the engineering product design firm to create a prototype for our technology. They did a feasibility study and estimate the design costs to be approximately $40k.
There is currently no wearable technology competition of our Design.
Question: Who are the type of Angel investors to approach without a proof of concept?
Thank you!
Ellen

3

Hi Barbara,
I run a small beekeeping and honey production business, producing and selling raw honey at farmers markets. My question is regarding growing to the next level. I have been running the business "on a shoestring" (only cash flow) for 13 years with 100-150 beehives.

I want to know what criteria should I consider to determine whether a loan or cash infusion would be a good decision to grow the size of the business (double it)? For instance, should I get a loan to purchase more beehives which would provide greater honey production and possibly other revenue streams such as paid pollination services. The debt servicing would be a little tricky because (like farming) it will require a whole season (spring and summer) to produce the honey crop to provide income for the loan repayment. The current cash flow would not be able to provide the loan repayment. A beehive to purchase costs $150-$250 times 150 new hives = $22,500 (about $400/mo. for 5 yrs.). Not sure if this is enough information for you to comment, but appreciate your response.

Thank you,
Mark Hoppe
Aunt Willies Apiary

3

I am a commercial loan broker who is 27 years in business and I have a large base of customers I have arranged financing for. How can I sell my business when all I have is a database of business customers that I have done financing for? After 27 years, how can I even put a price tag on my company? I don't know how to even evaluate what that is worth.

3

Hello Barbara,

I developed and copyrighted an inexpensive SFR home design using shipping containers. Yes, there are many, just not as good, or as economical...The website is www.homemodule.com. I'd like to develop this product slowly with a financial partner, and I'm NOT certain whether I should approach local financial seed capital vendors, established construction builders, or just a single, wealthy business partner to get us started. I believe the RIGHT partner is critical and the correct business plan essential for this start up. My question is this:

"How should I structure my proposal best to garner the highest interest in responses and solicitations for HomeModule financing?"

Thank you,
Quentin Dart Parker, Architect, archwork.com

2

Cool project. I would be interested to hear how much cash or other capital one needs to have before starting their own business? I am a freelance graphic designer on the side. I would love to make it full time, but it isn't generating enough income for me at the moment. I want to know the right time to break off and commit to graphic design full time.

2

We are in the order fulfillment business, www.businessamericaservices.us . How do we identify our customer base. We deal with homebased and small companies in both the USA and Canada.

2

I've got the idea to start a YouTube Channel which will be educating people about our condition and I'm 5 years old. How do I find out how to put words on the screen and create a really great site and make money. I have several ideas but I'm doing one channel first and this is the most important to us.

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