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Q: How do I deal with an employee whose behavior constantly annoys his co-workers? --T.M., Springfield, Mass.

A: Inform this employee of his disruptive behavior and draw up specific expectations about how it should change. If the problem persists, and the employee is so important that you really cannot fire him, try a human resources professional. A little objectivity often can defuse a tense situation.

Q: Where can I find a consultant for a tech startup on a bootstrap budget? --M.S., Muscat, Oman

A: Your best bet is an independent consultant who specializes in small tech companies. If your budget is supertight, some independents will work for equity. Get referrals from trusted colleagues, lawyers, even your rivals. For overseas entrepreneurs, the U.S. Commerce Dept. offers guides to various countries. Go to: www.trade.gov/USFCSFrameset.html. By Karen E. Klein


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