You've probably received that e-mail warning from the shadowy "systems administrator" as many times as I have: "Your mailbox is over its size limit." In my case, though, the message is actually quite welcome: I'm getting lots of e-mail from you. To everyone who wrote to us after the launch of SmallBiz, thank you.
After a few years as a journalist, I had come to believe that, generally, the only people who write to magazines are the ones who are really angered by a story. When I received equal amounts of hate mail from people on all sides of an issue, I figured I had probably written as fair and objective a story as possible. Imagine my shock, then, to receive reader mail that says: "Congratulations on your new magazine" or "Thank you for bringing a valuable 'read' to my day."
As gratifying as those letters are, I still prefer the ones in which you've contributed your own personal stories or made suggestions as to how we could improve SmallBiz. One reader sent an e-mail with 16 story ideas, most of them having to do with finance. A second detailed his own "Round 2" experience, finding parallels between the entrepreneurs we profiled and his trials. Another reader, looking to hire a marketing manager for a nonprofit religious gift shop, asked for salary guidelines for such a position. That request still has us baffled, and if you can provide any help, please drop a line.
With this second issue, we continue in the practical vein that helped make our launch so successful. In our cover story, we outline different strategies to raise money for your company without giving up control of it. Writer Randy Barrett shows how entrepreneurs can protect their businesses from a flood of unwanted spam. And Jill Hamburg Coplan contributes her guidance in navigating the maze of law affecting family leave and disability.
We're also working to better integrate our Web site, businessweek.com/smallbiz, with our magazine. Online, you'll find in-depth interviews with some of the entrepreneurs and experts featured in print, in addition to the columns and advice you've come to expect.
As always, we hope you find the issue informative and useful. And we welcome your feedback.
Editor, BusinessWeek SmallBiz