Calculating the effect on profits of a new hire? Struggling with preventing customers from being dissatisfied at the end of a job? Wrestling with how to cut personnel? offers answers to these and other thorny business and management questions. The company was launched in October by consultant Jackie L. Braitman of BusinessMatters, Silver Spring, Md. Answers come via an automated, online decision tree, for about $35 per session. That's nowhere near the up-to-$4,000-a-month consulting fees Braitman, a former RAND Corp. management analyst with 30 years of credentials, charges in her practice, which she founded in 1995.

Tom Couvillion, BizMat marketing manager, says the self-help tool for small and large businesses is made possible by interactive software. Visitors can explore answers to about 19 questions, including those dealing with improving cash flow and pricing new services. BizMat constantly adds new inquiries as clients request them.

Free information is available too, including examples provided by contractors of what's working for them in management.

"Instead of having to wing it, or go with their gut, they can contact us," says Jason Plotkin of BizMat, who adds that the site also provides resources, such as change order forms or checklists.

Walt Stoeppelwerth, a REMODELING columnist, endorses the site, but admits it's not a slam dunk. "Are you going to pay someone you haven't met $35 for advice? I don't know," he says. "But a lot of contractors don't know what to do, and if BizMat can meet that need, they may be OK."

The site already has garnered support from and the American Subcontractors Association, among other sponsors.