Today’s consumers have come to expect a personalized experience from brands they follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. As a business, you must be able to engage with your customers using these channels to compete in the digital age.
Whether customers interact with your brand online or in-person — or a combination of both — tracking traffic helps you understand consumer activity. When you track your consumers, you’ll develop a better understanding of the products and services they seek. Using this information, paired with a few fresh tactics like updates and optimization, can work to help attract more customers.Read the rest of this post »
Most business owners are worried about cash flow and sales. After all, regardless of your industry, the main goal is to earn profits.
However, protecting those profits is also essential. Legal issues, cybercrimes, and other problems can wreak havoc on a small business. It is vital to adopt practices that protect your business.
Failure to have the proper protections in place can lead to a wide range of legal and security problems. Even companies that escape lawsuits and financial losses may end up with a damaged reputation and ongoing issues with customers, vendors, or employees.
The dangers are real for small businesses. For example, a 2019 survey by Keeper Security found that two-thirds of small business owners do not expect to be victims of cyberattacks. However, 67% did experience a security breach.
Meanwhile, a civil lawsuit can prove ruinous. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), the cost of such legal action can be between $3,000 and $150,000. In 2018, liability suits cost companies $343 billion. Small businesses shouldered a disproportionate amount of these penalties. More than half of the judgments, $182 billion, were against smaller firms.
Businesses need to protect against legal and cybersecurity issues. Failing to do so can be costly and cause significant setbacks.Read the rest of this post »
How To Reinvent and Reinvigorate Your Hiring Strategy
To find and retain the right people for your company, you’ll need a hiring strategy — a plan that helps you consistently fill job openings with qualified hires. Your hiring strategy should inform every stage of a potential employee’s onboarding process, from their first interview to a formal offer.
With the right hiring strategy, you can minimize turnover and place employees into company roles where they thrive. A poor or incomplete hiring process can frustrate candidates, compromise productivity, and even result in the wrong person filling a position.
If you’re invested in your company’s hiring process, it’s important to optimize your strategy in ways that attract top industry talent.Read the rest of this post »
Only 50% of companies with employees survive beyond the first five years. Though these numbers may appear intimidating, you can work to overcome them. The most successful businesses put a premium on talent, customer focus, strategy, and networking while maintaining core beliefs and practices. Furthermore, it’s vital to discern what legal mistakes every startup company should avoid making.
When first establishing your startup, there are several key steps you’ll need to take to help ensure the success and survival of your business.Read the rest of this post »
Updated January 9, 2023
When appraising a business, the valuation is typically based on revenue, profit, and assets. The calculations can be similar if you’re appraising a popular trademark that generates high revenue. Generally, the revenue of that brand will travel with sale of the trademark.
But for the owner of a little-known or dormant trademark, a totally different process is required to figure out how much your trademark is worth. With an “unused” trademark, revenue is not a factor, so you have to derive the price solely from the inherent value of the trademark registration itself.
This article will tell you how to value a dormant, low-revenue, or “idle” trademark.
As an experienced trademark attorney and trademark broker, I’ve put a lot of thought into how to appraise trademarks. I’ve also brokered many actual trademark transactions through my trademark marketplace, Communer, which has given me insight into how much money buyers are willing to spend on trademarks, and why.
You may not be surprised that clients frequently ask me how to come up with a brand name that they can successfully register as a trademark. Sometimes they ask after we give them a negative legal opinion about the name they wanted to register. Other times they ask after they get a major refusal from the USPTO and have to think of a new name.
Over the years, I’ve refined and augmented my answer to this question so much that it’s now worth sharing publicly. In this post I will:
- Go over some trademark basics to keep in mind when coming up with a name for your business.
- Discuss additional naming factors entrepreneurs should consider, beyond conventional trademark law.
- Tell you what strategies I use when trying to think of a new brand name, especially if I’m having trouble thinking of anything.
- Explain how to do a very basic trademark search on your brand name idea before you start investing time and money into it.
Updated November 13, 2023
For those who aren’t familiar, Amazon Brand Registry is a program offered to Amazon sellers that gives them access to many enhanced branding tools to help them better connect with potential customers and differentiate themselves from competitors. Perhaps most importantly, it allows Amazon sellers to remove listings that infringe on their trademark rights, including counterfeiters, “listing hijackers,” and sellers in the same industry whose brand names are simply too similar to that of the trademark owner.
Until about two months ago, we used to tell clients that Amazon only accepts sellers with fully registered trademarks for their Brand Registry program. This meant a wait time of 8-12 months before clients selling on Amazon US could get access, because that’s about how long it takes to get a trademark registered in the United States if everything goes smoothly.
April 22, 2021 Update: Amazon has changed the wording on its website since I wrote this blog post, making its requirements more ambiguous. From our own experience, however, virtually all of our clients with pending trademark applications are currently being approved for Amazon Brand Registry shortly after we file the applications with the USPTO. For example, we filed a trademark application for a houseplant brand nine days ago and they just got access from Amazon today.
November 13, 2023 Update: I’ve been updating blog post every few months and the above is still true. Our clients are still getting Amazon Brand Registry access for pending trademark applications that have just been filed. We have clients apply for Amazon Brand Registry about 50 times each month and we’re seeing about one rejection for Amazon Brand Registry for roughly every 100 clients, meaning a 99% success rate. Strangely, there seem to be no similarities among the 1% who get rejected; it’s apparently random.Read the rest of this post »