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Branding and business strategy from a trademark attorney and founder.

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About

Jeremy with somebody else's dog.

 

Jeremy Peter Green Eche is a branding attorney and the founder of JPG Legal. He is the attorney of record for over 2,000 U.S. trademark registrations. In 2019, JPG Legal was ranked the #16 law firm in the United States by number of federal trademark applications filed. Eche graduated from Northwestern University School of Law on a full scholarship. Thomson Reuters selected him as a Super Lawyers Rising Star in Intellectual Property for 2021.

 

Eche has been profiled on USA Today, CNBC, CNN Money, NPR's Morning Edition, WIRED, MSNBC, the New York Daily News, HLN, CNN Politics, DCist, Vox.com, CNET, Mic.com, NBC News, Refinery29, the Globe and Mail, and several other news sources. He is best known for owning ClintonKaine.com and hosting his comics there during the 2016 election, before selling the domain.

 

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Eche is based in Brooklyn in New York City. He formerly served as in-house General Counsel for Teamsters Local 922 in Washington, DC. He is married to Stephanie Eche, an artist and creative consultant.

 

You can contact him at info@jpglegal.com.

What a Startup Needs To Be Successful


People in multi-colored clothing sitting around a wooden table. On top of a table, there are coffee mugs, a tablet, a small leafy green plant, and a white poster with the words “Start Up” on it.

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. 

A Solid Business Strategy

When it comes to the survival of your business, preparation is key. One of the best ways to prepare is to develop a comprehensive business plan. Consider the following steps when approaching this process:

Create clear, long-term goals: Prepare a long-term and practical strategy. Ensure that your company’s long-term objectives are compatible with how you wish to build and maintain your business as well as realistic and achievable.

Define your targets: One of the most significant roadblocks to development is ineffective targeting. Companies miss out on clear communication and misalignment between sales and marketing due to vague messaging. Defining niches and specialties allows businesses to direct resources towards specialized areas.

Make sure your plan is competitive: Choose an unserved or underserved market with little or no competition and become a major player in it. If you do have competitors, be sure to identify a competitive advantage within your plan. If you have this established early, it’ll be more difficult for any new competitors to join the marketplace.

Stay Innovative: Make sure the goods/services you want to develop have clear distinctions. The more significant the difference between how you hope to stand out and how others already do, the better your chances of success.

Testing: Regularly evaluate and update your strategy to ensure that it is valid at all times. As your business evolves, so will the market, which will require constant re-evaluation and testing. 

Account for Risks and failures: Allow your team to face loss by incorporating potential risks into your strategy. Use the lessons you’ve learned from past successes and failures to guide you in the future. As you identify risk factors, it’s best to provide a contingency plan if the original strategy doesn’t work. 

Consider Stakeholders: Once you’ve polished a business strategy, share it with your employees, and discuss any reasoning on the measures put in place. You should also communicate with your external stakeholders, such as investors or partners, about your business strategy and how it might affect the company’s revenue projections and value.

Deep Knowledge of Your Market

Having updated knowledge of your market will help your business stay relevant. The ideas below will help guide you through getting informed and staying informed about how your market operates.

  • Well-informed startup founders and teams take their time to familiarize themselves with how the market is changing, customers’ reactions, and adjust their businesses accordingly. In addition, it’s best to keep an eye out for competitors as your market evolves as your business adjusts. 
  • Read industry news, trade journals, and field-related blogs to understand how your industry operates and how it’s changing over time.
  • You can also better understand your market by analyzing your customers’ behaviors. Companies like Netflix and Amazon use customer data to create products and tools that ultimately suit customer needs and behavior.

Ultimately, being informed about how your market is changing or how it’s already changed allows you to adjust your business accordingly, increasing the chances of startup success. Startups that fail to keep up with how their market changes are more likely to fail.

Organization and Recordkeeping 

Successful enterprises maintain detailed records. With detailed record-keeping, you’ll be able to see where the company is financially and identify potential problems in the future. Simply knowing this allows you to develop strategies to overcome those difficulties before they occur. 

Moreover, records help keep track of:

  • All profits and losses;
  • How much money is coming in and out;
  • The number of resources utilized, which will allow you to make decisions about how to use resources in the future, and reallocate money as a result. 

Additionally, you can protect your business from lawsuits and cybercrime by maintaining meticulous records. Records also serve as validations for any decisions and financial moves made. If you lose track of any of this information, you could be putting your startup at risk.

The Right Team of People

After you’ve developed a concept, how do you turn that idea into a business? First, you’ll need to hire the right team of people.

The first step is to identify the work that needs to be done, your budget for hired help, and what talent or skill set is necessary for those tasks. After these factors are determined, you can build a team of people who fit the bill.

When looking for talent, consider:

  • How familiar they are with the kind of work you need;
  • How solid their reputation is;
  • How strong their references are.

Recruitment for your startup team is an essential step in the road to success, which means hiring the right people is crucial to maintaining company growth and stability while preventing business pitfalls.

It’s also important to consider the work-life balance of small and family-owned businesses. Life and business should be on equal footing. Maintaining your interests may help you and your employees feel more refreshed and prevent burnout.

Immediate Networking 

Running a business is challenging, so you must ensure you have the most qualified people on your team. Networking will become increasingly important during this early growth phase. A competent team may be able to help you in achieving much more than you could accomplish alone.

Networking early on is necessary, as it can help businesses by providing access to capital, allowing you to recruit talented individuals, and giving you the chance to create strategic partnerships. It can also enable you to:

  • Practice your communication and sales skills; 
  • Connect with other small business owners who can help you manage the startup process and provide moral support;
  • Be more involved in your neighborhood and your industry, allowing you to gain traction and attention;
  • Find and meet potential customers.

A Company Name and Trademark

As you begin to develop your business opportunities, you must consider how others may use your startup name and how this could affect your future. For example, if the name of your business is similar to another company’s name or trademark, it could cause some trouble. To ensure that your business doesn’t run into any legal issues, it’s essential to conduct a thorough trademark search on the trademark database and assess how the potential name of your startup may be similar to other brands.

Doing so can help prevent unnecessary conflicts and protect you and your business from future problems. To avoid such an issue, here are some tips on how to come up with a brand name:

  • Consider how your company name will be used across different media platforms. Will it translate well to print? What kind of imagery will be used with the name? 
  • Define your startup’s niche market, and how that will affect the perception of your company name. 
  • Examine how your startup’s name will be translated into other languages, and these pronunciations will differ from English. 
  • Find ways to reduce the possibility of your startup’s name being mispronounced or misspelled.
  • Consider how the spelling of your brand differs from established brands in the same space.

A strong trademark is an essential part of creating an identifiable brand identity. Therefore it’s best to file a trademark application once you are ready. However, if you do not have the time or energy to do this yourself, you can easily hire a firm to take over your U.S. trademark application. Thus, hiring a professional can reduce the risk of mistakes and ensure your company name is protected.

The decisions made early on in a developing business impact how it functions. To turn your concept into something greater than you ever imagined, work to understand how startups operate, their objectives, and carefully plan out deliberate steps on your path to achieving success.


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