Archives for February 2014

How To Avoid A Weak Brand in a Post-Patent World!

Patents. They’re great things aren’t they? It gives you absolute control over that product. It protects you from unscrupulous competitors. Life is good.

11409504_s-300x267Have you given any thought to the day when that patent runs out? Maybe it seems so far away, that it simply isn’t on the radar. Twenty years off seems like a life time. Maybe just worry about it when the time comes. For many that’s the conventional wisdom. I’ve known companies who did exactly that. During the patent years things were good. Business was growing and the future looked promising.

And then it happened.

Where did the twenty years go? You’re sure it was just yesterday that you got your patent and you were set. Now with the patent opened up, hawks are all around you. The protection you enjoyed has slipped away. What to do? What to do?!

In hind-sight what you should have done was have a plan. As it stands today, your brand is at its weakest. You’ve sat back and allowed your product to coast on its protected status, not paying any attention to what brand you were building. Because of your monopoly status, the brand was lazy and maybe a little arrogant. Now, all that has changed and the marketplace demands to know why they should care about you. In the onslaught of emerging competition, you now stand the real chance of being left behind. Deemed irrelevant in the industry you invented! How can this be, how can you stop this?

Patent

What you should have considered long before the patent ran out was how to develop a strong brand that, when the patent ran out, could come out of the gate with all guns blazing. You had the time and room, to define your brand as the only choice because it was superior. Your patent would have allowed you the luxury to establish a positioning that was unchallengeable. An enviable position for any business. Early planning would have allowed you to grow your brand story at your own pace. But if you waited, you’re scrambling making up for lost time and opportunity. Depending on how the competition launches their attacks, you find yourself responding to them. It didn’t have to be that way.

If your patent is still active, then NOW is the time to embrace and grow your brand. Envision your company in a post-patent era and determine what you would like your brand to stand for. Take that vision and put strategies in motion that will allow you to build to that positioning. Having done that will remove a lot of the anxiety attached to lurching into an unknown environment you may have failed to anticipate. Planning early not only makes your brand stronger, but also keeps you grounded and completely aware of any fluctuations and trends in its marketplace. Defining your brand right now saves you a ton of aggravation later.

My client while failing to plan for the post-patent moment was quick to realize his error and put into motion strategies to correct it. Now, they have gained back lost market share and have surged forward. Their brand has once again established its leadership role. They fully recognize in hindsight that should have reacted earlier and could have saved themselves a huge dilemma. Many other companies in the same boat, didn’t come to that conclusion early on and are now drowning in waves of competition and are desperate to find a solution – any solution. It usually revolves around ‘lowest price’ and the inevitable race to the bottom and out.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Put that patent smirk away and plan for the day when it is no longer there to protect you. It IS coming. You can either have a brand that refuses to succumb or one that panics and flounders. Start the conversation today.

How serviced office space gives start-ups the freedom to grow

Entrepreneurs and ambitious start-ups growing frustrated with working from their spare room or study face the dilemma of whether to stay small fry or take the next step up the ladder into their own premises.

Serviced Office Space

Working from home often seems like a great idea initially, but it comes fraught with challenges to overcome. Home life can become a distraction, left without motivation, privacy and an increased sense of isolation, resulting in a poor work-life balance.

Taking a leap of faith and moving into your own dedicated office may seem like a daunting step to take, but the benefits of working in an office are plentiful.

Serviced offices in particular offer a swift, stress-free solution to getting your business operational externally. With a serviced office, tenants are able to rent premises that is already kitted out with all the necessary technology and amenities to get on with what you do best from day one.

Start-ups require next to no initial capital investment with office equipment and furniture all included as part of the lease. Well-equipped serviced offices are now widely available in city centres and influential business districts throughout the UK.

These range from small owner-operated business centres to larger globally-run chains. But start-ups can rest assured there is always a centre available with a location, décor and price to suit your business needs.

Location-wise, new and growing businesses can find a business centre in and around their target customer base or in amongst the competition. Firms can appear in relevant directories and business listings without having to use a home address; the centre can be used as a registered address for heightened prestige.

Professionals can enjoy state-of-the-art facilities at an affordable price in a serviced office. Start-ups can make the most of amenities that may otherwise be out of budget; from 24/7 security and call handling services to mailing and meeting room space.

It gives new firms an entirely professional look from the outset, without having to incur all the costs involved. Furthermore, on-site support staff means start-ups have increased capacity to focus their efforts on their business.

The flexibility of serviced office leases is also very attractive to new and growing businesses, with low-risk three-month leases often available for particularly risk adverse business owners.

This is also very useful for start-ups who simply need bigger work space for a particular project without long term ties; with the ability to revert back to your home office upon completion if necessary. Businesses are not subject to expensive break clauses and, as projects come and go, you don’t have to overstretch yourself with long term overheads.

The idea of renting office space in a business centre with multiple other firms is a relatively new concept in the UK; however they have been an intrinsic feature of commercial property culture in the US for a number of decades.

Now is the time to take advantage of the most economical and practical way to control company costs whilst benefitting from the prestige and stature of being in association with a fully-managed business centre.

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‘How serviced office space gives start-ups the freedom to grow’ was written by Cathie Sellars, head of marketing at Workspace and is published with her permission.

#19 4 Surefire Ways To Change Your ‘Luck’ [Podcast]

I know you may be thinking… that’s like a bad word! Don’t talk about that! Many entrepreneur friends of mine feel that way and if you do too, good for you! But I’m still going to talk about it because I’m not really talking about luck.

What others see as ‘luck’ actually has a formula. Listen in to find out…

SBBPodcast

Key Takeaways

  • Keep going
  • Work it
  • Give it time
  • Sacrifice

Resources & Mentions

Exposure & Profit

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Start Your Conversation with Confidence.

I just returned from a successful workshop in San Diego where I facilitated (with a friend Marcia Hoeck). We were teaching graphic designers how to drive profits by building brands for clients before any design work is done. Our audience was graphic design firms from across the U.S. Essentially we went through Marcia and my eleven step branding process. One important issue kept cropping up – confidence. It would appear that our audience that day and i’m sure many small businesses in our audience here, have a rough time selling with confidence. Especially a new service like ours.
talking
I’ve found over the years and I’m sure Marcia would concur, a great way to gain that desired confidence is to start the conversation immediately. Start talking up the subject with everyone you come into contact with. Without looking like a boor that is.

One of our attendees did exactly that on the flight home and landed herself a new lead. Talking – it’s that simple. Show everyone how excited you are about what you do. Show the passion. You will find yourself getting on people’s radar. You become the go-to person on that category. Your personal brand is tied to it.

Because of our subject matter we encouraged them to making branding their core service, driving all other services, starting the proper conversation helps to clarify and differentiate them in their markets. Go ahead and say nice things about your brand, it’s good for the soul.

#18 Always Ask, Ask and Ask Again [Podcast]

There’s no business that doesn’t require selling. Even when you are selling life-giving water. Something everyone on this planet needs. You need to sell people on your water vs other alternatives. A big part of selling is to ask. But why? Why do we have to ask? Don’t people just know we have it? People will know to ask me if they want to buy.

Wrong. In this episode, we talk about why you need to ask and ask often. Listen in now…

SBBPodcast

Key Takeaways

  • Never assume people won’t buy
  • Don’t assume there’s no room for you after competition
  • Why everyone has a time to buy
  • Don’t assume everyone knows what you have to offer
  • Never think that everyone knows what your product does

Resources & Mentions

Exposure & Profit

AutoSiteSaver

Rate us on iTunes

Stay Compliant and Current with QMS Software

How Does QMS Software help you ?

Industry regulations are ever-changing, and operating a successful business is hard enough without having to keep track of industry compliance regulations, and whether or not your business matches up.

Of course, not keeping track of this information would be detrimental to you (particularly because the law says so), and until the release of QMS  (quality management systems) software, businesses were forced to keep track of compliance standards and data manually. Now, thankfully, keeping tracking of quality management information need not be tedious, require a team of employees, or necessitate a daily referral to regulatory standards.

Keeping Tracking of Quality Management Information Need Not be Tedious QMS Software

Benefits of Cloud System Software

Instead of taking up space on the network drive, cloud-based QMS systems enable companies to access, store, and modify their quality management information without slowing down their computers or requiring software installation company-wide. For larger companies in particular, this can save IT guys from major headaches and streamline account access across the board.

Compliance Standards Update

One benefit of the software is that it will let you universally adapt your processes if industry regulations get updated.  Using QMS software, you can change the process once and ensure that all users are automatically in compliance with the regulation updates.

Document Control Management

One feature of QMS that is particularly beneficial to businesses is it’s document control feature. QMS software often has built-in document regulation that allows users to upload, send, approve, safely store, and access company documents securely, and from any computer with cloud-access. Such systems also guarantee that users have access to the most up-to-date versions of documents at any time, streamlining effectiveness and ensuring real-time information dispatching.

Customer Complaint Management

If your business handles clients day-to-day, you’ll likely have collected a costumer complaint or two. Along with document storage, QMS software can serve as a database for all customer complaints, and allows management to track complaint records from start to completion so that no record gets lost or overlooked.

Factors to Consider When Picking a Bookkeeping and Payroll Services in Singapore

Bookkeeping and pay roll services:

Bookkeeping and pay roll services are required by almost every company in Singapore, as accuracy in business accounting is necessary for its success. All types of businesses, need these services for their proper growth but they hire them as per their volume of work. Though big businesses may engage whole time bookkeeping and payroll services, but medium and small business usually opt for freelance service providers in both of these fields.

Bookkeeping Service Considerations Singapore

Most of the businesses in Singapore outsource the bookkeeping and payroll services in Singapore to fulfill the business accounting requirements of their business. They may choose them on basis of the recommendations of their fellow business owners and other associates but still they have to observe certain factors while picking them as provided hereunder for your guidance.

Competency of the service provider:

Whether you choose a bookkeeping service provider and payroll services for your business you should ensure the capabilities of the service provider in the field of business accounting. A set of tasks including tax work, payroll, invoices, general bookkeeping and cost analysis, etc are usually needed by the business of any level. So the service picked by you must be competent enough to fulfill all of your requirements including business accounting.

Ask for referrals:

While choosing Singapore payroll and bookkeeping services you can also ask personal recommendations of your fellow business owners, banker or tax attorney for their references. It will help you in knowing the positive and negative aspects of the services provided by the providers selected by you. The reputation of the service provider company can also be considered as a referral in this regard.

Experience of the service provider:

It is one of the most important factors to be considered while picking payroll services and bookkeeping services for your business of any level. The service provider should have experience in business accounting along with other requirements of your business, if your business has certain special requirements. Such specialized professional will be able to handle the account books more competently without bothering the business owner.

Cost of service:

You should also know the cost of services provided by the bookkeeping and payroll services Singapore, Which you have selected after considering all other factors to assess your affordability as per your requirements. Certain bookkeeping and payroll services in Singapore charge fee at fixed rate on basis of your work load whereas some others charge at per hour rate. So you can choose the best one as per your affordability in this regard.

Dependability of the service provider:

The bookkeeping services and payroll services, Which you choose should be insured and trustworthy, as they have to handle all of your business accounts. An approved or accredited service provider by professional organizations is the best option in this regard.

Thus you can choose the best bookkeeping and payroll services in Singapore for handling your business accounts by considering the above mentioned factors.

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