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Why Trademark Your Startup?

Why Trademark Your Startup?
Why Trademark Your Startup? Trademarking is very essential to new businesses, but first time entrepreneurs are not adept with the nuances of securing a trademark and often do not realize how vulnerable they are when operating a business without one. Why Trademark Your Startup? It helps protect your business identity It protects against others using the same or similar business name or logo It provides solid proof of your legally protected rights Federal trademark registration rights extend nationwide A trademark registration is an asset (it may be licensed or sold). Registering company names and domain names alone does not provide trademark protection. Must-Know IP Law (Patent, Trademark and Copyright) Beware of mimicking a famous brand; most popular iconic brands such as Coke, McDonald’s and Pepsi are protected by the Trademark Dilution Revision Act. Search Google to see if your intended trademark already exists. Reasons why your trademark may be rejected If it is likely to cause confusion, mistakes or deception with a mark already registered If it simply contains a generic name If it primarily describes or deceptive about the geographic origins of goods and services If it is primarily merely a surname If it is deemed immoral, deceptive or scandalous If it falsely suggests a connection with people, institutions, beliefs or national symbols If it uses the portrait, name or signature of any living person without the approval of the person concerned The Federal Trademark Registration Process 1. Select your trademark 2. Hire a Trademark Attorney Registering a trademark is a LEGAL process with many potential trap doors. Hence, it is advised to hire a trademark attorney to guide you through the trademark search and application process. 3. Availability Search Doing a search by yourself may prove to be disastrous. It is likely you are not familiar with what could create a conflict. A trademark search must be comprehensive and complete to rule out any potential legal conflicts. Doing an inadequate research is a major reason many trademark applications are rejected by the government. Do I Need a Lawyer to Register My Trademark? 4. Application Your attorney will draft and file your application with the USPTO (IN USA) OR THE TRADE MARKS REGISTRY (IN INDIA). If approved you will receive a trademark registration certificate and if refused, you will receive a refusal notice. 5. Monitor and Protect It is your responsibility to monitor and enforce your trademark rights. Failure to monitor can cause complete loss of trademark rights (regardless of having federal registration). COPYRIGHT ...
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Let’s Learn the Nuances of Generic Business Strategies

Let’s Learn the Nuances of Generic Business Strategies
Let’s Learn the Nuances of Business Strategy How Do You Define Business Strategy? Business strategy is nothing but a series of decisions that are made by the management of a company in order to obtain or maintain a competitive advantage over a period of time. It shows the overall direction of a company. It is also future focused and contains long-term sustainable goals. For startups, creating business plans can be night marish and hectic, hence this short guide which throws some light on “How to use Powerpoint as an effective tool to showcase your bsuiness plan” to investors in a simple yet appealing manner. A great business strategy will encompass the following characteristics: A clear direction of where the company is going and concrete plans necessary to execute the decisions An unmistakable understanding of the company’s core competencies Will solve the marketplace demands and address real customer needs Will contribute to sustainable competitive advantage Will be properly documented but gives room for future change in accordance with the environment THE THREE BEST GENERIC BUSINESS STRATEGIES 1. COST LEADERSHIP This strategy is followed by market giants like Wal-Mart, McDonald’s, IKEA to name a few wherein, the companies focus on building a large market share by slashing the prices – mush lower than their competitors. Typically, such customers will be less loyal and more price-sensitive. The real challenge is to succeed at offering the lowest price, but still maintain profitability and a high return on investment. The company has to necessarily run a tight ship by controlling its operational costs to improve efficiency. 2. PRODUCT DIFFERENTIATION This strategy requires the company to develop products that are “better than” or “more unique than” its competitors. The main focus is to differentiate itself from its rivals. The differentiation could be in the form of higher-end quality materials, excellent customer service, unique company image or branding, or other customer oriented values. Typically, companies going for this strategy can charge premium pricing since their customers tend to be more loyal and less price-sensitive. 3. MARKET SEGMENTATION This strategy simply focuses on a niche or sub-market to sell your products or services to. This is best suited when you are competing in an overly saturated market. For example the gift basket industry is highly competitive and over saturated. If you choose to enter the field, you might have to choose a product differentiation strategy combined with appropriate market segmentation strategy. Hence you might focus on selling high end products to the wedding market. A Wonderful Infographic from Americanexpress.com that clearly explains what needs to be done to experience an explosive business growth… WHAT TO DO WHEN BUSINESS IS SLOW Write a business plan If you have never written one now is the time to grab a chair and fabricate a really crafty business plan with your mission, vision, values and marketing strategy included. Rebrand Work on your logo, test new colors, change your site layout, breathe some fresh life into your branding strategy. SEND A THANK YOU NOTE TO YOUR CLIENTS FIND NEW VENDORS Read a book Discover guerilla marketing tactics and best keep business secrets by reading Cold Pitch Create a list of prospects using leading networks like LinkedIn and reach out via email Create a lead magnet A lead magnet is an opt-in gift that you offer visitors, whether online or offline to encourage them to be part of your tribe and purchase your product or services. Let’s understand what makes a company innovative? 48% – coming up with new ideas for products and services 33% –  listening to customers 33% – continuing to improve current product 33% – offering a unique product 28% –...
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9 Habits of the Most Successful People

9 Habits of the Most Successful People
9 Habits of the Most Successful People Reading Everyday: Start by reading 15 pages everyday. Nah… not talking about juicy fictional stories but insightful non fictional books. Bill Gates claims to read an hour every night before falling asleep. An avid reader, Gates takes in inspiring biographies, history books and philosophical texts. Ariana Huffington is known to have banned all electronic items from her bedroom, instead keeping a stack of real books for bedtime reading. Visualization: Start with books like “Think and Grow Rich” by Napolean Hill, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie and the likes of “Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent. Visualizing yourself in an elevated plane or level will help you achieve those dreams in a very short span of time. Because we become what we think! Prioritization Find the most important task for the day and start executing it first. Set a time limit on this goal and you will always end up doing more than what you expected to accomplish. Time bound operations create a sense of urgency which gets things done.   It’s not a race- don’t try to be the most efficient; try to be the most effective. Declutter your desk, your inbox, your task list and your life. Money Management Reading and learning about the greats in the industry gives you the necessary confidence to pull things in your favor. Go for great finance books like “Rich Dad Poor Dad”, by Robert.T. Kiyosaki, “The Millionaire Fastlane” , by MJ Demarco. Wake Up Early Set your alarm before 6’ oclock in the morning because to me early morning is the time when your brain can think clearly in terms of prioritization and planning. Wake up one hour early and gain 365 more productive hours. Waking up early means you have more time to do things without that rushed feeling that stresses us out. Goal Setting Set your goals in writing. Write everything down and follow through as planned. Those who set goals have proved to be front runners and earn twice as much on average as those who don’t. Exercise and Diet: Make sure you hit the gym every morning or get the recommended physical activity. Endorphin released during exercise can do wonders for your mind and body. Eat whatever you like but go for small portions. Networking Look for like minded people and influencers in your circle and join hands with them to improve your social ratings. Character Assessment Write down for yourself a certain set of rules you will live by that will lead to a successful life. Read these values first thing in the morning and live accordingly. Hope you enjoyed this article. Think of 10 things in your life that you are greatful about. Express your gratitude without fail because gratitude promotes happiness and...
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How do I acquire the millionaire mindset?

How do I acquire the millionaire mindset?
How do I acquire the millionaire mindset? This post is a curated version of couple of best answers from Quora to the ineviatble question “How do I acquire the millionaire mindset?” Everybody wants easy and quick money now a days but never understand that it is next to impossible and money earned such is not going to make you happy. Even if your fore fathers had left a legacy to enjoy, you always have the responsibility of manipulating and multiplying it. So, what is the ‘X’ factor that makes only few people and their companies serve as index of stock markets? Start with this book. Read it as many times as you need to until you have internalized its lessons. Some of its important lessons include the following: Start thy purse to fattening Control thy expenditures Make thy gold multiply Guard thy treasures from loss Make of thy dwelling a profitable investment Insure a future income Increase thy ability to earn The Richest Man in Babylon (The Success Secrets of the Ancients – the Most Inspiring Book on Wealth Ever Written) by George S. Clason At this point, I have probably mentioned this book in a hundred different answers on Quora. I keep going back to this book because there are few other volumes that contain so much wisdom about wealth in so few pages. There is a reason why the book is still in print now, almost 100 years after it was first published. Its lessons are simple, timeless, and effective – as long as you actually put them into practice. Courtesy: Dan Kanivas, admirer of the millionaire next door? Here are some of the mindsets that set millionaires apart from the rest of us: Time does not equal money Most people trade their time for money. Millionaires realize that building assets that work for them is the best way to make money. Often, millionaires own more than one business. They almost build them as a hobby. Opportunity is everywhere Millionaires see opportunity every where. Every pain and problem is an opportunity to build a product or a service. When someone complains, it’s a potential money maker. Action is the best teacher Many get stuck in “student mode.” They read books, articles, and pay for online courses, but they never actually do anything. Millionaires are the opposite. They’ll learn the basics and then dive in. Most of their lessons are learned through experience. Mentors are a life hack Speaking of learning… millionaires often find mentors. They see the value in learning from others that have experience. This is a different quality of teaching than what is provided through a book or a webinar. This kind of learning is personalized, tailored specifically to them by an industry expert. Profit > Revenue Millionaires could often care less about revenue. They care far more about profit. Think about it: 10% profit on $100,000 is only $10,000. 50% profit on $20,000 is also $10,000. Which business would you rather own? (Yes, revenue does matter. A business with a 50% profit margin that only makes $10,000 a month is not a money maker) Money is a tool, not a goal Millionaires do not daydream about diving into a pool of money. It can buy fancy airplanes and cars, but for the most part, it is a tool. It is a tool to build things, repair things, and get things done. Determination Millionaires work tirelessly towards a goal until it is completed. They understand the “art of the finish.” Acquiring these mindsets is not entirely straightforward. There is no manual for how to do it. The best hack I’ve found is immersion. By immersion into the...
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20 Main Reasons for Startup Failure

20 Main Reasons for Startup Failure
20 Main Reasons for Startup Failure Entrepreneurs start a business with the single goal of achieving success. But we also see them fail miserably. 80% of startup companies witness closure since three years of commencement says a statistics. So, what should entrepreneurs do to be in that 20% population range of successful people? One good way to start is to learn from the mistakes committed by other startup companies. Research Giant CB insights has analyzed 101 failed startup companies and found out 20 important reasons categorically. CB insights is a company that focuses on business, investment and investment strategies. Also they supply valid information on startups and their founders, venture capital and Angel investment. These are the 20 main reasons for startup failures: No Market Need – 42% Ran Out Of Cash – 29% Not the Right Team – 23% Get Out-competed – 19% Pricing/Cost Issues – 18% Poor Product – 17% Need/Lack Business Model – 17% Poor Marketing – 14% Ignore Customers – 14% Product Mis-Timed – 13% Loose Focus – 13% Disharmony on Team/Investors – 13% Pivot Gone Bad – 10% Lack Passion – 9% Bad Location – 9% Not Financing/Investor Interest – 8% Legal Challenges – 8% Don’t Use Network/Advisors – 8% Burn Out – 8% Failure to Pivot – 7% SIDBI, a government based financial organization caters to the financial requirements of small and medium enterprises. It plays a crucial role in the growth of SME’s. Startup India and Standup India are the two movements initiated by the central government to enhance the spirit of entrepreneurs. Now, SIDBI has also started SIDBI Startup Mitra to associate startup companies with incubators and investors. It is quite difficult for the startup companies to get guidance and funding. These two factors are very vital for the growth of a startup firm.  Various investment agencies, angel investors and incubators have associated themselves with Startup Mitra which in turn facilitate the tie-up. SIDBI startup Mitra also paves way for startup firms to reap the benefits of government plans. The CB Insights tech market intelligence platform analyzes millions of data points on venture capital, startups, patents, partnerships and news media. India’s top 10 funded startups of 2016 Ibibo Group : $ 250M Investors : Naspers Industry :  Online Travel Company Snapdeal : $ 200M Investors : Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, Iron Pillar, Brother Fortune Apparel Industry :  online marketplace BigBasket : $ 150M Investors : Abraaj Group, Sands Capital Management, IFC, Helion VC, BVP, Ascent Capital Industry : Online Grocery Shopping and Online Supermarket CarTrade : $ 145M Investors : Temasek, Warburg Pincus, Marche Capital Industry :  online auto classifieds platform Byju’s Classes : $ 75M Investors : Sequoia, Sofina Industry Byju’s mobile app has video lessons for IAS, CAT, GMAT, GRE, IIT-JEE & Class 6-12 and comprehensive study material Lenskart : $ 60M Investors : IFC, Ratan Tata, Kris Gopalakrisnan, IDG, Adveq Management, TPG Growth. Industry : Shop online for Sunglasses, Eyeglasses and Contact Lenses for men & women Mobikwik : $ 50M Investors :  GMO Payment Gateway, MediaTek, Sequoi, Tree Line Asia Industry : Online Recharge, Mobile Recharge & Bill Payments Lendingkart : $ 32M Investors :  Bertelsmann India, Saama Capital, India Quotient, Darrin Capital, Mayfield India Industry : SME-lending firm, Short-term loans for Small Businesses Nestaway : $ 30M Investors :  Tiger Global, IDG Ventures Industry : Marketplace for shared home, apartments, flats  rentals Droom : $ 29.8M Investors :  Lightbox, Beenext, Beenos, Digital Garage (Japan) Industry :  online marketplace to buy & sell used cars, bikes, scooters, bicycles, aero planes.  ...
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