Why Don’t Small Businesses Protect Their Intellectual Property?

June 8, 2015

By Mary Juetten

Intellectual PropertyIt’s a widely-held belief that small businesses are the main driver of the US economy. Small businesses have a greater ability to create new jobs than middle and large-sized companies. So what is keeping them from protecting their intellectual property? While the federal government has implemented a number of measures to assist aspiring entrepreneurs to start their own business, it hasn’t done enough to educate them on the importance of intellectual property (IP) protection or the value of intangible assets. Below are a few IP-related challenges that US small businesses face today.

Lack of emphasis

It wasn’t until recently that the federal government recognized the need to develop informational tools about IP protection for American companies. This move originated in part from an article written by Scott Baldwin stating that only 15% of US small businesses conducting business overseas were aware that US patents don’t protect them abroad. It would thus seem fair to conclude that US startups are at a disadvantage when it comes to IP protection compared to larger, global companies.  (more…)

How To Ensure A Good Fit For You In A Franchise

June 4, 2015

FranNetWhile inquiring about how to ensure a good fit for each candidate might seem obvious, there is a clear cut reason why some franchisees fail to achieve real success in the world of entrepreneurship. As a potential franchisee looking to join up with a successful brand and system, you know that you need to be the right fit for the right opportunity… but how can you ensure it? Today, we’ll explore a few pointers that you’ll want to take to heart.

We never fail to require our clients to do their due diligence. In doing so, we try to advocate careful consideration during our process in matching the right person to the right opportunity. However, while we act as the primary guide on your journey, it is the potential franchisee who must ultimately take responsibility for the choices and decisions which come during the process. Is it possible to over simplify the process? We certainly don’t think so.

The Crossroads of Passion and Opportunity (oh, and Roadblocks)

It may seem obvious that a potential franchisee is advised to get behind a product or service that drives a passion within them. You may love to eat sandwiches, but that may not mean that you’re cut out to dish out cold cuts on a daily basis.  (more…)

Send A Strong Message, Without Any Stress: Email Campaigns Made Easy

June 1, 2015

By Maxym Martineau

GoDaddyI love a good deal. I’m not an extreme coupon clipper by any means, but when I open up my email I’m quick to save any message that promises a discount (and to trash the ones that don’t).

So the question is, what prompts me to open one email over another? The even bigger question is: Are you one of the business owners whose emails end up in the trash bucket instead of the discount folder? Are you even trying to connect with me at all?

If you’re a small business owner, adding another job to your already overflowing plate can seem like a nightmare. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make your email campaigns work for you, not against you. And because emails are the most cost effective form of marketing, it’s time to start expanding your business.  (more…)

Content Marketing: How Can You Run With The Big Brands?

May 27, 2015

street_sign_content-marketingWe know it when we see it: that cool new video, the thoughtful how-to article from a favorite business, or the eye-catching image that starts buzz around a brand. These are examples of content marketing in action, and if your small business isn’t exploring it, you should ask yourself: Why not?

Content marketing is effective because it offers value to the viewer beyond a simple ad. Whether it’s a blog, social media post, or “viral” video, content marketing can be entertaining, inspiring, or share a bit of expertise that can help your customer. It’s something they’ll want to bookmark, re-post, or share with friends. And most importantly, it builds a positive perception around your business. In fact, the blog post you’re reading right now is an example of content marketing at work!  (more…)

America’s Veterans – From Boots to Start-Up

May 26, 2015

Veterans - Boots To Business

America’s SBDC network has been serving the Veteran small business community for years. SBDCs around the country offer specialized training and programs to help our nation’s heroes start and grow their own businesses.  America’s SBDC network also supports SBA’s Boots to Business program in 36 states and has helped nearly 2,000 Veteran entrepreneurs realize their dream of business ownership.

Boots to Business is an entrepreneurial education and training program offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as part of the Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program (TAP). The curriculum continuum includes steps for evaluating business concepts, the foundational knowledge required to develop a business plan, and information on SBA resources available to help access start-up capital and additional technical assistance. The program is available free at participating installations to service members and their dependents transitioning or retiring from the U.S. military.  (more…)