Trademark vs. Patent and Copyright

Prevent your intellectual property and business identifiers from being taken and used by your competition. Knowing how to protect inventions, original works, slogans, and logos will help you safeguard, build, and grow your brand.

A trademark legally identifies or represents a company or product gathered the following information about trademarks, patents, and copyrights to help you protect the intellectual and physical assets of your business or property.

What is a Trademark?

By definition, a trademark is an identifying symbol, word, or words legally registered or established by use as the representation of a company or product.

The following are categories of trademarks:

  • Fanciful or arbitrary
  • Suggestive
  • Descriptive
  • Generic

Once a symbol or series of words is registered, it cannot be used by any other organization forever, as long as it remains in continuous use, the proper paperwork is updated, and associated fees are paid.

Do I Need a Trademark?

Yes. If you plan to exercise legal rights over the representation or imagery of your product or business.

There is no legal requirement for you to have an officially registered trademark for your product or business. However, you do not have “good” legal rights to your name or brand; in fact, you may not own your name or brand at all.

How To Apply for a Trademark

Some work goes into applying for a trademark, and all trademarks in the US are issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Consider the following 10 steps:

Step 1 – Make Sure a Trademark Application is What You Need – If you want to protect a brand name and/or logo used on goods and/or services, a trademark is needed.

Step 2 – Choose The Mark – Sounds easy enough. Right? Before making a final decision about the mark you want to register, consider this:

  • Is the mark you wish to register registrable?
  • Can you easily protect or defend your mark?

Once you have a trademark, you as the owner are responsible for legal actions and enforcement.

Step 3 – Search for Similar Marks – Search the US Patent and Trademark Office’s database for similar trademarks in wording and/or design and being used on related products, goods, or services via a federal registration.

Step 4 – Identify Mark Drawing Format – When applying for a trademark, you will be required to identify your mark using a character mark drawing or special form drawing.

  • Character Mark Drawings are in text-only (no specific design, font, size, or color).
  • Special Form Drawings are required when the mark is composed of words, letters, or numerals presented such that it creates a unique or “special” conveyance of information otherwise lost if the text were registered using a character mark.

For more reading on drawing your mark visit,

Step 5 – Applicable Goods and Services Identification – A crucial step in the trademark application process is to clearly identify the exact goods/services the mark will represent.

Step 6 – Know Your Filing Basis – One or more filing bases must be included in an application. Each of the following four filing bases has different requirements to meet before your trademark, or service mark proceeds toward registration.

  1. Commerce basis (under Trademark Act Section 1(a)) – currently using the mark in commerce with respective goods and/or services.
  2. Intent-to-use basis (under Section 1(b)) – you have a bona fide intention to use the mark in commerce with respective goods and/or services in the near future.
  3. Foreign registration basis (under Section 44(e)) – you own a foreign registration (in your country of origin) of the same mark for the same goods and/or services.
  4. Foreign application basis (under Section 44(d)) – you own a previously filed foreign application filed within six months of your US application for the same mark representing the same goods and/or services. This basis is also called a “foreign priority basis.”

Note: If your application does not clearly include a filing basis, the USPTO will require that you amend your application to add one of the four bases mentioned above.

Step 7 – Do I Need a Trademark Attorney? – In some cases, yes. And in others, no. Observe the following:

  • Yes. When you reside in a foreign country, you must be represented by an attorney licensed to practice law in the US at the USPTO.
  • No. If you reside in the US or a US territory, you are not required to retain legal representation. However, it is highly recommended to hire an attorney specializing in trademark law.

Tip: Whether required or not, an attorney specializing in trademark law can help you avoid application errors and red tape by assisting you throughout the application process.

Step 8 – Application Preparation and Submission – Before moving on, take some time to log onto or create an account Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) at Then, once signed up or logged on, proceed to:

  1. Fill out and file the required application forms through the TEAS site
  2. Monitor your application status through the Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) system at
  3. Maintain the accuracy of your personal information throughout the application process. If you move or begin using an alternate email address, update your information in the “profile” section of the TEAS
Trademark status document retreival

Trademark status document retreival

Note: Application fees are considered processing fees and are nonrefundable. Even if your application does not result in a registration, your fee will not be refunded.

Step 9 – Collaborate with Your Assigned USPTO Examining Attorney – Once the USPTO determines your application has met the minimum filing requirements, your application will be assigned a serial number and forwarded to an examining attorney.

The examining attorney will determine whether your application satisfies applicable rules and statutes and that you have included required fees.

If the examining attorney deems a mark unregisterable, the attorney will issue an office action explaining technical or procedural deficiencies in your application. You or your legal representative must respond to an office action within six months to avoid your application being declared abandoned.

Step 10 – Application Approved or Denied – If there are no objections to your application or you have resolved all objections, the mark will be published in the USPTO’s Official Gazette, where anyone objecting to your mark has 30 days to file an objection to the registration or request an extension to oppose it.

If the application survives the process unopposed or defeats any opposition, the USPTO will register the mark and issue a certificate of registration.

If you cannot overcome all objections to your application, the examining attorney can issue a final refusal office action.

What is a Patent?

Patents grant exclusivity to an objects inventor

A patent is a right, granted by a country, of exclusivity to an inventor, allowing the inventor to exclude or prevent others from making, producing, using, or selling his or her invention in that country during the life of the patent.

Do I Need a Patent?

Yes, if you want to protect your invention(s) from being copied and marketed by other players in your industry.

However, most startups and small businesses lack the time or resources to defend their intellectual property. Ultimately, patents are groups of words interpreted by patent examiners, juries, and judges, making them extremely difficult, time-consuming, and expensive to defend.

Note: In the US, a patent application must be filed with the USPTO ( no later than one year following a description of the invention being published or publicly disclosed or the invention is first put on sale or made available for commercial use. This allows the inventor to test market the invention before investing in its patenting.

How To Apply for a Patent

The filing for a patent may seem like an intimidating task, but it doesn’t have to be. Patents in the US are issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Step 1 – Patent Search and Viability – Search the United States Patent and Trademark Office at and verify that your invention is patentable, becaue some items can and cannot be patented include:

  • Laws of nature
  • Abstract ideas
  • Inventions considered offensive to public morality
  • Inventions not considered useful

Note: if it’s a business name you want to protect, you should seek a trademark. Books, Plays, and songs are protected with copyrights.

Step 2 – What Type of Patent Do You Need? – When initiating the patent process, you’ll be required to select the type of patent you are applying for. Selections include:

  • Provisional
  • Utility
  • Design
  • Plant
  • International

Note: The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) System permits you to acquire patent protection for an invention in a large number of countries simultaneously by filing for a single “international” patent.

Step 3 – Hire a Patent Practitioner – Avoid costly procedural mistakes and cut bureaucratic red tape by hiring a patent attorney to shuttle your invention through the patent application process.

Step 4 – Protect Your Invention with a Provisional Patent – Patent law does not recognize “who invented it first,” rather “who filed for the patent first.” A provisional patent application provides an added layer of protection in the event someone claims they had the idea before you.

Step 5 – Gather Data for Your Formal Application – Your application will require you to submit the following:

  • Abstract
  • Background
  • Summary
  • Detailed Conclusion including ramifications and scope

Tip: Unless you are well-educated to do so, it is highly recommended to have your patent practitioner craft your item’s legal scope for the application.

Step 6 – Complete and Submit Your Patent Application – Check and recheck your completed application. The patent application process can last from one to three years, and mistakes or discrepancies can cause it to be rejected. Once submitted, consider the following:

  • Your case will be assigned one patent examiner
  • Quickly respond to any correspondence or requests from the examiner
  • If you have a patent practitioner, the USPTO will communicate with them
  • You can also arrange an interview to address the examiner’s questions

Note: If your application is twice rejected, you can launch an appeal with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

What is a Copyright?

Copyright speaks to the legal right of an owner and his intellectual property

The right to copy. Copyright speaks to the legal right of its owner’s intellectual property. This means the original creators of literary, artistic, educational, or musical products and anyone they give authorization to are the only individuals with exclusive rights to reproduce the specified content.

Do I Need a Copyright?

Yes, if you intend to protect and defend your intellectual property.

Copyright for your intellectual property is not mandatory. However, copyright registration provides substantial legal protection. A copyright can help you avoid costly and timely litigation and proves itself essential if you ever file a copyright infringement lawsuit. Copyrights in the US are issued by the United States Copyright Office (USCO).

How To Apply for a Copyright

Applying for copyright protection over your intellectual property is a relatively simple process that can be completed in four easy steps.

Step 1 – Know What You Can and Cannot Register for Copyright Protection – Copyrights protect written works such as:

  • Poems
  • Novels
  • Musical compositions
  • Plays
  • Sound recordings
  • Audiovisual works
  • Choreographic works
  • Architectural works
  • Artwork
  • Computer works
  • Maps
  • Technical designs/drawings

Names, titles, slogans, ideas, concepts, etc., don’t qualify for copyright protection but may be eligible for trademark protection.

Note: You can apply for copyright protection before publishing your work. Keep in mind that you can only register a copyright for material if you own the legal rights.

Step 2 – Fill out a Copyright Protection Application – You can download, print, and complete a paper registration form at or log in to the Electronic Copyright Office (eCO) registration system at to start registering your work digitally.

Tip: If you feel that the application process is too complex and will need assistance protecting your original works by copyright, hire a trusted business attorney who works with intellectual property law.

Step 3 – Application Submission and Application Fee Payment – You can submit your copyright application electronically or by hard copy. Consider the following:

  • Electronic Submission – Online copyright registration allows you to attach and submit certain types of electronic files with your application. This feature eliminates the need to send documents and other information via mail.
  • Paper Submission – When submitting paper applications by mail to the Library of Congress, you may be required to submit multiple hard copies of the work you want copyrighted.
  • Application Fees – Pay application fees according to the filing method you used. For Copyright Office fees, visit

Note: Your copyright registration becomes effective when the Library of Congress receives your completed application and application fee. However, the government must still process the application and may still deny copyright protection.

Step 4 – Retain Your Registration Certificate – Depending on the complexity and completeness of your application, processing time can take anywhere from 2 to 24 months or longer. Once your application is processed by the US Copyright Office, a certificate of registration will be sent to you for your copyrighted work.

If your application is denied, you can file a request for reconsideration and pay an additional fee.

How To Protect Your Intellectual Property

In this article, you discovered how using trademarks, patents, and copyrights can protect your intellectual and physical business assets and how to apply for each one.

Attaining trademarks, patents, and copyrights provides you with a powerful tool to hold those who infringe on your rights legally accountable for their actions.

Without legal protection through copyrights, patents, and trademarks, you will have little to no legal leverage to stop or prohibit others from stealing your intellectual property.


Commercial Office Building Maintenance Checklist

Prevent poor building maintenance from costing you fines, penalties, and good business. By keeping up with your commercial building’s maintenance, you are ensuring a safe and functional workplace for your workforce and tenants.

Commercial Building maintenance checklist exterior landscaping and parking lot compiled the following routine building maintenance checklist to help you organize and stay on top of keeping your building functioning at peak performance.

Safety Maintenance

Often regulated by local ordinances, commercial building safety features and procedures should be inspected and verified regularly. Consider the following:

  • Check safety signage and posted evacuation plan/map
  • Verify equipment label readability
  • Check eyewash and emergency stations
  • Check and restock first aid supplies
  • Check fire extinguishers and fire fighting equipment
  • Inspect harness and fall protection devices
  • Test fire/smoke alarm (supervised by local fire & rescue)
  • Change batteries in smoke/fire/carbon monoxide detectors
  • Test emergency lights and change flashlight batteries
  • Verify that all emergency exits are easily accessible, properly marked, and functioning

When performing a safety check throughout your building, consider how someone would react during an actual emergency. Bring in a third party (unfamiliar with your building) and ask them to follow signage to reach emergency stations and/or safely exit the building.

Building Exterior Maintenance

The exterior of your building is its calling card and its protection against the elements. Routine maintenance checks will help you detect potential problems and take action to keep your building and property in pristine condition.

  • Inspect tiles, paint, and/or siding for flaws and defects
  • Check for broken or malfunctioning windows, doors, railing, damaged or deteriorating walkways, and stairs/wheelchair access
  • Check the condition and cleanliness of the parking lot or structure
  • Inspect trash receptacles and surrounding areas
  • Check all fencing and barriers
  • Inspect the landscape and inspect trees for any irregularities
  • Inspect the roof, drains, penetrations, gutters, and downspouts

Commercial Building maintenance checklist trees and landscaping

Local ordinances for commercial or multi-use buildings may require the continuous upkeep of landscaping, building appearance, and parking lot/facility cleanliness.

Tip: Hire a professional commercial roofing company to provide roof maintenance twice per year and following severe weather events. Contract a trusted tree service to inspect your trees annually and after severe weather, and a professional landscaper to keep your shrubs, flowering plants, and grass properly trimmed.

Plumbing Maintenance

The plumbing system for a commercial building is vital for access to clean water and the removal of wastewater. Consider the following during your inspection:

  • Investigate any signs of leaks
  • Verify free and fast flow of water in bathroom facilities, sinks, and drinking fountains
  • Inspect all appliances with water connections
  • Test water heaters and boilers
  • Inspect and service water boosters and pump systems
  • Inspect and service condensers (internal and external) for water fountains/dispensers
  • Inspect sump pumps and sewage ejection systems

Tip: Hire a professional commercial plumber to perform regularly scheduled maintenance and use your inspections (between visits) to detect any problems in your building’s plumbing system.

HVAC Heating and Cooling Maintenance

One of the most used systems in your commercial building is its heating and cooling system. To keep your system functioning at peak performance, include the following in your HVAC maintenance checklist:

  • Inspect and clean air intake ducts
  • Change air filters (at least quarterly)
  • Inspect and clean exhaust fans
  • Inspect electrical wiring, connections, and hardware
  • Inspect and clean ductwork
  • Inspect blower motors for noise and/or vibration
  • Inspect and verify that drain pans are functioning properly
  • Inspect and secure vents, guards, and panels
  • Inspect and test safety controls
  • Test internal unit connections to external units
  • Inspect and clean AC condenser motors
  • Inspect insulation of external compressed air lines

Commercial Building maintenance checklist hvac cooling and heating unit

If your building is located in a region prone to condensation, hire a commercial HVAC technician to periodically inspect your ductwork for excessive condensation and mold.

Tip: Have your heating system fully serviced at the end of the summer months and have your cooling system fully inspected at the end of the winter months. This preventive maintenance will help avoid troublesome mechanical issues and breakdowns as the seasons change.

Building Interior Maintenance

The interior of your building is comprised of numerous items and locations that should be inspected often to prevent accidents and small issues becoming catastrophic damages. Consider the following during your commercial building interior maintenance inspection:

  • Check the floors, walls, stairs, and ceiling for damages or signs of deterioration
  • Check for signs of moisture, humidity, leaks, and mold growth
  • Inspect the proper functioning of appliances and fixtures
  • Inspect doors, windows, locks, and closures for proper operation
  • Check for signs of insect or other pest infestation
  • Note all electrical hazards, falling hazards, and slip/trip hazards
  • Inspect switch and electrical receptacle cover plates for damage
  • Inspect the condition and function of elevators and escalators
  • Inspect building equipment (carts, dollies, hand trucks, lifts, etc.)
  • Inspect maintenance and storage rooms for accessibility and cleanliness

Note: Some municipalities have ordinances that require commercial and multi-use buildings to be clean, well-signed, and fully functional on their interior.

Tip: Perform your interior maintenance inspection together with your safety maintenance inspection, as many items from both lists will be in the same locations.

Lighting Maintenance

To properly complete a lighting inspection for your building, you will need to perform the inspection in two phases; one during the day (interior) and another after dark (exterior). Your lighting inspection should include:

  • Exit lighting
  • Interior lighting
  • Exterior lighting
  • Verify that directional lights are aimed in their intended direction
  • Clean dirty fixtures, casings, and protective glass
  • Inspect, clean, and/or replace wiring and transformers

Make sure that all dimming, flickering, or burned out lights are immediately replaced or scheduled for replacement. Be ready to replace lights and lighting fixtures whenever they fail.

Emergency lighting should be tested and replaced (when needed) during a safety maintenance walk.

Tip: Create a lighting maintenance schedule based on the expected service life of the lamps/bulbs you have in use.

Commercial Property Maintenance and Repair Committee

Property owners and/or managers can establish a maintenance and repair committee composed of building staff and tenants that reports directly to them. The committee should meet weekly or monthly to perform scheduled inspections and walk-throughs.

This committee should document and present all findings and recommendations to the building manager or owner for immediate action and corrective measures.

The committee should follow up on any discrepancies, repairs, or equipment replacement to verify the adequate repairs, installation, or services had been rendered.

Commercial Property Maintenance

In this article, you discovered what comprises a commercial building maintenance checklist to help you keep your building safe and compliant with local ordinances.

Commercial Building maintenance checklist and service providers

By using a checklist when inspecting a commercial building, you can detect potential problems before they develop into expensive issues.

Ignoring scheduled maintenance inspections, you are risking catastrophic damages, expensive repairs, and the potential closure or condemnation of your building.


How to Buy a Company Car

Are you ready to buy a company car to meet the needs of your growing business? Discover what steps to take and what to expect when making the purchase. gathered information on how to buy, register, and insure a company car.

Buying a Company Car

According to Autobahn Performance, when you set off to purchase a vehicle for your business, there are a few things to keep in mind before searching various car lots for your company’s dream car.

New company car used for business with commercial auto insurance

Your Business – In the US, your limited liability company or corporation may be used to get a car loan for a company car. As a sole proprietor, this is not allowed.

Business Credit Score – Every business has a credit score. The higher the score, the better the financing options will be. If your business doesn’t have a credit score, the following will help you establish one and increase it:

• You’ll need your Employer Identification Number (EIN) or fill out IRS form SS-4 at to apply for one.
• Create a profile with Dun & Bradstreet (the principle credit bureau for businesses), they provide what is known as a Paydex score to other organizations that consider doing business or extending credit to your company. Get started at
• Request that vendors doing business with you are reporting your payment information to Dun & Bradstreet.
• Pay your bills early. Early payments help your business qualify for the highest Paydex score.
• Keep credit usage between or below 20 to 30% of your available credit.

Business credit scores range from 0 to 100 and are provided (at a fee) by Equifax, Experian, and Dun & Bradstreet. Generally, a score above 80 is considered good and should help your business qualify for a loan or financing.

It can take several years to build up enough credit for your business to even qualify for a car loan. If your credit score is too low, consider leasing a vehicle while working to increase the score.

The Right Model – To avoid raising red flags with the IRS, it is essential that your choice of company vehicle model match the type of work or service you do.

If you operate a tree service like a large capacity pickup truck may be a better option than a minivan. However, if your business is a flower shop and makes deliveries, the minivan would have more relevance.

Company automobile purchased for deliveries and pickups

Government Surplus – Federal and state agencies often have extra equipment, foreclosed property, or seized goods, these goods usually get transferred to other government agencies or are sold to the public at or below what you would pay in the open market.

These items, sold “as is” may be placed in an auction, negotiated online or in person. The following are web addresses to government agencies that regularly sell vehicles:

• –
• U.S. Treasury – Seized Vehicles Sales –
• U.S. Marshals Service –

For local sales or auctions, visit your city or state’s official website.

Dealerships – Many dealerships have commercial sales departments that work exclusively with businesses for the purchasing and registration of their vehicles. Working with a commercial sales department makes the entire process much easier.

Vehicle Registration – If you did not use a dealership to purchase your company car, you will have to register it on your own. In most states, the following must be provided to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or Department of Driver Services(DDS):

• Proof of ownership of the vehicle you are registering
• Proof of insurance coverage
• A complete vehicle registration application
• Articles of Incorporation for your business

Contact your nearest DMV or DDS for further information and instructions. There may be specific days of the week or times that such registrations may be made.

Insurance – Before you can drive a purchased vehicle from the lot of a dealership, it must be covered by a commercial auto insurance policy, and your Businessowners Insurance Policy (BOP) does not include company vehicles. A separate policy must be acquired for that purpose.

The same insurance providers that offer coverage for privately owned vehicles will generally provide coverage for company owned vehicles.

Before purchasing a new or used vehicle for your business, contact your car insurance provider for more details and specific requirements they may have.

Buying, Registering, and Insuring a Company Car

As your business grows, its needs will change. The purchase of a company car can be a fun and easy experience when you know what to expect.

In this article, you discovered information on buying, registering, and insuring a company car.

If you try to buy a company car without knowing what to expect and what you need to qualify, you will end up wasting time and causing costly delays.


5 Growth Driven Marketing And Business Tips

Every entrepreneur’s dream is to achieve consistent success in business. You can be a startup entrepreneur or even an old kid in the block. Your level doesn’t matter because you all are continually searching for new ways to succeed and outsmart competitors.

Business marketing and strategy team meeting

As an entrepreneur, you have to be up to date with market trends and happenings in your industry. You may have a feeling of self-reliance and extra confidence in your strategies and efforts but, constant you still need to monitor market changes and consumer behavior to enable you to gain competitive edge always.

Having The Right Team In Place

Your business achievements depend on your employees to a large extent because they showcase your company’s image to the world. When hiring, take your time to recruit capable and skillful workers and not cheap labor with low productivity. You can also invest in your employees by providing timely training, workshops, and seminar to boost their intellectual capacity.

Attracting the right talent is a skill that must be developed, and talent being attracted to your company all boils down to what’s explained in this video:

Establish Core Values To Promote The Company’s Culture

Core values are fundamental beliefs of an organization. They are guiding principles that dictate behavior within an organization. It aims to provide a guideline regarding conduct and ethical behavior in an organization. They create an unwavering guide that helps organizations reach their goals.

Core values are what supports the vision, shapes the culture, and reflects what the company values. Some commonly stated core values are:

• Integrity
• Transparency
• Innovation/creativity
• Education
• Excellent customer service

A successful business has to choose and stand for core values, or the business will lose its identity and become commoditized. This article explains more about understanding your customers, and how to brand and market small businesses.

Embracing Mobile Technology

Business can use mobile technology to increase profitability and competitive advantage. Mobile technology allows companies to have an unprecedented level of connectivity between employees, vendors, and customers.

For example, a salesperson can take an iPad in the field and capture priceless feedback, data or shareable content. Due to its interactive nature, sharing information through this medium allows businesses to get immediate feedback on products and services from customers, and make instant improvements.

Mobile technology is expanding continuously, and it has become vital for marketers and operations teams to stay up-to-date with the rapid pace of the technologies and the efficiencies they enable.

Putting Social Media Marketing To Work For You

The roadmap for a successful business to customer social media strategy starts first and foremost with understanding the full value that social media can create as a tool for broader customer engagement strategy.

Business social media marketing options

Facebook and Linkedin ads have further developed advertising platforms by allowing you to choose your targeted audience and time frame of the ad. Companies can also take advantage of simple marketing plans such as bulk email messages sent out to targeted individuals. Over the years, several companies have registered real results from their social media efforts.

Click here for more on social media and its impact and influence over consumers.

Become Technologically Optimistic and Forward Thinking

Small businesses are often resistant to changes and stick to a particular marketing strategy for a long time even after it’s not working. They are usually engrossed in routine activities and often forget to find time for strategy or refining operations.

Business and marketing strategy

Learning new strategies and integrating them into the business can help the organization to accomplish its mission, vision, goals and objectives faster. Time will be saved for more beneficial activities, and inefficiencies will be greatly reduced. Time wasted cannot be recovered and strategies missed cannot be adopted once market changes occur.

Failure and going out of business is often avoidable, learn a mistake you don’t want to make.

Excellent Marketing, Technology And Content Value Rules Today’s Market

The business environment is constantly evolving, and consumer behavior is constantly changing. We have seen how marketing strategies should be structured, adopted and mobile focus to achieve optimum results. But no other strategy can bring quick success like employing the right people with the right skills, and expertise, and placing them in the right positions.

Conclusively, consumers taste and preference have changed over time. They no longer pay attention to boring content or unscrupulous customer services. Value creation such as an online content that creates value and has a detailed structure to captivate the visitor’s attention is the new deal.

Business Opportunity in the Beauty and Wellness Industry

In today’s celebrity driven culture, the health and beauty industry is booming. The beauty industry generates more than $55 billion annually in the United States alone. The largest segment of the industry is hair care followed closely by skin care.

Beauty and wellness industry entrepreneur

After Jennifer Lopez popularized the idea of a curvy physique, health and fitness products became as popular as make up and fashion. Now add the ubiquitous Internet and social media phenomenon, and an entrepreneur with a passion about beauty or health and wellness has plenty of opportunity and endless earning potential.

Below are two flourishing beauty and wellness business opportunities poised to thrive the 21st century…

Become a Salon Owner or Manager

Numerous licensed beauty professionals and cosmetologists have opened the door to the next level of their career by either stepping into salon management or by opening their own salon or spa. Finding the right stylists and funding your salon are your major challenges. Beauty equipment and supplies are your biggest expense. Find an affordable vendor like Salon CA to help reduce furniture and equipment costs.

Beauty salon stylist cutting hair

You want to learn everything you can about launching a salon before jumping into it. Salon, spa or barbershop managers guide the direction of the business, maintain operations within the laws of the state, city and municipality, and just as important, make certain that all employees are properly certified, knowledgeable, and able to perform their jobs. Listen to these tips:

This career path offers opportunities in spas, beauty and skin care companies, hospitality management, and of course, hair and beauty salons. In order to run an accomplished beauty business, the manager is THE essential factor.

Become a Health and Wellness Coach

With a couple hundred dollars and a plan to continue furthering your education, becoming a health and wellness professional is a fantastic opportunity. A health blog is a good place to start learning more about opportunities in the industry. Once you decide a specialty, there are many organizations that provide certifications.

Yoga instructor meditation for better health

Specialization Increases Potential Income – Generic certifications may help you get into the business, but it is specializing in specific areas (Yoga, Pilates, Acupressure, etc.) that will increase revenue and career potential. The amount of time, money and talent needed to invest in specialization is greater than a simple certification.

Holistic wellness and health are two fields growing in popularity that have plenty of options that will suit your interest. Take a look into the day in the life of a health coach:

Become a Beauty Blogger

In today’s world, everyone with computer knowledge has a blog. Specializing that blog to feature beauty care products, tutorial videos, tips and product reviews could generate income from affiliates, advertisers and even Google AdSense.

So, educating women on beauty care news, cosmetics and breakthroughs is a business you can get into, and can be done from anywhere at anytime. Beauty blogging done with consistency and time, you will build an audience of readers and followers. Once you have a large enough following, income can be generated by promoting products as an affiliate or selling advertisement space to retailers. Check out this beauty blogger and see what’s involved:

Beauty and Wellness Stability

Job security is an important consideration as we move into a more competitive economy. However, the health and beauty industries indicate they will be very strong contenders of standing the test of time, and providing the peace of mind that they will be around as we move into the future.

The Technology and Social Media Revolution

We live in a technologically advanced and highly connected world. Formerly we had to plant ourselves on the couch and flip on the television at a designated hour to catch the latest news. Now entities such as Facebook and Twitter expose the latest and most popular stories almost as they’re occurring. This new reality is only possible due to the proliferation and democratization of technology.

Though it’s hard to ignore, few know how to leverage this revolutionary internet and social phenomenon. Some implications of this technological revolution and changes in consumer behaviors are explored below.

Consumer Benefits of the Flourishing Social Technology

Several years ago, you would distribute flyers and posters to promote an event or concert. Nowadays, smart phone capability and sharing on social media accounts largely influences which products and events we attend. With social platforms such as Snapchat or Instagram, businesses worldwide can promote, and consumers can get a glimpse of the product or experience in advance.

social media business promotion on instagram

We used to have to go to the mall and march from boutique to boutique in search of satisfying our material needs. Now there is Stitch Fix, which will shop for you and send apparel to your home based on your custom taste. Collegial relationships are also transforming as a result of social media. No longer is face-to-face interaction necessary to get to know a person. Photograph and status sharing has bridged the gap between personal and professional lives, creating a sense of closeness and commonality between professional colleagues.

Impact and Influence of Social Media on Our Consumption

Through all of these examples, it is clearly evident that social media is transforming our experience of commerce and society on a global scale. We are capable of “liking” a business page on Facebook and connecting with other like-minded people, no longer restricted by distance or geographical location. While scrolling through Instagram, we may catch sight of an outfit we fancy, or see a video of a training facility with diverse fitness classes we are interested in. Both of these instances create a direct and easy avenue for contacting the wearer of the beloved outfit or locating the desired fitness facility to try it out. Beyond that, Facebook and Amazon can offer recommendations based on your previous searches and purchases, further creating visibility to offered products.

Technology is Redefining Business and Commerce

Via social networking platforms, we are exposed to innumerable images and words, shaping our idea of what is preferable, and defining an ever-evolving norm. Businesses have enhanced visibility and exposure. Consumers can connect. User experience can be fully customized. In an ever fast-paced day and age, convenience and at-your-fingertips has developed a new meaning.

Modern Office Incubator for Early Stage Atlanta Businesses and Start-ups

entrepreneur in a co-office location

New business ideas have flooded the market as technology advances at a rapid pace. Many of the ideas are commonplace, but some are really good. However, without venture capital funding, most startups are bootstrapping on a shoestring budget.

The days of having a fancy office are over, as many choose to work from a home office or Starbucks. This model is selling like hot cakes because many entrepreneurs do not want to waste their limited capital in paying large office rental fees. So a model that allowed these creatives a means to preserve capital, but still have access to the proper environment was necessary.  As the business market evolved, savvy commercial real estate owners answered these scrappy entrepreneurs dreams.

Now you see a trend of new real estate environments that cater to the early stage startups in the form of virtual offices or co-working spaces. As of very recently, co-working space has taken the real estate and leasing world by storm. There doesn’t seem to be a single pioneer or provider of this co-working office space solution, but many entrepreneurs are utilizing it and very pleased.

There are more than a dozen companies in the US alone systematizing and growing their office space locations in a region. Because this is a localized business, local familiarity and presence is a must and many of the companies have done well in one geographic region, but floundered in another.

The start-up boom has led to a boom in this market because many start-ups are not able to scale their operations to an extent that they will require a full-fledged office. The benefit of the co-office provider is also that they help find their customers other companies who would be willing to share working space with them What they have also done is made a low cost model for all customers.

The co-working environment offers an ancillary benefit of placing like-minded entrepreneurs all under one roof. This perk may potentially be a far greater advantage than intended or realized. It’s often noted that the fastest way to become successful is to hang out with others that are already experiencing success. Though most co-working environments are start-ups, corporations have joined in and realized the benefit of curating such environments and having the brightest minds within close reach. this enables larger corporations and easy in-roads to talent and new acquisitions if they see promise from a younger start-up.

start-up business virtual office

In cities that have bustling tech community, you are seeing an emergence of business and technology incubators. 22 Tech Park is North Atlanta’s tech Incubator offering technology entrepreneurs in Atlanta not only the facility, but also the community and access to mentorship. SunTrust and Comcast are two of the corporate sponsors responsible for contributing to this new business model.

22 Tech Park offers technology entrepreneurs a place to create, develop, network, and flourish. They said their mission is to provide early stage IT startups a working environment that is conducive to teamwork, flexibility, and execution. From a single person pod to a functional team area that grows as you grow.

The Start Ups that are included in 22 TechPark are a community of driven IT entrepreneurs. They are joined and connected by a passion to succeed and supporting each other along the way. This type of camaraderie and community will only improve their businesses and personal growth. This Atlanta co-office incubator offers its participants perks such as, Free Wifi, Free Parking, Snacks, and bi-monthly networking events.

As the business landscape changes and entrepreneurs needs evolve, expect to continue seeing new office products emerge.

Deciding on a Printer and Designer to Produce Your Advertisements

In order for a business to be profitable, you’re going to need to be able to bring in more customers, and so you’re going to have to come up with a good marketing strategy. When it comes to physical advertisements, this may take the form of handing out business cards or brochures, mailing out flyers, or even offering people stationary with your logo on it. To be able to make all of this work, of course, you’re going to need someone to design your advertisements and someone who can print them for you professionally.

Figuring Out What You Need, and How to Match This With Your Options

Whether you need to print tons of flyers, or you just need to copy a few things, there are often many printing companies that you can work with, especially if you live in a major city. Depending on what kind of printing you need to have done and the size of the advertisements, you’ll have to choose a company that can fit your needs. There are two kinds of processes that prints tend to use, and these are digital printing and offset printing.

Digital Printing Process

This is one of the less expensive ways to go, but the quality is not exactly as good as offset printing (though it is close and improving all of the time). You can also get your items printed faster using this method.

digital printer

To make things more convenient, you can often just send your files to the printer via electronic means, and this allows you to get a quote much faster. You can print many different kinds of advertisements, from tiny to huge, and the quality isn’t bad. If you don’t need very many copies of your advertisements—for example, just a few hundred—then this is probably the best way to go.

Offset Printing Process

For bulk jobs, you might want to go with the classic offset printing. Yes, it’s more expensive, but you can expect somewhat nicer-looking prints. Usually, you will use this method when the item that you are printing is complicated or you simply need thousands of copies.

Now, the costs of printing your ads will vary greatly depending on what printer you choose, so you should probably shop around and get an idea of where the deals are. Make sure that the company has good customer service, though, in case you need to revise anything or are confused about what you need to do.

Creating Copies of Documents That Already Exist

Well, what happens when you just need copies? Then what? You can get those done by a printer as well, and they’ll usually have many different solutions to accommodate you. Whether you need black and white copies or color copies, you’ll normally be able to print as much as you need for fairly reasonable prices. If the print shop is any good, they’ll also offer services to bind your pages together if need be.

copy machine making copies

Should you outsource the copying process, be sure to delegate well. Give plenty of instruction on what you want, and make sure that you have a specific time when you can come back to pick up your materials. Mistakes can be costly, especially if you find them only after having printed thousands of copies.

How to Identify the Best Services in Your Area

It’s not always easy at first to find a good graphic artist and a printing company that will suit your needs. With a little bit of research, though, you’ll find that it’s actually easier than it seems. Just do your best to find a local directory with reviews and vet the company before you get involved with them. This way, you won’t have to deal with delays and you’ll always have great quality prints for a good price.

Take a look at these suggestions for picking the right printing and design company to work with:

Try for Word-of-Mouth Recommendations First – It’s always better to get in-person recommendations first because you really never know who is on the other side of an online review. Ask your friends, work associates, and other people you know. If you hear people mentioning a place over and over again, that means that they’re probably not bad, and you should check them out. If this doesn’t work for you that well, then you can start trying to peruse the Internet for recommendations, but remember to take these with a grain of salt.

Look for Experienced Printers – After you’ve jotted down the names and contact information of a few possibilities, you can start trying to determine what kind of experience they have. Has the company been around, or is it brand new? You want them to have employees who have been in the business for a while, not just some random kids off the street.

Look at Examples of Their Past Work – Seeing is believing, of course, and the best way for you to figure out if a company is for you is by looking at what they’ve already produced. Ask them for samples and look at their portfolio, this way you have an idea of what you’re in for.

Find Out How Long It’s Going to Take – Time is money! If you’re running a business, you can’t afford to meander too much, and neither should your printing company. To avoid last-minute disasters, get things done ahead of time, and make sure that you pick a company that can finish on schedule. Tell them when you need the prints done, and ask them if they can fit those needs.

Follow these rules and you should be able to identify a good design and printer to handle your marketing. Check out this resource for more tips on this topic.