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Strategic Thinking on the Go!

October 2010
Hi Everyone,

Most of you have probably heard of Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group-Virgin Records,Virgin Atlantic Airlines, and on and on-he has written a terrific article on being the small guy trying to take on big business. Many of you may understand that situation. Richard explains how to take advantage of your small size to confound and confuse the big guy in Entering Established Markets: A Fight You Can Win.

Small businesses are increasingly in need of having an online presence. The struggle is always how to do that in the best way when your geographical market is really local or limited to a single region. The internet is world-wide, how do you promote to business people or consumers just in the Pittsburgh region? 7 Pillars of Marketing a Local Business Online will wade through the important points and give you some new ideas.

For those of you that are considered to be entrepreneurs, the next article is a must read. Entrepreneurs - 5 Things You Must Do Every Day to Build Your Business is a basic explanation of the type of things you need to do every day to grow your business. Just like physical exercise, it is the repetition that makes the difference. Make these five things a habit today.

Have you ever wondered if your business name and logo are safe from competitors or corporate thieves? Just like identity theft plagues us personally, your business could be at risk from identity theft too. Whether to Trademark or Not-a Marketing Perspective looks at why it is advisable to protect your marketing assets too.

Recently I finished extensive training in social media. The next newsletter will be full of information on social media you won't want to miss. Be ready!

Till next time,
Happy Marketing!
In This Issue
Entering Established Markets: A Fight You Can Win
7 Pillars of Marketing a Local Business Online
Entrepreneurs- 5 Things You Must Do Every Day to Build Your Business
Whether to Trademark or Not-a Marketing Perspective

Entering Established Markets:

A Fight You Can Win

For every entrepreneur who has the courage to take on a Goliath with the equivalent of a slingshot and a couple of stones, there are a hundred others who'll say, "You must be kidding! There's no way I can ever compete with that monster!"

For much of my business career, I've played the role of David, and loved
David and Goliath
David and Goliath
every minute of it. You see, I've always believed that small is beautiful. Young, aggressive businesses have surprising advantages when taking on large, cumbersome competitors. All they have to do is figure out what the giant's weaknesses are and how best to leverage them.

For instance, in 1984, when tiny Virgin Atlantic first picked a fight with the mighty British Airways, the odds certainly appeared stacked against us. In fact, my bankers were so unenthusiastic about my prospects that they refused my loan application at the last minute!

But our inexpensive arsenal was loaded with some pretty surprising and highly unconventional weapons. Perhaps the most effective of these was our agility, which was integral to our corporate culture, in large part because of our small size. British Airways was Click here for rest.

By Richard Branson, Founder of The Virgin Group for AE Open Forum.

7 Pillars of Marketing a

Local Business Online

When I first started writing for The Virginia Gazette in 1998, the Web was a giant mystery. Almost 13 years later, it's still a mystery for most! With the emergence of Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Google, Linkedin, and a host of other sites, getting started with online marketing seems more daunting than ever. Yet, as consumers flock to the Web daily to research local products and services, visibility for your business via the Internet literally spells success or failure. Bottom line: Online marketing is NOT optional anymore and you need every one of these 7 pillars to succeed, especially in a local market.

Pillar 1: A Website You Control

You must operate your own website, which enables you to make basic changes to it yourself, preferably right through your web browser. Waiting for a "webmaster" to update text and pictures does not qualify as a smart use of your time or money. WordPress, an open-source (free) publishing platform, makes an excellent choice for managing and organizing virtually any size website.

people on computers
Pillar 2: Google Maps

Google now stands alone as the "900 lb. Gorilla" of the online search world. However, most don't realize that "Google Maps" is the most basic component of local online marketing with Google. Get all the details at This tool is one of the fastest ways to get found in Google and, best of all, it's free!

Pillar 3: Basic SEO

SEO stands for "search engine optimization," which means making your website relevant when someone searches for your business name or terms related to what you sell. Building all the content, information, and text on your site around a central theme is the No. 1 thing you can do to increase your chances of ranking well in Google and other search engines.

Pillar 4: Make Value-Added Offers

Most people don't make offers on their websites. Their web pages look like everyone else's and say basically the same things. You must make offers on your site that spur people to action. Offer a discount or faster service. Give an incentive to come in today. Most important: Make your offers big, bold and obvious on your site while giving people a reason to do business with you right now!

Pillar 5: Drive Traffic

You won't make a dime with your website if the right people don't see it. The fastest way to drive traffic is to Click here for rest.

Written By Jim Edwards for Manta.

Entrepreneurs - 5 Things You Must Do Every Day to Build Your Business

Number 5
If you are an entrepreneur there are a few critical tasks that you need to turn into a daily habit in order for your business to keep moving in a positive direction and to make you money. Read on to find out those key items and how you can add them to
your daily routine.

Entrepreneurs have to wear many hats when a business is just starting. Many things need to be delegated to others in order for the business to run smoothly and there are a few things that you must do yourself. If you can create a habit of performing these 5 things every day, some for just a few minutes, then you will see your business grow right alongside your dreams:

1. Plan for the future a few minutes each day. Assume that your product has stopped selling all of a sudden. What direction will you take your company next? What new income stream can you add? This is a time for day dreaming and recording notes in preparation for the future. You don't necessarily have to take action on these items, but you need to think about them daily in order to bring out the golden ideas.

2. Work on your marketing in some aspect every day to get new customers. If your prospective customers don't know about you they won't buy from you. Work on getting your message out every day even if it is just for a few minutes.

3. Work on closing a sale every single day. whether you are doing this on-line, on the phone, through the mail, or face-to-face you need to be selling every day. Without the close of a sale there is no business. This is not something that you can delegate all the way. even if you have Click here for rest.

Written by Joshua Black for Manta.

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Let's increase your company's sales together!


Cindy Neky

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Trademark and copyright logos

Whether to Trademark or Not-a Marketing Perspective

Not an Attorney or an Attorney Spokesperson

I want to start off by saying that I am not an attorney, do not have a legal degree, have not taken any law courses, and know absolutely nothing about the law, except what I have seen in Law & Order or The Good Wife. But I do know how the law relates to marketing and would like to share that here.

For more years than I care to count (and really, at this point I don't have enough fingers or toes to do it), I have been a marketing professional in one capacity or another. During that time I have been fortunate not to see or hear of too many legal problems with marketing and advertising. But it does happen from time to time.

What can happen

Mostly it is a business using another company's name, logo, tagline, or other proprietary material in an unflattering way or in a capacity that takes money out of the pocket of the original owner. Less often it is the theft of an idea or creative character. After hearing of a few of these over the years, I am convinced of one thing- if you have a business name and/or logo that needs protecting, you should do it.

Now that the internet is here and only growing stronger, people all over the world see your business name and mark. Someone in Boise may see a company name in Orlando that sounds great. Hey, why not take it and use it here in Boise? No one will know. Or will they...?

A True Story

Years ago I had a friend that started a company called Creative Consortium in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was a terrific name and really spelled out what her company was and who was involved. She had the foresight to protect the name (through an attorney) in every state in the country when she started the business. Once the internet came into being, she searched and found that there were businesses with the same name all over the country-Chicago, Texas, Connecticut-all places she thought she was protected in.

At that point there were too many of them to fight. She sent "cease and desist" letters to them, but it was too overwhelming and costly. A great name and terrific brand lost its luster.

She eventually sold the business and moved to Los Angeles for another opportunity. It is unclear whether this theft of her business name affected the price she got when selling her business. It is very possible that it did make a difference.

It isn't just the loss of your investment that can be affected. What about search engine optimization and getting a spot on the first search page of Google?

Obviously something went terribly wrong with her registration and protection of the name of her business. But what would have happened if she hadn't done anything? Probably the same thing-Creative Consortium's everywhere. This doesn't mean you shouldn't trademark your business name and logo because nothing will help. It does mean that you need to make the attempt and do it the right way.

What Can You Do?

Now that there are inexpensive online sources for trademarking your business name and logo, I suggest that you consider this strongly if you can't afford a trademark attorney. Even if you are a local business, now that the internet is here you want to protect as much of your business as you can. You can perform a search of your own on the United States Patent and Trademark website (USPTO.)

For larger businesses needing help I suggest contacting an attorney that specializes in trademark law. If you are already doing business in multiple locations this is an important part of commerce. Smaller businesses may not have the funds to do this through an attorney. Rather than not doing anything at all, you may want to try one of the online sites such as LegalZoom or LegalAce.

More Info...

Trademarks are words, names, symbols, devices and images that are used to identify any goods - physical commodities used in interstate commerce. Service marks can be words, names, symbols, devices and images that are used to identify services.

You do not have to register a trademark to protect it, but this onlooker to the legal world believes it is worth discussing and looking into. Don't be surprised later when it is too late.

Where to Go

Applications for trademark registration and service mark registration can be electronically filed using TEAS - Trademark Electronic Application System. The USPTO is encouraging applicants to file electronic registration applications. Fees can be handled electronically as well.

For more information, you can visit the United States Patent and Trademark website, Wall Street Journal- How to Trademark a Company Name,or

As I said before, I'm not an attorney, nor do I represent any, and I am not saying that either of the online companies mentioned in this article will do a great job for you, so check this information out with your legal advisor. (Don't you just love this legal mumbo jumbo?)

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