SABU Episode 11 – Business Name and Branding

April 2, 2016

business namesThere are numerous business owners that can come up with a good name for their business, but there are also those that have difficulty trying to come up with a name, even if they have written a lot and seem to be disappointed with it. Coming up with a name for your business means a lot. Getting the right name will turn your company or business the talk of the town. Getting the wrong one will make your business doom to failure. The name should convey the value, uniqueness and expertise of the service or product that you have come up with. You will find the experts will tell you that business names that are abstract. This is because when it is abstract, the owner or founder of the company will then create the purpose of the business, thus giving it an image to the name of the business. There are others who think that the name of the business should be an informative one so that when the customers read it they know immediately what the business is. There are others that believe in coined names, which is a combination of made-up words because they are easily to remember compared with names that makes use of real words. However, there are people who think they are forgettable. However, taking a look at reality, naming your business will be appropriate if it is done with marketing strategy.

If you have a difficult time coming up with a name, you might want to consider hiring an expert to help you with it. It is a complicated process for a number of people and hiring experts is highly recommended to those who are in the field in which the company may have a great influence in the business’s success. Naming firms is where you should hire the experts. They have these elaborate systems made in creating names for businesses and that they know their way really well, especially when it comes to trademark. Names should be unique, so it must not violate the trademark laws. Even if your name has just two letters of the word and that the sound is almost similar to the ones that are already existing, you are likely to be filed a lawsuit from the one who had the trademarked name first.

However, hiring experts can take a heavy toll on you, especially when it comes to costs. Having the name of your business handled by professionals can get as expensive as $80,000, just coming up with the name. This includes the graphic design and many other identity work, which is already a package, yet this is only in general sense. Sometimes your name might be so obvious you don’t need a branding agency. For example if your business is renting Ferraris then call your business that (exactly what these guys did with great success). You might find other naming firms to be more expensive. You will also find others that offer as little as $50, but if you want a quality advice from experts, you might want to consider hiring them since it can save a lot of money in the long term.

You can do your own naming if you are convinced you can do it, but don’t forget about trademark to avoid being sued. Alternatively you can hire a branding company, such as: (disclaimer, I am affiliate with these guys.) to sort this out for you, but this can be time consuming and expensive.

SABU Episode 10 – Business Start-up IDEAS

March 15, 2016

What brings you here is probably the reason why this article is being made in the first place. You have that urge to start a business while you are still attending your college courses. It is your calling or you simply want to have a sideline that you want to see for yourself whether or not it will last longer even after you have graduated. There are also those that use the income they got from their business as a way to pay for their school fees. By reading the ideas listed below, you will get an idea or two on which you can get it started. Keep in mind that this is not a way for you to make it easy in the business scene or even get quick money. Every business, whether you are at a university or not, starts with a hurdle they need to overcome in order to see that their business becomes fruitful.

Business Ideas

Before you read the ideas, first you need to do your own research – what do most people really want or need? You should also try to think about whether or not you can invent or provide something that will make the lives of people better, easier, cheaper, safer or fairer. This idea should also be something that you love to do or that what you are really good or skillful with. If you have any, you should begin with that. You can also think about other ventures that will support your future career or degree course.

Since you are at a university try something with alternative sounds that are not too noisy, selling free stuff that you can find at either Freecycle or Gumtree, create your own channel at YouTube and you can earn a slice of their ad revenue – this is only applicable when there are lots of subscribers to your channel – and create your own guides or reviews that are related to the subjects of your course or you can also pick any kind of topic that will really fasinate you. You can also run your own vlog, which is a video blogging or running advertising. The more you get subscribers to your channel, the more you get to make with the pay-per-view system that the site provides to its members. Making a channel and sharing your videos should be something that you love to do, not the ones that are selling a lot yet you have no energy to put nor the effort in it. It will only be a waste. You can also try buying the second-hand books that are in demand at the end of a term and then sell them to the new students just as the new term starts. There are also others that let their student house or room rented out during the summer months via the Airbnb.

If your ideas are not listed here or anywhere you can search and it is something new, you should, even boring businesses can make a huge sum of money. A friend of mine owns a leaflet distribution company, you can’t get much more boring than that, but he makes great money!

SABU Episode 9 – How to Balance Work And Business

March 2, 2016

balance businessAlthough there are a lot of people that wait for the right time to become full-fledged entrepreneurs, like the ones that are waiting to graduate from university, there are those that cannot wait to graduate and just go for it. This has been on the increase lately thanks to the internet and social media for raising awareness that there is no right time or age to start a business. If you’ve got an idea, do it now. Entrepreneurs that are still in school can be overwhelmed with different priorities if they are not careful, so how should they make the right priorities?

It is up to the student to figure out their priorities. While there are a couple of student entrepreneurs that have tried all that they can handle, which is getting a profitable business and at the same time a high GPA, there are those that see things quite differently. You might be considering your business as a career path after you have graduated. There are those that shared how it was difficult for them to balance it all, but they were able to work it around and give some useful tips on how to balance it.

What you need to do first is to make a schedule that will aid in managing time with your school and business effectively. Being a student, you have the freedom of downtime that working professionals can never have when pursuing an idea for a business. One particular CEO from shared his experience about how he focuses on one thing at a given time. He chose a schedule of MWF, which is Monday, Wednesday and Friday focused on taking the classes, while the rest is given to managing the business. You can also take advantage of the fact that you are a student, meaning that you’ll get discounts or free services. There are stores that give out a free office software and operating system simply because you are a student. You might even get more freebies from other stores as you keep on looking for resources.

You should also take advantage of the resources provided for you at your university. You are given the vast network access that you may never see after you graduate. You see different people – those of your age and the ones below you, faculty members, student organizations and academic courses that readily is accessible to you. The professors at your school may even provide the best advise to you and can also get well-connected to you, which is helping you in creating introductions to contacts that will aid you in helping your business grow. Integrating your business with your schoolwork will also help you, too. You can take courses that will help you in getting your business more effective. For example, you can take business courses that will aid in your entrepreneurship. It will also help you a lot in drafting your business plan.

You will learn more as you go through your stage of being a student and a business owner at the same time. Just don’t forget the right balance.

SABU Episode 8 – Free Ways to Market Your Business

February 29, 2016

Free marketingSince you will be starting your business while still attending classes in university, the best way to handle marketing is to utilize resources that are provided for free. The most difficult part of putting up a business for starters is that they can reach out to their target customers and how they are also going to retain it. It is time consuming to be marketing a new product or new business, often times a very costly endeavour, a skill that not a lot of entrepreneurs possess. Startups and small businesses generally do not possess the luxury of having to outsource their needs for marketing and leaving it to professionals. And if this is your case, you can take advantage of the marketing practices that are made available to entrepreneurs that will not need them to burn a part of their valuable resources in order to go through this challenge and make their business go rapidly busy.

Your first tip is to create awareness in your locality or niche. If you’re in a strange or unique niche, aka these guys you will need some new information. There are various ways to do this – gaining the right coverage in the local papers, educating the people about the business you are engaging in, trading magazines and even create websites or a social networking account will help driving acquisition with new customers. Since you are not a large firm yet and still a small business or startup, you should avoid thinking about your large competition first and do your own DIY promotion. You can think about how you are going to change your strategy as you go along with your business. Where you need to start is by researching about writers and publications that cover the local business or industry. Once you have already grasped the kind of writers you wish to reach and the kind of stories that they like to write in their publication, make your pitch surrounding your business that will pique the interest of the writers.

Have you heard of customer engagement and lead generation? This is highly used in marketing, especially used with email marketing. According to the recent survey done by Ascend2, the most effective marketing tactic as of recently is the email. But there are other email marketing strategies that might not work, especially ones that do not deliver the best ROI. Ones that are the best should have the least operations to execute. Begin with the customer newsletter that will offer timely information in regards to business, an inner look at the company or special promotions. This will aid in building a community with the customers of your business and will keep the business and product in their minds.

Another random way to earn some good business is through small business forums that have a number of high quality members who you can soft sell too.

You should also take advantage of social media marketing and high quality SEO. It’s the easiest and cheapest way of getting started with marketing your business that provides massive network of customers. The difficult part of the social media is increasing the number of followers and doing it in an ample amount of time. This means that you should make sure your focus should be on value more than the volume.

SABU Episode 7 – Acquiring Business Permits

February 25, 2016

business permitsThere are those that think that because their business is home-based, he or she is exempt from acquiring business permits. Whatever is the nature of your business, you still have to acquire a business permit since it will give you the legal permission to operate, even if you are still at the university attending your classes. There are also others that get too embroiled into the thought of starting a business that they can ignore other significant processes by acquiring permits and licenses, not to mention tax identification number. Getting this job is actually pretty fun, but when you fail to do so, especially right in the beginning is a very common mistakes that the new entrepreneurs do.

Some new entrepreneurs do the business permits first, but you may want to do this after you have made your business plan. You need to contact the business license department or similar organizations in your local city in order to know about acquiring a business license. The business license will grant you permission to operate your business legally. By the time you file the license application of your business, the zoning or city planning department will check in making sure that the area of your choice to put up the business is zoned for its purpose of you wanting to use it and that it comes with enough parking spaces that will meet certain codes. Keep in mind that you cannot operate in the area that does not fit for the kind of business you are establishing unless you acquire first the conditional-use or variance permit. In order to acquire this, you will need to present the case prior to the planning commission of the city. In several cases, the variances are not that difficult to acquire, as long as the business owner is able to show that the business will not disrupt the neighborhood’s character wherein you are planning to locate into. Also check out forums for ideas on business premise licenses.

There are a lot of cities that have certain departments that work in controlling water and air pollution. If the nature of your business is burning materials, discharging whatever materials into the waterways or the sewers or even use particular products that will produce gas like those paint sprayers, you will need to acquire special permit from the pollution control department in the county or city that you are putting up your business in. There are also environmental regulations that will need you to acquire for approval before you make any construction or even start the operations of your business.

There are also other permits that you need to acquire that is designed for particular business. Generally you will need to acquire county permits, sign permit, state licenses, sales tax license, federal licenses, health department permits and so on. Remember to know what you need to do in each of those licenses since each of them will need particular requirements, too. Acquiring permits will take a lot of time and may even test your patience, as well. But most entrepreneurs find it fun to do, because they can start their business’s operations with it.

SABU Episode 5 – Choosing A Business Structure

February 11, 2016

business structureOpening up a business may seem easy or difficult, depending on who sees it. There are beginners who feel that they know what they are doing and there are also those who do not have any idea where to start. Studying in university and at the same time opening up your business is something you should consider, especially if you already have an idea what your business’s nature is like. Depending on the nature of your business, you will have to consider what your business’s legal structure. The decision you make with this will affect the amount of taxes you are going to pay. It will also affect the number of paperwork that your business will need to do, the ability of raising money and the personal liability you will face. These are the sole-proprietorship, partnership, corporation and LLC, which stands for Limited Liability Company.

The easiest type to organize a business is a sole proprietorship. All the owner will do is apply for the licenses required in operating the business in his or her jurisdiction and that’s all. The owner can apply for the taxpayer identification number; tax reporting is even easy since all they need is to report the expenses and income of the company in a form, in which the founder will only need to attach his or her annual tax return. The disadvantage to this is that the owner will only be the one liable for all the obligations and debts that the company faces. This includes the taxes, loans, vendors and lawsuits. It will even be impossible for the sole proprietor in transferring the interest in his or her company and even remain with the same position according to definition. Partnership is generally easy, just like sole proprietorship is. But this does not provide liability protection for the ones involved. Each of the general partner will become completely liable for any debts incurred in the business. There are certain complications involved with partnership, especially with taxes. It can be inconvenient from which the ongoing business should be operated.

Corporation, which you can find a lot everywhere today, is a kind of structure that is able to provide protection on the founder against the company’s liabilities. If the corporation is managed in the right way, the founder will be protected. There are different types of corporations but it is based on how each are taxed. Lastly is the LLC or Limited Liability Company, which is a hybrid-kind of organization in which it offers the limited liability protection of the corporation and at the same time avoid double taxation. The way it is taxed is similar to partnership, it can get flexible compared to corporation. It will seem like you get the best of all worlds and for those that are operating a lot of companies, it does work that way.

Weigh the pros and cons of each business structure since each are not designed for all kinds of business. Most starter business go first as either partnership or sole-proprietorship, but it may eventually change depending on the situation.