7.18.2008

roadmaps: creating key business assets.



Oh I love a good Roadmaps afternoon. In case you're unfamiliar, Roadmaps is your guide to creative pursuit. Design for Mankind walks you through start to finish, from choosing your career path to making it happen. We're ALMOST halfway there, so if you need to catch up, see the Roadmaps archives right here.
--
Today's Roadmap is all about creating your key assets, which is basically a fancy word for saying "Get your ducks in a row!". This is one of my favorite stages of starting a business because it allows for a bit of strategy, a bit of planning and a whole lot of creativity!

I've divided this section into two parts for clarity:
1-- Website Address.
2-- Trademark.

I imagine that for most of you, the first part will be the most helpful, and the latter two may apply to just a few of you. Regardless, we're digging in, so hang in there!
--

Choosing your web address is CRUCIAL. I can't emphasize the importance of a good web address enough. Here are a few key things to remember when formulating your web addy:

1. Stick with .com if you can. This is not the time to get creative with a .net, .biz, etc.
2. Keep it short and sweet. ILikeToWriteAboutDesign.com is neither short, nor sweet.
3. Avoid hyphens. They lead to more potential human errors when readers may try to locate your site.
4. Include the topic in the address, if you can. If you write about design, try to include design. If you're selling craft materials, try to include craft. Your search engine ratings will thank you.
5. Craft a catchy name, but avoid misspelling your words to be cutesy. It can only lead ot confusion!
6. If your desired web address is already taken, don't worry. Many entrepreneurs are willing to sell you a web name that isn't in use for a low rate. Simply contact the owner of the domain name.
7. Purchase your domain name immediately if you've found one you love. Regardless of whether or not you're prepared to begin your site, you'll want to ensure you've secured the domain name before someone else does. You can do this through a variety of sites, including GoDaddy.com, Network Solutions or Register.com.


Ahh, trademarks and copyrights. Many people see trademarks/copyrights as a luxury in the business realm, but they are much more essential than you think. I consider them the "car insurance of businesses-- useless until something goes wrong."

Although trademarks do give a business a sense of extra oomph [I LOVE when there's a cute little TM after a business name!], they really come in handy if you discover that another person or company is hurting your business reputation or causing confusion by using your mark to sell similar or cheaper-quality goods.

For more information on trademarks and how to register, visit the US Patent and Trademark Office right here. As always, if you need help, simply email me right here!
--

Now that you've figured out licensing, product trademarks and the lot, we can move on to the messy stuff--- FINANCES! Stay tuned in the following weeks for the next Roadmaps post re: finding the funding for your business.

21 comments:

kay* said...

i really love your roadmap series and read them deligently. thank you for doing them! great advice and tips!

design for mankind. said...

Aww, thank you, Kay! :)

Kati said...

One of my fave features!

Re: Trademarks I would like to say that they are intimidating as all get out, but quite simple. ALSO - filing takes foreverrrrrrrrrrr. It's a lot of sit and wait rushrushrush sit and wait until you receive your sweet, sweet TM.

design for mankind. said...

OOOoh, good advice, Kati! Thank you! :)

aimee said...

i LOVE that you do the roadmap series. it's a good reminder that there is much important work to be done behind the scenes no matter how fun and creative the job is.

design for mankind. said...

Thank you, Aimee!!! :)

Angelia said...

Thanks for that information. I am not starting, but reworking some parts of my business and this is a good reminder.

That Girl Designs said...

great information as usual. you really do your homework. happy weekend!

The Lil Bee said...

Thank you for posting this, seriously. I am just starting the process of getting a small business of the ground (VERY early stages!) and the trademark info will be really helpful :)

A Print A Day said...

i think i said this before, but you, my dear, do the small biz community a big and awesome service by posting these. you're a gem :)

design for mankind. said...

Awww, you are dears. Anything I can do to help! :)

Stephanie Ryan said...

Great one Erin! I need to look into trademarking. It's expensive though, isn't it?

Ah, so much to do, so little time. Have a great weekend.

Sam said...

I love this series! I'm actually trying to choose a dotcom name right now...the one I want is taken:(

design for mankind. said...

It's actually not that expensive, Steph--- depending on long vs. short-term costs.

And Sam! I'd love to help you craft a new one if you'd like! :) Email me anytime, dear.

please sir said...

Great advice - thanks for this feature!

Karline said...

Another great roadmap Erin, thanks!

Connie Bensen said...

Hi, I’m Connie at Network Solutions. It’s also important to evaluate which of the vendors will have a larger suite of support solutions.

Violet said...

I’m a little late to this one but great roadmap! Serendipitous too, i was just considering trademarks.

In your finances roadmap will paying taxes be covered? That would be helpful.

Thanks!

design for mankind. said...

I'll see what I can do, dear Violet! :)

design for mankind. said...

Thanks, Connie! :)

Blogger said...

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7.18.2008

roadmaps: creating key business assets.



Oh I love a good Roadmaps afternoon. In case you're unfamiliar, Roadmaps is your guide to creative pursuit. Design for Mankind walks you through start to finish, from choosing your career path to making it happen. We're ALMOST halfway there, so if you need to catch up, see the Roadmaps archives right here.
--
Today's Roadmap is all about creating your key assets, which is basically a fancy word for saying "Get your ducks in a row!". This is one of my favorite stages of starting a business because it allows for a bit of strategy, a bit of planning and a whole lot of creativity!

I've divided this section into two parts for clarity:
1-- Website Address.
2-- Trademark.

I imagine that for most of you, the first part will be the most helpful, and the latter two may apply to just a few of you. Regardless, we're digging in, so hang in there!
--

Choosing your web address is CRUCIAL. I can't emphasize the importance of a good web address enough. Here are a few key things to remember when formulating your web addy:

1. Stick with .com if you can. This is not the time to get creative with a .net, .biz, etc.
2. Keep it short and sweet. ILikeToWriteAboutDesign.com is neither short, nor sweet.
3. Avoid hyphens. They lead to more potential human errors when readers may try to locate your site.
4. Include the topic in the address, if you can. If you write about design, try to include design. If you're selling craft materials, try to include craft. Your search engine ratings will thank you.
5. Craft a catchy name, but avoid misspelling your words to be cutesy. It can only lead ot confusion!
6. If your desired web address is already taken, don't worry. Many entrepreneurs are willing to sell you a web name that isn't in use for a low rate. Simply contact the owner of the domain name.
7. Purchase your domain name immediately if you've found one you love. Regardless of whether or not you're prepared to begin your site, you'll want to ensure you've secured the domain name before someone else does. You can do this through a variety of sites, including GoDaddy.com, Network Solutions or Register.com.


Ahh, trademarks and copyrights. Many people see trademarks/copyrights as a luxury in the business realm, but they are much more essential than you think. I consider them the "car insurance of businesses-- useless until something goes wrong."

Although trademarks do give a business a sense of extra oomph [I LOVE when there's a cute little TM after a business name!], they really come in handy if you discover that another person or company is hurting your business reputation or causing confusion by using your mark to sell similar or cheaper-quality goods.

For more information on trademarks and how to register, visit the US Patent and Trademark Office right here. As always, if you need help, simply email me right here!
--

Now that you've figured out licensing, product trademarks and the lot, we can move on to the messy stuff--- FINANCES! Stay tuned in the following weeks for the next Roadmaps post re: finding the funding for your business.

21 comments:

kay* said...

i really love your roadmap series and read them deligently. thank you for doing them! great advice and tips!

design for mankind. said...

Aww, thank you, Kay! :)

Kati said...

One of my fave features!

Re: Trademarks I would like to say that they are intimidating as all get out, but quite simple. ALSO - filing takes foreverrrrrrrrrrr. It's a lot of sit and wait rushrushrush sit and wait until you receive your sweet, sweet TM.

design for mankind. said...

OOOoh, good advice, Kati! Thank you! :)

aimee said...

i LOVE that you do the roadmap series. it's a good reminder that there is much important work to be done behind the scenes no matter how fun and creative the job is.

design for mankind. said...

Thank you, Aimee!!! :)

Angelia said...

Thanks for that information. I am not starting, but reworking some parts of my business and this is a good reminder.

That Girl Designs said...

great information as usual. you really do your homework. happy weekend!

The Lil Bee said...

Thank you for posting this, seriously. I am just starting the process of getting a small business of the ground (VERY early stages!) and the trademark info will be really helpful :)

A Print A Day said...

i think i said this before, but you, my dear, do the small biz community a big and awesome service by posting these. you're a gem :)

design for mankind. said...

Awww, you are dears. Anything I can do to help! :)

Stephanie Ryan said...

Great one Erin! I need to look into trademarking. It's expensive though, isn't it?

Ah, so much to do, so little time. Have a great weekend.

Sam said...

I love this series! I'm actually trying to choose a dotcom name right now...the one I want is taken:(

design for mankind. said...

It's actually not that expensive, Steph--- depending on long vs. short-term costs.

And Sam! I'd love to help you craft a new one if you'd like! :) Email me anytime, dear.

please sir said...

Great advice - thanks for this feature!

Karline said...

Another great roadmap Erin, thanks!

Connie Bensen said...

Hi, I’m Connie at Network Solutions. It’s also important to evaluate which of the vendors will have a larger suite of support solutions.

Violet said...

I’m a little late to this one but great roadmap! Serendipitous too, i was just considering trademarks.

In your finances roadmap will paying taxes be covered? That would be helpful.

Thanks!

design for mankind. said...

I'll see what I can do, dear Violet! :)

design for mankind. said...

Thanks, Connie! :)

Blogger said...

Bluehost is the best hosting provider with plans for any hosting requirments.