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  • 22 EDT
    Dec EDT
    by Amy in
    On April 24, 2015, Guangzhou Municipal Intermediate People’s Court in south China’s Guangdong Province stunned Xinbailun Trade (China) Co., the local sales company for the well-known U.S. sports brand New Balance, with a $16 million verdict for violating the trademark rights of a Chinese individual, Zhou Yuelun (Zhou or plaintiff). In addition to the $16 million verdict, to avoid further consumer confusion, the Court ordered the Chinese affiliate of New Balance to stop using the “Xin Bai Lun” term to market its product in China and required them to publicly apologize for the harm caused to Zhou. How and why did this happen? The source of the issue may emanate from China’s first-to-file system and the cultural and linguistic inconsistencies between the English and Mandarin languages. The Chinese Court’s decision highlights a significant lesson about use of Chinese character marks and the importance of filing early in China, irrespective of the marks’ use in China.
  • 11 EDT
    Apr EDT
    by Witmart in
    Small business owners are notorious for doing it all. Whether it’s because of a lack of qualified staff, or a lack of money to pay them, these folks often find themselves Jacks (and Jills) of all trades. And while that arrangement might work for some, there’s bound to be times when the job is just too much for even the savviest of owners.

    The power of many
    And that’s where crowdsourcing comes in. Simply put, crowdsourcing takes the collective skills and abilities of a variety of professional talents and combines these with the power and reach of the Internet. The result is an online marketplace that allows people to sell their specialized services to the buyers that need them – often for less than “market rates”.
  • 15 EDT
    Mar EDT
    by Witmart in
    With 3G and wireless on-the-go, it’s hard to believe that the internet as we know it now was only introduced a little over 20 years ago. However, everything comes at a cost. For the benefit of accessibility of information, we pay the price of TMI--too much information.

    Business owners know this problem only too intimately. For simple needs such as getting a logo designed for their business, the costs associated with searching for the right logo designer includes not only monetary costs, but also time and effort spent. Meanwhile, talented people are just stumbling through the same millions of webpages, hoping to find just the right job for themselves. A solution for this problem is long overdue.
  • 22 EDT
    Oct EDT
    by Kevin in
    Thanks to the proliferation of technology, businessmen and women now have a tremendous opportunity to tap into resources like never before. The global reach of services like Witmart has allowed entrepreneurs to outsource all of their professional freelance services needs. In doing so, they have ultimately tapped into an invaluableresource of cost-effective labor. Ask any successful businessperson and they will tell you, labor costs can be absolutely devastating to your ultimate bottom line. Having these services available now give small businesses and startup projects the opportunity to recruit and hire highly qualified individuals to perform even the most complicated of tasks. To take things a step further, services like Witmart have even been leveraged to provide individuals with a virtual assistant for their day-to-day tasks. Many individuals will hire a virtual assistant to help them schedule meetings, respond to e-mail, and even book flight and dinner reservations. The possibilities are endless and we will continue to see a clear shift in productivity thanks to these services.
     
  • 18 EDT
    Oct EDT
    by Kevin in
    Any small business owner who is conducting operations in today’s technologically integrated marketplace will know how important quality search engine optimization is to their bottom line. For companies who rely upon the Internet to deliver new sales leads and ultimately convert customers, receiving targeted relevant traffic to their website is paramount. While some companies will typically not have the budget nor expertise to implement these techniques, they cannot be overlooked. Search engine optimization is quite easily one of the most effective methods for business promotion. The goal of any website is to ensure that they are displaying the most appropriate and useful information for their customers and ultimately getting as much traffic exposure as possible. Many large organizations spend thousands of dollars every month to ensure that they conduct thorough search engine optimization campaigns as a subset of their marketing arm. The real benefit of the Internet is the fact that the playing field is essentially leveled. Nowadays, small business owners have the opportunity to compete directly with larger scale organizations and ultimately come out on top.
     
    Professional Search Engine Optimization
  • 08 EDT
    Oct EDT
    by Kevin in
    What has social media meant for our lives in the 21st century? It’s time to say goodbye to standard print media and hello to social media site must-haves like Facebook and Twitter. Social media continues to grow feverishly and new sites are popping up quickly (Pinterest) and others are returning from the dead (MySpace) that it’s hard to stay on top of all the options. However, to succeed at any level with your business, becoming active in social media has become necessary to stay ahead of your competition who you can guarantee is using social media to their advantage.
     
    Facebook has attracted over 750 million users as we approach the end of 2012. Businesses are learning that using Facebook is not only a way to market to customers but to also communicate with them. A Facebook fan page is a great way to open up the lines of communication and learn what can be done better regarding your product or freelance service. Smoothing over negative customer feedback or receiving heaps of praise for a job well done makes individuals feel cared for and helps them remain loyal customers for life. Facebook also allows for individuals who share a common like for your product or service to converse with each and share their experiences. You’d like every customer to be happy and satisfied with your product.
  • 20 EDT
    Sep EDT
    by Kevin in
    When it comes to crowdsourcing, this new wave of thinking can be an innovative way for companies to get a headstart while not spending too much on a certain talent pool of employees. Crowdsourcing is the outsourcing of company directives to the public at large. It is great for small businesses because there is no need to worry about employee hiring or certain demands in higher compensation and wages. Crowdsourcing does not require any pension plans, unions, 401ks or other potential issues that will provide a distraction as companies are debuting to the public. A small business can focus on serious business matters while being able to expand and enhance their brand.
     
    Opportunity for Individuals to Assist Businesses
    Outsourcing jobs to the public also gives people a chance to do some extra work while not having to go through a rigid hiring process. Individuals can make money by giving opinions, brainstorming, or voting and companies that contract the public to do work for them are providing a new way that people can be earn. It is a simple and direct way of getting work accomplished while being able to give quick job opportunities and money to the larger population. More companies are realizing that it is cheaper to outsource their jobs and projects to people who otherwise may not have had a chance if they went through a normal hiring process.
  • 10 EDT
    Sep EDT
    by Kevin in
    Thousands of new businesses are formed each month and if you’re one of these new businesses, it’s likely you’ve had the difficult task of coming up with a name for your company. While on the surface this may not be one of the topics that keeps new owners lying awake at night, choosing a business name is a vital aspect of forming a business and is what many consumers will judge you upon when deciding to shop for goods or services. It isn’t uncommon for companies to waffle over the perfect name for theirbusiness for months.

    One problem is with so many companies already formed you may find that every name you want is taken and coming up with another suitable name is a monumental task. However, through the power of the Internet, many companies are taking on input from knowledgeable freelancers to help decide on a business name through a concept known as Crowdsourcing.
  • 30 EDT
    Aug EDT
    by Kevin in
    If you ask the average nine-to-five worker where they would like to be in five or ten years you’d probably hear quite of few of them say that they would love to start their own business. Being your own boss is great, but there are many pitfalls along the way that can bring your dreams to a grinding halt very quickly. Oddly enough, many of the mistakes that are made seem to occur over and over again, with new business owners seemingly unable or unwilling to learn from the mistakes that were made by those who have gone before them. Here are 5 mistakes that seem to always rear their ugly head.
     
    1. No business plan
    Operating a brick and mortar business usually means have a plan in place before you can secure any kind of financing. Online business owners seem to think that doesn’t apply to them, with many of them jumping in feet first with no real goals or strategic plan in place. You have to approach an online business in the same way that you would in the outside world, and that means developing a plan of action. Far too often these plans are ignored and their grand idea falls flat.

    2. Doing it alone
    It may be the fault of shady online ads encouraging newcomers to start their own business, but many people seem to believe that a new site will simply run on autopilot. It very quickly becomes apparent that the opposite is true and that there is a ton of work to be done if you want a business to succeed. That is usually much more than a single person can handle, which means that it’s a good idea to think about outsourcing some of the tasks that seem to slip through the cracks, such as your brand logo or website design . Those little cracks can soon turn into gaping holes that will suck in potential earnings.’
  • 20 EDT
    Aug EDT
    by Kevin in
    A brand logo is one of the most important focal points of any business enterprise. Having an identifiable logo is a quick way to get brand recognition and ultimately put an identifiable representation of your company into the marketplace. Think for a moment about some of the more recognizable companies and you will see that there are simple yet effective logos attached to their marketing efforts. Be it the McDonald’s arches or even the simplistic Apple logo, these company representations are recognized worldwide. Regardless of the language their image is a universal means of company recognition. Any organization that is serious about truly building a widely recognizable brand should focus on having a carefully designed yet effective logo. Here are some of the top five reasons why a brand logo matters.
     
    1. Give an appearance of greater size
    There really is no excuse for any organization to not have a logo. Typically a logo will be one of the things that quickly differentiate and distinguish large organizations from smaller ones. Large organizations understand the importance of brand recognition and will take time and energy to ensure that company materials including letterhead and envelopes represent a unified look. Typically the focal point of this marketing material will be the logo and how it is further incorporated into these items. Smaller organizations have a fantastic opportunity to mimic this with the proliferation of low-cost printing options available online today.

    2. Product memorability
    It goes without saying that a creative logo that fits your organization’s brand and message will be one of the best ways to gain brand recognition. Your logo speaks to what you do and what your company represents. People will see this image and instantly form an opinion in their mind. It is up to the company to ensure that that opinion is a positive one.
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