Entrepreneurship

People always mention entrepreneurs and taking risks in the same sentence and it’s a given that entrepreneurs are some of the biggest risk-takers when it comes to trying to grow their businesses. To some, taking a huge risk, especially with something as important as a business, is an intimidating prospect. There’s the chance of failure with any risk, which could mean losing your business and financial stability. However, risk could also lead to huge successes; this chance is what makes it a favorite of entrepreneurs. If you’re still skeptical about the importance of risk when it comes to entrepreneurship, read on.

Innovation starts with risk

The reasons risk is so important to entrepreneurs is that true innovation was never accomplished without risk. If you want to achieve true success with your business and smash your goals, you’re going to have to take risks. Some businesses may skate by on doing something they’ve always done or sticking to a stereotypical way of running things, but for many industries, this mindset will not work. Do you just want to have a mediocre business or do you want to be an influencer in your industry, who invents new products and ways of accomplishing tasks?

Your business could have the potential to be a huge success, but you’ll never know until you take the risk. If you currently run your own business, but are afraid to take risks, remember that starting your business in the first place was a risk. Starting any business is a risk, because there’s no guarantee it will succeed.

True entrepreneurs take risks

Like I mentioned, just being an entrepreneur involves taking risks when you start your own business. In addition, it sets the true entrepreneurs apart from those who aren’t sincere about the entrepreneurial journey. If you really want to be an entrepreneur, you’ll need to embrace risk and let it become part of your business strategy. Risk-taking identifies you as a leader and shows other people you’re ready to take charge and make decisions. Someone who’s a follower is willing to let others take the big risks.

Keep your risks calculated

Before you begin taking any kind of risk that comes your way, keep in mind that there’s such a thing as a calculated risk. As an entrepreneur, you need to be smart in your risk-taking. Don’t take a risk that seems completely unlikely to succeed or would tank your business and personal finances if it didn’t go perfectly. The secret to being a great entrepreneur is taking regular calculated risks that move your business along and being able to identify a big risk that’s worth it.

Even if you fail, you learn something

Finally, keep in mind that even if you fail, you can still learn something valuable. It’s important to know how to learn from your mistakes so you can grow as an entrepreneur and as a person. If you take a risk and it fails, acknowledge what went wrong so you don’t make the same mistake again. Instead of pouting over mistakes, learn from them.

In a previous blog, I’ve discussed why social media is important for entrepreneurs, so now I’d like to discuss how you can actually use social media to your advantage as an entrepreneur. Social media allows you to compete with much larger companies when you’re first launching your business, because you can connect with consumers through social media platforms and get the word out about your brand, with minimal cost. You won’t have to spend a fortune on marketing and advertising and can instead use that money to better your product or service. Follow these tips for the most effective ways to use social media to help your business.

Create a support system

One of the greatest parts of social media is that it allows you to connect with other people no matter where they live. You’ll be able to find other entrepreneurs and people in your industry that you can begin cultivating relationships with. They might just be starting out like you or maybe they have a lot more experience. Regardless, it’s important to build a support system of people you can learn from, bounce ideas off of, and get advice from. Look for groups to join on social media where people discuss the basics of entrepreneurship and your industry. These groups instantly connect you to many like-minded people.

Connect with your target audience

A huge part of marketing is identifying your target audience and then working to attract their attention. How you get their attention depends on the demographics of your target audience. Luckily, plenty of research has been done on the demographics of social media sites and when are the best times to post on different platforms. Learn who your audience is and what accounts they use and you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble as you begin your social media marketing.

Interact with followers

Consumers love interacting with brands on social media. It makes them feel that the company actually values its customers and listens to their input. Reply to comments your followers make and consider holding a Q&A session or hosting a giveaway. Getting your followers involved on social media makes you and your business seem more familiar and creates interest in your product.

Push your brand

Social media is vital to establishing your brand, whether it’s your personal or professional one. Carefully think about the image you want to convey and craft it. Keep your brand succinct so your followers have consistency. The more familiar your brand becomes and the more often consumers see it, the more likely they are to patronize your business.

Feature new products and services

When you’re releasing a new product or service, use social media to create buzz about it. Post pictures and short blurbs in order to get people interested. Consider creating a short video explaining what’s great about your new service or showing what the new product does. It’s much cheaper than traditional advertising and with the right use of keywords and presentation, you’ll reach a large audience.

Post consistently

Finally, posting consistently is vital to an entrepreneur’s success on social media. If you want to generate followers, you need to show that your content is valuable. Try to post at least once a week initially, but updating once a day would be even better. Most of your content should be original, but it’s also good to share posts from other prominent entrepreneurs and regularly interact with followers and influencers.

If you’re an entrepreneur, it’s vital that you use social media to your advantage. Billions of people around the world use social media every day and it allows users to connect with people on the other side of the planet, who they would never meet in real life. In the same way, it gives businesses an opportunity to connect with consumers in a matter of seconds, if they use smart marketing techniques on social media.

Consumers of all ages use social media and there is a wide variety of platforms that can greatly benefit businesses. Larger companies have seen major success in using social media to market their businesses, so it’s a vital resource for entrepreneurs as well, which studies have already shown. It can be difficult to get your fledgling company on the same level as a well-established business, so learn why social media can help you work toward overcoming this obstacle.

Reach new people

The biggest draw of social media is the ability it gives entrepreneurs to reach new people they would have never had the resources or opportunities to connect with before. In a few seconds, someone on the other side of the world can view your company’s website and order your product or service. If you have a succinct look and carefully plan how to market using social media, you can drastically increase your following and compete with larger and more established companies. With social media, you no longer have to rely on traditional marketing methods to reach large groups of people.

Connect with other entrepreneurs

It’s always important to have support, especially as an entrepreneur who’s just starting out and looking for ways to better establish a business. You likely have questions about how best to launch your business. Some of the best people to ask are other entrepreneurs, whether they have a lot of experience or are at the same point in their careers as you are! Using social media sites like LinkedIn, Beyond, or Opportunity, you’ll find ways to meet other people who are entrepreneurs and determined to succeed like you.

Usually free

Entrepreneurs often need to carefully budget and marketing is usually the last area money can be put into for a newly launched business. With social media, you can use marketing to your advantage without paying much (or often, anything at all) to reach a large group of people. Hashtags, location based searches, and niche sites make it easier to connect to consumers than ever before.

Establishes your brand

Social media is a fantastic way to establish your company’s brand. By creating social media sites, you choose how to present your brand and are in complete control of the content shared from those accounts. Create a logo, tagline, design, and color scheme that you can use on all social media accounts to achieve a uniform look. By regularly updating your social media, you’ll establish your brand and build a following.

Most of us strive to become leaders. We want to do something great, be respected by our peers, make more money and acquire more responsibility. Overall, we want to make a difference at our job. However, most of us simply don’t know the proper way to gain heightened respect, confidence and admiration from those whom we work with. In reality, there is no simple answer to leadership. It takes devotion, time and patience. Most importantly, it takes knowledge.

Without a firm understanding of what makes someone more influential, you cannot begin to alter your beliefs, and practices accordingly. Below, you’ll find a list of traits that our sales and marketing headhunters look for in leaders, along with some exercises to enhance your influence and responsibility at work.

The defining the traits of leadership:

1. Strength - Begin to carry yourself with poise and confidence. People are drawn to confidence and shy away from nervousness, lack of authenticity and insecurity.

How you feel about yourself will dictate your ability to lead and command authority. Essentially, if you don’t feel you’re important and deserving, don’t expect your co-workers to.

If you have come across as anxious and unassertive with your co-workers in the past, don’t focus on these shortcomings.

Your co-workers, like anyone else will have a short memory and so should you. From now on, think of the prior experiences as a learning tool rather than a future forecaster.

2. Positive Energy - Leaders show positive energy and optimism, showering their people with a can-do attitude. This outlook draws co-workers to them and paves the way for influence, respect and admiration from others.

In terms of leadership, positive energy has a multitude of benefits and is nothing short of a crucial component.

When you’re positive, you think in terms of solutions, not problems, you inspire risk taking, tend to be more resilient and think more clearly.

3. Passion - Being passionate about your job means possessing a heartfelt, deep and authentic excitement about work. This excitement is infectious and naturally will draw others to your way of thinking.

People follow positivity, effectiveness, intelligence and resiliency. All of which are byproducts of loving what you do.

Until you learn to love work, you can’t hope to display the necessary positive energy leadership requires.

Either proactively search for the perfect employment or train yourself to become more passionate in your current job. Regardless, make a firm decision to stay or leave and follow through with it.

4. Selflessness - Leaders are selfless. They are more interested in group achievements as opposed to chasing their own goals.

By consistently pouring out encouragement, caring and recognition, your co-workers will become more drawn to you. Regardless of whether or not you are management, take every opportunity to inject self-confidence into those who earned it.

In the end

Most significant things at work and in life require work, study and most important, practice. Leadership is no different. Understand that no one is born a leader. Rather, they decide to mold themselves into one.

I speak with a lot of business owners about setting goals and determining how to get their businesses to the next level, whatever that next level might look like. Most of the time, especially this time of year, we as business leaders will look over what we accomplished (or didn't accomplish!) over the past year and determine what we want or need to accomplish this year. Some of us will take a short view and launch outward, others of us will take the long view or horizon and plan backwards. Sometimes, we just set a goal and try to figure things out along the way.

One of the things that we may not be taking into consideration is why we didn't accomplish certain goals last year, and what will be different. Doing the same thing the same way will net... the same results. Therefore, it is logical to assume that there was some reason that we did not follow through on some of the goals that we had.

One of the reasons that goals fail is that they don't have a lot of substance to them. Even if you go through the process of strategic planning or setting SMART goals or BHAGS or whatever your process is, without understanding and planning for the requirements, you have already reduced the likelihood of the project's success. Dimes to dollars, this may be a reason why so many projects never see the light of day.

If you treat your goals like a project or a series of projects, with specific milestones, check ins/updates, planning for how you will get the resources require and an understanding of the risks involved, you multiply the likelihood of success exponentially. Having someone to hold you accountable, like a board of directors, a business coach or advisor will increase the likelihood of success all the more.

For this reason, according to Justin Ashooh Senior Account Executive at Learnsmart, it would be wise for managers to have a good understanding of project management. Project management can be looked at as the way that goals are achieved within the requirements allotted for those goals. Which means that when you plan a project, you aren't necessarily going to need to disrupt the rest of your business in order to accomplish it... and if you do need to disrupt it, you will have planned ahead to ensure that your customers are well taken care of.

Project management goes beyond creating a list of tasks and assigning dates and people to them... it is a logical progression with milestones that make sense. For example, you wouldn't assume that just because you have started a marketing campaign, and marketing campaigns typically pay for themselves with 'X' time period that you can bank without a doubt on that being the case. There are many factors to consider, such as the economy, competitors, new technologies, trends, the season, etc. People typically don't purchase bathing suits in the fall. Therefore, it may not be the best time of year to invest in a marketing campaign for them. You will end up either paying more for the campaign or getting less effective results.

Project management also goes beyond sticking your tasks and milestones into a computer. Like marketing, your project must be nurtured. It won't progress on its own. If you know that business is typically going to get to the point where you cannot manage your projects and your business, you need to find someone else to help, whether that be an assistant, a project manager or an advisor, that will hold you accountable for making sure that projects progress.

Don't get me wrong; project management software is excellent. We find it essential to operating our company and we use it with our clients. However, it doesn't work if it is not used! If no one is updating the system and monitoring the deliverables, it is no more effective than a sun dial on a cloudy day.

Your goals for your company are important. Accomplishing those goals is even more important. If you are working to build an extraordinary company, you already know that it is not an overnight task. It will take being able to build, monitor and support your goals like they are projects.

Rick Meekins is passionate about helping business leaders start, run and grow extraordinary businesses. He focuses on helping leaders clarify their business goals and develop strategies to achieve them. He is a strong believer in alignment between people, purpose, passion and pursuit. He believes that people working in alignment with their individual purposes is the foundation for successful businesses and successful communities.

Mr. Meekins is the Founder & Principal at Aepiphanni: The Business Strategy People, a boutique consulting firm based in Metro Atlanta, Ga. Aepiphanni is a Business Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to providing leadership and direction in the areas of operations, communications, branding, leadership and marketing. Their work has helped business owners expand their businesses, increase revenues, reduce costs and pursue sustainable futures. For further information, please contact them, directly, at 678-265-3908, email them at info@aepiphanni.com, or visit their website at http://www.aepiphanni.com.

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3 Disciplines for High Performing Business Owners

One of the biggest mistakes people make is that they float through life without truly knowing what it is that they want to accomplish. They hope that if they do go then good will come to them. In Business there is no place for "wishing, hoping and waiting". Strategic planning of your Outcomes is where the Growth and Profits come from.

Just think what would happen if you get in your car and you don't have a destination in mind. You will waste a lot of time, money and energy just driving around. And sure, you will end up somewhere but wouldn't it be better to take a few moments and actually plan on where you want to go?

The flip side of the coin are those people that not only know their outcome but strive to make sure that nothing will ever stand in the way of achieving their goals.

To have the certainty of success, there are three disciplines you must develop if you want to realise all that's possible for your Business. You can learn these disciplines through practice and repetition until they become automatic.

 

  1. Goal Setting
  2. Planning and Organizing
  3. Priority Setting

 

Every quarter of the year is the time to write in detail the goals you will be achieving in that time and the steps you will be taking to ensure you are moving in the correct dirction for your success. It's constructed based on your five year goals, which you must ensure you have written down.

As a result of this five year plan, you will also have a one year plan, and that chunks down to a 90 day plan. Each section of the business is given a title, when this has been completed; ask yourself, "What do I want to achieve in that area of the business in the next 90 days, that will forward the long-term goals?"

The areas of the business that you could possibly be focusing on when writing your goals are and not limited to:

 

  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Client Services
  • Finances

 

Once you have written down the goals for each area of your business, the nest step is to list every task that needs to be completed in the time frame you have given it.

With this level of detail you will know whether or not you are on track for the achievement of your Quarterly goals and the timeframe for accomplishing each of them, so there is forward momentum every week in their achievement.

Through the use of the goal setting system you are now employing the three disciplines that high performing business owners use. It is with diligence and attention to the details that you are goal setting, planning and setting priorities that will ensure you are moving forward and achieving the Business Success that you have planned for.

Do you have a Vision for success? The Vision where you achieve your goals? Now is the time for you ensure you have the Success and Lifestyle you are working towards.

Unleash your Vision to be the Leader within your Business that inspires and motivates.

Cheers

Peter Blasch

PS. Are you a Follower or a Leader?

Maverick Mentoring For Business is dedicated to providing resources for Business owners who want to get more from their Business while creating the Lifestyle they are Dreaming about.

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Let's face it, most of us go into business for ourselves because we want freedom from a boss and stifling organizational structure so that we can create and serve in a way that fits our vision of what it means to use our talents and skills.

However, at some point, as entrepreneurs, we realize that we actually do need some structure in our business. We do need some form of accountability; a way to keep us on track and make sure we're fulfilling our mission while still having a life and making a profit.

In the early days of a start-up business, it's easy to run on passion and work around the clock. It can be invigorating, even addicting, to be the sole person responsible for the success and activity in and around your business. Energy and time are required to build your business. But when your business starts taking over and running your life, you've essentially become enslaved to it and that is, most definitely, not a love match.

For many, one of the hardest parts of being an entrepreneur is handing over tasks that you may actually love doing, but that are no longer practical for you to do. If you find that you're not working predominately in your most revenue-generating skill set, then your business absolutely cannot love you back. Your business will not produce for you the revenue you deserve, the leisure time you desire, the fulfillment you crave, nor the ability to scale and grow if you are dissipating your energy in non-essential areas.

One of the most loving acts you can do for your business and yourself is to acknowledge your strengths and become aware of where your brilliance is absolutely necessary to the success of your business. Everything else can be outsourced. This may include hiring staff or even virtual assistants. This means coming to terms with giving up control of running every aspect of your business. Your relationship with your business must expand; it must be exposed to new ways of thinking and innovative ways of serving.

Consider your business. Are you working on tasks that you know could and should be handled by someone else? Are you working in your most revenue-producing skill set? Or put another way, are you working in your brilliance? If not, what steps can you lovingly take today to repair your relationship with your business? Set it free to thrive and watch it love you back.

Small business expert and income growth strategist Joy Gayler teaches entrepreneurs how to grow their business with integrity while being of service and making a profit. To receive free weekly articles on money, marketing and mindset, visit http://joygayler.com.

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For many entrepreneurs to make a buck, they have to develop a sales-marketing strategy to generate a profit.

When we talk about key-performance indicators, we’re talking about leading indicators -- signposts along the way that your sales team is doing the things they need to do in to be successful. Keeping your eye on nuanced, tactical KPIs is one of the best ways to keep your strategy on track: Practicing great fundamentals leads to great outcomes.

Here are six KPIs to consider:

1. Lead-response time. When it comes to lead response, speed is essential to increasing sales reps’ odds of success. The data seems to confirm what our instincts tell us -- that prospects equate a responsive company with a good company. Since Harvard’s study on response outcomes showed that sales reps that contacted leads within one hour were seven times more likely to have a meaningful conversation with a decision maker, other studies have affirmed the findings.

2. Rate of contact. Virtually every good sales manager wants to make sure that outbound call volume is high. A new study from AG Salesworks & BridgeGroup estimates that reps should be generating roughly 32 opportunities per 1,000 outbound calls. Keep in mind that those numbers were for outbound prospecting, a term that tends to include many calls that are relatively cold. So keep an eye on those call logs. If lots of activity doesn’t lead to achievement, it may be time to start listening to sample call recordings to try to work on the pitch.

3. Rate of follow-up contact. Persistence pays off. A National Sales Executive Association survey found that 48 percent of sales agents never follow up with leads a second time. This is significant since 10 percent of sales are closed on the fourth contact, and 80 percent are made on the fifth to 12th contact. As a sales manager, you hope to look at every lead record that is being worked over time and see multiple leads and calls logged against it.

 

4. Social-media usage. This is one of the more difficult data points to measure, but you need to make sure that your sales reps are active in social media. We know that top sales reps use LinkedIn, and that there is a direct correlation between reps that are social-media enthusiasts and revenue as a direct result from the channel. What’s less clear is how much contact and what types of contact are making the difference. Since there are few KPI guidelines in place for measuring social micro-strategies, you’ll have to rely on your own instincts to define how your reps are making connections and using the channel.

5. Usage rate of marketing collateral. As a marketer that has worked on many sales and marketing-alignment projects, I can say with confidence that much of the content created for sales enablement purposes goes unused. This can be because sales reps didn’t get favorable responses to it in the past, or because reps forget it’s available or they didn’t know it was available in the first place. This is surprising because the right marketing content can provide tremendous value to reps. Great content such as whitepapers and videos actually offer reps an opportunity to follow up with leads to see what they thought of it.

To really close the loop on tracking, try using unique call tracking numbers on all your content. This will tell you whether you’re getting callbacks after the content goes out.

6. Opportunity-to-win ratio. How many wins do your reps get after getting prospects to the opportunity stage? This is a surprisingly important metric. You might have sales reps on your team that are excellent networkers and door-openers, but awful closers. If so, then you need to help them either get better or move them into a different role so that they can open doors for your closers. Either way, tracking this metric is key.

The most important thing you need to know to become a good entrepreneur is that all your efforts have to be directed towards value creation. Theoretically, there are no rules to become an entrepreneur, but in the same time there are certain guidelines which can help you along the way to achieve the desired success faster.

1. Find a need and fill it better than anyone else

Human needs and wants are far from being limited. This gives entrepreneurs unlimited possibilities to create great businesses and achieve amazing financial goals. The only limit is how entrepreneurs use their imagination.

2. Find a problem and solve it

When you see a customer problem there is always an opportunity to start a business. People needed to find a way to store more music on a go than taking the whole CD collection with them. As a results, the Mp3 formats appeared from nowhere and now you can take with you the amount of music you want by using tiny gadgets. And boy, what huge industry is the digital music one.

3. Unlimited opportunities

There are unlimited problems. So there are the opportunities to solve them. Your duty as an entrepreneur is to find the problems and brainstorm for innovative ways to solve them. Find a way to supply a product or a service faster, cheaper, better, or easier. Make use of your own imagination.

4. Focus on customers at all times

The customers are the ones who will buy your products and services, they will recommend you and can be your brand's ambassadors. Become obsessed by knowing what they want, need, what price is good for them, how they want us to deliver the product to them. You are in a job to serve customers in a stellar way.

5. Create your own path for success

One you come up with a problem or idea start working to transform everything in a profitable venture by doing small steps on a daily basis. Start with your time and dedication instead of burning a lot of money. Most of great personal fortunes in US and elsewhere were started with an idea and the sale of personal services.

Most big fortunes were started by people with no money, resources or networks. They were started by individuals who had an idea and made a life purpose by pushing a product or a service that someone else would buy.

Adrian Niculescu - entrepreneur, speaker, social media strategist, author, trainer, coach. Visit http://www.adrianniculescu.com and like http://www.facebook.com/adrianniculescu.com for daily motivational videos, articles and resources for entrepreneurs, managers and business professionals.

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Choosing a name is one of the more exciting parts of starting a business! It begins to feel real and you start to build a picture in your head of what it might actually look like one day.

You'll want to choose an appropriate business name that helps attract your ideal clients while abiding by legal and other requirements. Don't forget - names can be changed and sometimes it pays to quickly choose a name to get started and stick with it for a while. You can always re-brand later if you think it necessary - it is not difficult for a small business.

It' s much better to get started and concentrate on building your business than stalling for too long trying to choose a name.

NB Steer away from using JUST your own name or initials - this tells nobody anything about your business and does not prompt them to a) say "Ooh, I must speak to her" or b) to ask more about what you do. If you are going to include your name, say what you do as well - see below!

1. What do your ideal customers want?

No matter what business structure you choose, its name will go a fair way to creating the first impression people get when they see your marketing material.

It's a good idea, then, to try to craft a name that will communicate what you do quickly and make it easier to let your ideal customers know what you can do for them.

When starting a business, people do tend to get a bit stuck finding a name they LIKE and that sounds memorable or quirky in some way. Obviously, you're fairly limited on the amount of words you have to play with here but focusing on what your customers actually WANT should really help.

2. What impression do you want to create?

As well as getting across what your business actually does, its name can also convey other Unique Selling Points such as whether it is family run, has been long established, amongst others.

I think some examples are probably useful here so here goes:

a) Are you looking to attract only local customers, perhaps focusing on the point that you know the area and community? If so, you might want to consider using the name of the town or city in your business name. I purposely called by accountancy practice Yeadon Accounting (Yeadon being the town where I live) because I wanted to draw attention to the fact that it was a small firm so I would in turn attract other small business owners who didn't want to pay the large fees of a national accountancy firm and wanted a more personal service.

b) Another way to 'advertise' a more personal service is by including your own name in the business name - so Emma Hague Cleaning Services, for example. This is also a good way to start to position yourself as an expert in your field and to get your name out there. It also lays the foundations for future expansion, should you decide to make the move from business owner to entrepreneur!

c) Do you want a traditional sounding name? Ye 'Olde Village Ale House', for example? This can imply that the business has been around a long time and, perhaps, has old-fashioned values. A more modern sounding name like 'Emma's Bar a la Mode' might convey a fresh and innovative approach selling new and experimental products.

d) Try to avoid very long names and unusual words or spellings - at best, it will take you forever to answer the phone(!), but people may not be able to find your business when searching the internet or Yellow Pages and (worst of all) they might think you have misspelled your quirky word by accident.

e) Some business owners choose names that will appear at or near the beginning of listings in the Yellow Pages and other directories - this is the reason you will see so many businesses called '123 Advertising' or 'Aadvark Accountancy' etc. They hope that they will be the first listing in their category that the customer sees and will call.

Luckily, marketing methods in the main have moved on and this is quite a dated trick. If your whole marketing strategy is dependent on the customer calling the first number they see you're in for a rough ride!

f) If you are thinking of marketing your services further afield than your immediate local area, just make sure that no words or phrases you use are inappropriate in another language or dialect. A business called 'Sandra's Baps', for example, could be advertising a bakery in one area of the UK but something completely different in another!

3. Consider Similarity to Other Business Names

Limited Companies

If you've decided to set up a limited company, you have to make sure that the name you choose is not the same as that of another limited company. Now when I say the same as, that includes anything that is similar enough to another business name that it might cause confusion - Companies House just won't allow it.

You can check this at http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk

Sole Traders & Partnerships

Sole traders and 'ordinary' partnerships don't have to register their name with Companies House and so they aren't subject to such restrictions regarding similarity. There can be any number of sole traders using the name 'Emma's Cakes' out there, for example - and there probably are!
However, it makes sense for a number of reasons to try to make sure you choose a name that is different to other businesses in your sector.

It's also a good idea to check registered trademarks so you don't tread on anyone's toes and get yourself into hot water - you can check trademarks that have been registered or are pending registration with the Intellectual Property Office at http://www.ipo.gov.uk

"Amazing Business Creation mentor Emma Hague teaches mums around the UK how to create a work-from-home business they LOVE with confidence & clarity. Get her FREE PDF "5 Signs You're Ready To Kiss your Boss Goodbye After Maternity Leave" at http://www.mumpreneur-training.co.uk/pdf "

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