Canaan Bridges Consulting| 4 minutes read
These are unprecedented times. As the world grapples with COVID-19, many economies are slowly emerging to life in its new normal. It is also a time when many established businesses face downturns, and new businesses are seeking to gain entry into local and international markets. If you have just started a business or will be doing so, here a few tips that may help you in keeping your business relevant and viable now and in post COVID-19 times.
Consumer and product market surveys are helpful tools in gauging consumer interest in your business. If you are unable to hire someone to help you, you may be able to test the market on your own. For example, if you have a large social media following, you can use your follower base to test if your product/service is well received. This is an affordable way of keeping consumer interests in line with your own business ideas. Ensure that your sample size is representative of your consumer market.
Standards are guidelines implemented by government, quasi-government or collective associations that require businesses to adhere to specific protocols in return for product or service certification. Examples of standards include environmental standards, wireless network security standards, and food and drug standards. Ensure that you do detailed leg-work that identifies which (if any) standard or regulation applies to your industry and apply for certification. If you are planning on entering export markets, ensure that your product has the appropriate export certificates for market entry.
Your product name, and/or business name may be trademark registrable. Trademarks convey important information to consumers about your product. They also help to distinguish your product from that of others on the market. As an entrepreneur, you may have an interest in foreign markets, in addition to your local market base. Company registration is different from trademark registration. To register a trademark, searches need to be carried out to ensure that the proposed mark is not the same or very similar to one that is already being used. A sound business plan should include a trademark strategy. For example, you’ve always wanted to name your herbal tea “BisE” but you now realize that another company is already using the name “Bisee” in connection with herbal teas. What will you do? If you are both in the same market, and the mark was being used prior to your business initiative, you it may be best to use another name.
Does your export market offer preferential tariffs to your home country? If so, is your product one for which preferential tariffs apply if exported to those markets? Whether and how rules of origin apply to your product is worth investigating.
Explore how IP strategies such as IP commercialization and IP management can leverage your start up. For example, how can you safeguard a confidential information that is relevant to how you intend to distinguish yourself in the market? When is it not a good idea to patent? How can I use design rights to elevate my product? A friend wants to partner in business with you, should your new partner have an interest in the businesses’ intellectual property? Addressing these questions effectively impact the dynamics and success of your business.
Whatever approach you use in starting or re-starting your business in these times, including these considerations in your business strategy is a sound choice.
For more relevant information on starting, re-starting or expanding your business in these times, contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org , or by phone: 1-343-700-3427