Archive for the ‘Enterprise Management’ Category

Effective Trademarks

How to Select a Good Name?

Your trademark is the most important asset your business will ever own.  A good trademark will distinguish you from the competition and help you stand out in a crowd.  A poor trademark will entangle you in legal disputes and blunt your marketing efforts.  Selecting a good trademark is as simple as following the following guidelines.

1. Avoid Trademarks that cannot be Registered.  There is no point investing in a trademark that you can’t register.  Registering the mark protects it from competitors, ensures your ownership rights in the mark and makes it easier to enforce your rights against copy cats.  As you will read below, certain types of words are inherently poor choices for inclusion in a trademark because they cannot be registered.

2. Avoid Purely Descriptive Words.  Words which describe the nature or quality of the goods or services sold with the mark are not permitted to be registered.  Hence, the mark “Cold Beer” for use with malt beverages cannot be registered because it describes the actual product being sold.  If registered, it would prevent anyone from using the terms Cold and Beer to describe their malt beverage.

3. Avoid Surnames. Surnames cannot be registered as trademarks.  Hence the mark “Wilson Power Boats” is a poor choice for a trademark because the word Wilson is a surname (and the rest of the mark is descriptive).

4. Avoid Confusing Trademarks.  A trademark which is confusingly similar to a registered trademark cannot be registered.  Hence, the mark “Sun-Screen” cannot be registered if the trademark “Sun Screen” has already been registered for a similar type of product.  A search of the US Trademarks Database (www.upto.gov.) and/or the Canadian Trademarks Database (www.cipo.gc.ca) is a good idea.

5. Avoid Generic Words in a Trademark.  The goal is to select a trademark which is as unique and distinctive as possible; therefore, avoid generic words.  Examples of generic terms include “green, superior, Canadian, American, deluxe, gold, premium, economy,” and a plethora of others.   These words are generic and if you incorporate them into your trademark, you ensure that you blend into the crowd, not stand out in front of it.  Geographic words fall into this category.

6. Avoid TLA’s (Three Letter Acronyms) and Numbers.  IBM, ATT, and CNN are distinctive trademarks because their respective owners poured tens of millions of dollars into making the marks famous.  Even a poor trademark can be made famous if you through enough money at it.  But acronyms are intrinsically difficult to remember, while words, especially colorful words, are easily remembered.  Hence “ELS Software Solutions” is not as memorable as “Volcanic Silicon.”  Likewise, avoid using numbers in a trademark as they tend to be less memorable.  Furthermore, there are a limited number of unused acronyms available, so there is an excellent chance that your TLA will be confused with someone else’s.

7. Do use invented words.  Invented words are words which do not exist in any language, apart from your trademark.  Examples include Spandex, Exxon, Kodak, Viagra, and several other famous trademarks.  Invented words are a good choice for use as trademarks because they are not descriptive and they tend to be quite distinctive.  You can create an invented word by simply combining parts of other words.  For example, Microsoft is a combination of “Micro computer” and “software.”

8. Try animal or plant names.  Animal and plant names tend to be quite memorable and, if used appropriately, can convey a good image while still being distinctive.  Apple Computers is a good example, but other examples include Tiger Direct, Ford Mustang, and countless others.

Finally, make sure that the first word in your trademark is as distinctive as possible.  It is often necessary to add descriptive words to the trademark in order to convey what is being sold or marketed in association with the mark.  If generic words must be included then it is doubly important to ensure that the first word of the mark is as distinctive and unique as possible.

Working Capital Solutions With Factoring

Ideal Candidates for Accounts Receivable Factoring:

Any business that provides a product or service to other creditworthy businesses and is constrained by their day-to-day cash flow situation.

Does your business need:

• Cash to Cover Payroll?

• Working Capital to Fuel Growth?

• Help with Cash Flow Problems?

• Help because of Bank Turn Downs or refusal to extend current lines?

• New Equipment to Grow?

What is factoring?

In a traditional factoring arrangement, a company actually sells its receivables to another company (a “factor”) at a discount. After the sale, the receivables balances are carried on the factor’s balance sheet since title has passed. Because the factor then owns the receivables, it generally provides all the required credit, collection and accounting services necessary to collect the receivables, including assumption of the ultimate loss exposure from the client debtor. The important difference between factoring and asset-based lending is ownership. In factoring, the receivables are purchased and owned by the factor. In asset-based lending arrangements, accounts receivable are pledged to the lender as security for the loan, but the borrower retains ownership and complete control of the receivables and the value of the receivables remains on the borrower’s financial statement.

Keeping the cash flowing is a challenge for all businesses. Does your company face cash flow challenges because of slow paying customers? Have you been forced to decline new opportunities because of cash flow issues?

As every business owner knows, sales alone do not measure the profitability of a company. For example, sales may be increasing, but a company may have to wait weeks or even months for payment. During that time, your company cannot purchase materials for more orders, meet payroll, or other basic operating expenses. The solutions may be Accounts Receivable Funding provided through Diversified Funding Services, Inc. Accounts Receivable Funding is quickly becoming a popular choice for its flexibility and rapid injection of needed capital.

Why Accounts Receivable Funding is a Popular Choice in Today’s Business World

Accounts Receivable Funding or “factoring” has been in existence for several decades. Today, virtually any-sized business that extends credit to other businesses for goods or services can enjoy the many benefits of Accounts Receivable Funding.

Simply stated, Account Receivable Funding is the exchange of creditworthy commercial accounts receivable for an immediate injection of working capital. When an invoice is generated, it may be purchased with an advance of anywhere between 75 to 90% of the net invoice amount. When your customer pays the invoice, you will receive the reserve portion minus a nominal servicing fee.

Why Accounts Receivable Funding Makes Financial Sense

Accounts Receivable Funding offers many Advantages:

• Initial funding is typically available between 5-7 business days upon receipt of completed formal agreements, and then all future advances are funded within 24 hours.

• Accounts Receivable Funding does not create a financial liability on your company’s balance sheet and generally no other collateral (outside of the receivables) is required.

• The amount of funding available to you is only limited by the creditworthiness of your customers.

• Accounts Receivable Funding focus on the creditworthiness of your clients instead of your financial history.

• Accounts Receivable Funding allows quick access to working capital, instead of waiting 30, 60 or 90 days to receive payment from your customers, money is immediately available on demand.

Accounts Receivable Funding Programs have been “generally” designed with the following criteria in mind.

• Your company must be providing a product or service to other credit worthy businesses (no consumer sales)

• Your company must be selling on terms

• Your company must be billing in arrears (no pre-billing)

• Your company must have minimum monthly sales of at least $10,000 or annual sales of $120,000

• Your company is not required to be in business for any length of time

• Your company should have the capability to generate financial reports (A/R and A/P aging reports, etc.)

• Your company may have current and/or historical losses or a deficit net worth position

Ideal Candidates

• Start-ups
• Companies suffering financial setbacks
• Service Companies
• Companies with seasonal orders
• Mature companies seeking cash flow support
• Companies seeking credit assistance
• Businesses experiencing rapid growth
• Non-bankable businesses

An example of the application process:

1. Complete the application
2. Provide your most recent and detailed accounts receivable aging report
3. Provide your most recent and detailed accounts payable aging report
4. Provide an actual sample invoice
5. Provide a copy of your Articles of Incorporation/d.b.a. filing
6. Provide a copy of your customer list
7. Some factoring companies require financial statements, others do not.

Preferred Industries

• Service
• Temporary Staffing
• Security companies
• Manufacturing
• Transportation
• Textile/Apparel
• Computer Consulting
• Distribution Companies
• Printers
• Sub-Contractors
• All other Industries
• Any company that provides a business to business product or service to another credit worthy business!

Thanks for reading!

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