Nearly 80 percent of all patent applications filed worldwide are processed through five patent offices: Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), and the State Intellectual Property Office of China (SIPO). In 2007, the five agencies formed a group called the IP5, to work on increased cooperation and collaboration.Read More
One of the elements in the grand scheme of things is knowing what makes your business different from the competition. What you do with that knowledge can make or break your business. Specifically, are these differentiators clearly defined and part of your sales strategy?
Can you explain the following?
Why your business is different from the competition?
Why your differentiators matter to your customers? People call this the “so what” factor.
If you are in the B2B space, how do you help your customers differentiate themselves from their competitors?Read More
Identity theft is on the rise. Impacting more than 10 million consumers each year, it also costs businesses an estimated $221 billion annually. To help combat this threat, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has just implemented new regulations designed to help prevent identity theft, known as The Red Flags Rule.
If you are a small business that provides products and services to your customers and bills them later, there’s a good chance you need to comply with these new requirements.
Read on to determine if the Rule applies to you and how to comply:
Guest blog post by U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson
This morning at Capitol Hill Oceans Week, I spoke about the key role that oceans play in our economic recovery. America’s waters have always been a strong economic engine. After all, more than half of Americans live in coastal watershed counties. And even though this area makes up only 17 percent of U.S. land area, those counties support about 66 million jobs. Now more than ever, we need to ensure that the blue economy is strong and growing.
Are you headed towards the finish line? Are you at the point in your franchise business exploration where your yes or no decision on a particular opportunity is imminent? If so, read on…
In my capacity as a franchise ownership advisor, I’ve had several clients hear variations of the following declaration from their franchise development representatives;
“You are welcome to pay to have a franchise attorney look over our Franchise Disclosure Document as well as the franchise agreement, but everything in our agreement is etched in stone.”
SBA prides itself on opening more doors to more dollars in every community, creating an American economy built to last. Expanding access to capital and opportunity is critical to fulfilling SBA’s mission- especially in underserved communities. Knowing that we can do more, SBA is constantly working to remain responsive to the needs of small business owners and the lenders who serve them daily.
If you were to ask a small business owner to identify a top priority on his or her wish list, undoubtedly they would say “to get more business!” We know that one way to get more business is to contract with the Federal government - the largest purchaser of goods and services in the world. In FY10, nearly $100 billion federal contracting dollars went to small businesses. During this year’s National Small Business Week, the Small Business Administration worked to ensure small businesses made the right connections and gained access to federal contracting opportunities.
When a disaster occurs, it’s often the misleading bit of information shared by an outsider that gins up rumors about a damaged business shutting down. Obviously, this situation undermines the company’s ability to recover. That’s one big reason why precise, effective communication – within the organization, and out to the public – is vital during an emergency.
While weather experts NOAA are predicting a “near-normal” 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, last year’s Hurricane Irene is a reminder of the erratic and devastating nature of tropical storms. The six-month season, which began June 1, typically peaks between August and October, notwithstanding the two named storms in the last weeks of May. Now is a good time to put a disaster preparedness plan in place to protect your employees and your business.
Whether you run a small business or a multi-million dollar corporation, marketing is essential to your profitability and growth. Yet many small businesses don’t allocate enough money to marketing or, worse, spend it haphazardly.