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The Research Network aims the content of this blog primarily at the New York Small Business Development Center (NY SBDC) community on the kinds of things we encounter every day. Views expressed are those of the Research Network staff, and not necessarily those of the New York SBDC or its partners. Comments to an individual post are encouraged. Such comments will be monitored, so please, keep them clean and professional.
Updated: 5 hours 5 min ago

How to Choose a Brand Name That Can Be Trademarked

January 26, 2015 - 10:22am
Branding experts often advise businesses to choose a brand name that describes their product or service — PlumbingMasters, for example, or Gianni’s Pizzeria. From a legal standpoint, however, these kinds of names aren’t likely to receive significant trademark protection under federal law.

If you’ve been struggling to land on a brand name, consider these tips to come up with one that’s both memorable and can receive significant trademark protection.

Brand names that are clever, memorable, and original have much more robust trademark rights than ones that are simply “descriptive” of the goods or services you provide.


Read more from BPlans
Categories: News from others

How We Brought Our Employee Turnover Rate to (Nearly) Zero

January 25, 2015 - 10:14am
By Jennifer Kimmich, owner of the Alchemist Cannery, a brewery in Vermont.

For nearly 30 years, I have worked in the service sector and in this time I’ve worked alongside the most dedicated, hardworking people I will ever know. These are the folks, many of whom are single mothers, who keep our businesses running day in and day out, cleaning our hotel rooms, working our front desks, and ringing up our coffee and gas in the morning. These are the hardworking Vermonters who, like all workers in the United States, need paid sick time.

Years ago my husband, John, and I decided to offer paid sick days to our employees. To the surprise of many small business owners, it was one of the best business decisions we have ever made.

See more in the US Department of Labor blog.
Categories: News from others

Why the Best Presenters Are Boring People

January 24, 2015 - 10:42am
Look around you. Most of today’s top presenters and entertainers are boring people with predictable schedules and habits:

-George Carlin was obsessed about not repeating the same joke

-Jerry Seinfeld practiced his first Tonight Show bit 200 times

-Nelson Mandela loved his 5 a.m. walks

-Tony Robbins engages in a writing session for 3 hours every day

The best presenters are boring people. And, you can be great as well if you decide to be boring.

More from Slideshare.
Categories: News from others

5 Surprising Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

January 23, 2015 - 1:36pm
There is much written about what it takes to be a successful business owner.

Passion, focus, and persistence show up again and again as traits you must have if you want to be an entrepreneur.

However, we've uncovered some additional behaviors that don’t traditionally go along with the busy life of an entrepreneur but that can be of great benefit.

Here are five traits of successful entrepreneurs that might surprise you.

1. They say no


Read more at BPlans
Categories: News from others

The Most Effective Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

January 23, 2015 - 12:02am
Small businesses say good-ol' word-of-mouth remains the most effective marketing strategy, according to a recent report from Infusionsoft.

Read more HERE

See the Infusionsoft Marketing Report

Categories: News from others

26 Universal Questions for Positioning Your Brand

January 21, 2015 - 12:00pm
How do I position my brand for success? What is the most compelling story I can tell about my business? Those are two of the most substantial questions marketers and entrepreneurs have to answer when running their business. In fact, the answers will determine whether their brand will gain traction in the marketplace, grow, and get shared by consumers—or not.

An analysis of over 1,000 case studies from around the world of successful brand building has found that there are 26 different "approaches" to telling a brand story, each representing a different but proven opportunity to positioning your brand and telling your brand story. Each approach can be summarized by a key question (or set of questions), which I share below.

Tapping into this collective marketing intelligence by answering those 26 questions will help marketers sharpen their brand positioning platforms and tell better brand stories.

The first 10 questions deal with the context in which the brand can be positioned. They set the stage of the brand story, if you will.


Read more at MarketingProfs

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SBA Underscores President’s Cybersecurity Plan; Provides Resources for Small Business Owners

January 20, 2015 - 11:08am
By Maria Contreras-Sweet, SBA Administrator

Cyber-attacks against business and government seem to be unending, and recent hacks to Sony and Central Command have elevated our need to safeguard against potential threats to our online information, records and documents.

President Obama has announced a legislative proposal that will make it easier for businesses and government to share information about possible cyber-attacks and security vulnerabilities. “Our first order of business is making sure that we do everything to harden sites and prevent those kinds of attacks from taking place,” the President said in a statement.

At the SBA, we have taken steps to strengthen our public and private sector partnerships on cybersecurity to help small businesses learn how to secure their business information, identify security threats and guard against cyber-attacks.

The SBA, in partnership with NIST and FBI, has conducted cybersecurity workshops for entrepreneurs and small business owners across the country. Our partnership was renewed in December, and we are coordinating the 2015 calendar of workshops.



Small businesses are becoming a larger target for criminals looking to access sensitive data because attackers are aware that small businesses have limited resources dedicated to information system security.

The protection of sensitive data such as business invoices, payroll records, client and employee data and other proprietary information is essential to the success of a small business. Business owners need to know how to identify information security vulnerabilities that can put their companies at risk.

In an effort to combat cyber-attacks against small businesses, SBA is helping to provide the protective tools and techniques needed to maintain and guard business information and systems. We have developed an online course called Cybersecurity for Small Businesses to help educate businesses on securing online information and evaluating the needed security tools and techniques.

The online course teaches how to identify the types of customer information that should be secured, how to guard against intentional attacks or even unintentional damage, and offers practical steps to take to protect a business’ operations.

Do not assume that your business is not at risk. Many small business owners run a large part of their business over the Internet, without any security features. As a business owner, you should understand that while there are advantages to taking your business online, certain risks come with it.

We encourage business owners to learn more about the security practices to be mindful of when online, as well as the ways to protect business information and networks in the event of a cyber-attack. Other factors, like creating contingency plans, setting up firewalls and creating back-ups are all essential to cybersecurity protection.
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