Tag Archives: entrepreneur

Protect Yourself From Brand Thieves!!

Brand Thieves and Squatters

I LOVE business. I find having a business idea, developing a plan, giving “birth” to it, watching it grow and generate revenue is so exciting. What can be worse than building it all and  having someone snatch not only your business idea, but also your business or product name?!! YIKES!!

I help so many people develop amazing businesses and the last thing they think about is protecting their name. I get it. Often I meet people that have been in business for awhile and STILL aren’t concerned about it. They get real concerned about it- to the point of tears and a bunch of bad words- once someone else starts using the same (or a very similar name). The anger and fear is at even higher levels when they learn that someone else may have even gone as far as obtaining a federal trademark registration for the name.

It is a sick feeling. The thought of “your baby” being snatched from you, all the money you spent on branding and possibly merchandise flushed down the toilet. They got the trademark registration and now own the name, right? WRONG! It is still yours, but just like a great relationship, you may have to fight for it.

Don’t feel intimated because you think someone “one upped” you. Here’s the deal:

If you were the first person to use the name in commerce before the weasel trademarked the name, you can have their trademark canceled. Great news, right?!

So, what does “use in commerce” mean? Briefly it means a) when the name is placed on the goods, labels, tags, etc ; b) the goods are sold or transported in commerce; c) on services, when the name is displayed in the sale or advertising of services.

One may feel intimated upon receipt of a demand to stop using the name because it has been registered by another person. However, knowing your rights and having the proof of when you began using it in commerce, can help in your fight for your name.

Although it may not be hard to prove, it is a headache to present everything and seek cancelation of the other person’s trademark so that you can then seek registration. A headache that can be avoided. My advice is to just handle this before it can ever become an issue. Seek trademark registration early on in your venture. In today’s social media age, when someone sees a name that they like, unfortunately they “take” it. They will bully the real owner, ignore all requests to stop and even offer to sell it back to the real owner.

Treat your business like a REAL business. Handle your intellectual property/ brand ownership before someone mishandles you!

Need help? Click here to schedule a free 15 minute consultation.

Advertisements

4 Traits That Are Vital To Your Success

SPECTACULAR

So many are on the quest to find success in their business and ultimately in life. They study the big brands, they go to every seminar and know more about branding than they know about their proclaimed area of personal expertise. However, they aren’t reaching the level of success they’d like. The problem may not lie in their branding or in their marketing. The problem may lie in the individual. I have determined that it is not so much about the things that you do, but it is about who you are. Your habits may be preventing you from reaching the level of success you desire.

There are so many traits that I know are vital for success in any industry. Here are 4 traits essential for lasting success:

VISION: A vision is your goals and your aspirations. It defines the optimal desired future state. The problem is that many people in business do not have a vision. Without a vision you have no idea of where you are going. If you do not know where you are going you definitely don’t have a clue of how to get there. Without a vision you will find yourself on a mission to achieve something, but you won’t even know what that “something” really is. Lack of vision causes lack of direction. Lack of direction causes confusion and frustration. Confusion and frustration typically causes a person to give up. Giving up does not yield success. Get a vision and make it clear!

ACTION:So you have a vision..GOOD FOR YOU! You know what you want to do and have clearly defined how you are going to accomplish it. The question that many entrepreneurs face is to actually get started. Having a great vision, strategy , a phenomenal team in place, etc is all great. However if the plan just sits and collects dust and there isn’t any action coupled with the plan it all becomes a waste of time. Wasting time does not yield success! Couple your vision with action!

COURAGE: All great entrepreneurs have courage.. Most people will tolerate just about anything—a bad marriage, a job they hate, a horrible boss only because it makes them feel secure. Not enough people are comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. True entrepreneurs are not like that. It takes courage to forego the comfort of a steady paycheck from a 9-5. It takes courage to take the risk of failure. It takes true courage to work to make your dreams a reality. It takes courage to step into the unknown and pursue something despite the possibility of obstacles. Courage is standing up and not crawling into a hole when things get rough. Crawling in a hole and hiding does not yield success. Act in the face of fear!

CONFIDENCE Confidence is a key ingredient to success. Truly confident people keep their heads high, give straight answers and use a firm tone of voice. Truly successful people don’t just act confident; they are confident. They know that they are good at what they do, they know that their product/ service can make a difference. That confidence and the delivery of good work/products leads the entrepreneur to success. Get out of that muddy puddle of doubt and acquire the kind of confidence that comes from being a master at what you do. Self- doubt and insecurities will not lead to success. Believe in yourself and what you offer.

Why You Should Be Making More Money Than Entrepreneurs of the Past!

IMG_2150

We all know that times have changed. Cell phones, the internet and smart phones/devices have changed the world in which I grew up! I guess I am telling my age…lol. Just as those things changed the world as I knew it, it has also changed the way we do business and market business.

Back in the day if someone wanted the world to see what went on behind the scenes of their business or learn things about them, they’d have to hire an entire camera crew to follow them around. They would then have to buy tv time in order for the masses to see it. Nowadays all of that can be done with a handheld device and a push of a button! No longer are people flocking to the yellow pages or the newspaper to find the best person to solve their problems. They have information readily accessible on the web!

How does this benefit you? EASY. It helps people learn about you and what you do/sell quickly and with ease. Gone are the days where you are (or a member of your team) are calling people during their family dinner or inopportune moments (like when they have a house guest) to tell them all about yourself and what you have to offer. Now you can use a particular hashtag or post in a specific group and get all the eyes that are already looking for you directly on your brand! It is like magic. (throw glitter and add ohhs and ahhhhs now). The best part of all of this is not only that the changes have made things easier, but it has also made it super inexpensive often times it is FREE!

The internet, more specifically social media, gives entrepreneurs a platform to the tell everyone and their momma that is interested what they have going on! It allows entrepreneurs to connect with their audience and gain trust must faster than entrepreneurs of the past. That connection and trust allows entrepreneurs to also gain the sale faster. Thereby allowing today’s entrepreneurs to get the money FASTER and likely in larger quantities than the previous generation of entrepreneurs.

Today entrepreneurs cannot use “I don’t have the money, I don’t have a photographer/videographer, etc.” as an excuse anymore. Those days are long gone! If you are not using social media to market your business then it is likely you have been under a ROCK!!!!! If you are missing out on money due to your failure to use the FREE tools consider this a virtual kick in your shin! I am sending you virtual sad faces and tons of SMHs! If by chance you have been under a rock I have a few sites for you to set you on your journey to getting paid to post. Yes, your posts should eventually be generating checks, my friend.

10 Tips For Making Money With Social Media

Can You Actually Make Money Using Social Media

15 Easy Ways For Entrepreneurs To Make Money Using Social Media

Enjoy!

Business Blessings,

Lens

2 Steps to Your Family & Friends Increasing Your Business & Bank Account

FullSizeRender-13

We all have friends (well if you have a personality…smile) and we all have family that we call on for help/ support. In addition the same people call on us for help/support. When I am in a bind and need a babysitter, I pick up the phone and call someone. When a friend/ family member’s car breaks down, they pick up the phone and call and ask me to pick them up. That is the way it’s supposed to be, right?  We all know that we need help at some point in our lives. In my case it is more like I know I need help at some point in my WEEK or DAY! ha!

We quickly ask our friends and family for things that will benefit us in our personal lives, but quite often we forget to include them on our list of those that can help us with our business. Although your friends nor family may be entrepreneurs or be top executives in a company that can benefit you, they are still able to help you take your business to the next level by doing two very simple things.

1. Telling their network about you: Yes, it is that simple. Just tell someone! If you are anything like me you have provided services/ products to people for as little as F-R-E-E! It is what we sometimes do for those that we care about. After giving away your time and resources asking for a “shot out” on social media or a request for them to hand out 25 business cards should be a simple repayment, right? I am willing to bet that this person asked you for your expertise or your product. If they did they likely will be eager to share your info in exchange. Sharing your info can yield you many more clients/sales and CASH than that one freebie cost you.

2. Check their contacts: I am wiling to bet real money (not monopoly money)  that there are people in your contact list in your cell phone or on your email list that can take you and your business to the next level. It may be someone you talk to everyday, but you just have not thought about how they (or someone they know) can help put real money (not monopoly money) in your bank account.

Create a list of your business goals and who you may need to satisfy those goals. Next think about who you know that has the ability or the contacts to get things in motion. For example: your cousin works at IBM. You have been wanting to do corporate training with a company like IBM. Instead of asking your cousin to bring baked beans to the next cookout why not ask her to send a quick email to the HR department?!

You likely have many of the resources that you need right at your fingertips, but you don’t recognize them. I challenge you this week to reflect and then ASK. Ask those in your circle to refer business to you. Ask your family/friends for that perfect intro that can turn your business into a crazy money making machine! Make use of those fabulous connects that are just sitting on. Remember that the key is to ASK. A closed mouth does not get fed.

3 Ways To Avoid Requests to Discount Your Services

images-2

You are in business for yourself.  Every penny you get to pay a bill, to buy groceries or even pay for that well-deserved vacation comes as a result of your own efforts. You do not have the luxury of getting a paycheck from your boss every week. That is why when someone (especially a stranger) asks you to work for free or for a significantly discounted rate you may get upset or even feel a bit insulted.

Why would so may people ask you to provide a service or a product for less than you are clearly requesting? I will tell you why. It is because they do not value your worth! They do not value your worth for one of three reasons:

1. Your pricing is off. You may be selling yourself too CHEAP! Your pricing may not be in alignment with what you are really worth in the eyes of others. That inadvertently makes people feel as though they can nickel and dime you. If your pricing shows your audience that you don’t value yourself and what you offer why should they value you? Step back and look at the message your pricing gives others.

2. Your branding may not be on point. Your brand may give the impression that you want to be recognized as the cheapest in your industry as opposed to the BEST. Your pictures and graphics may not be of the best quality. Your descriptions and copy on your website and marketing materials may not be written in a manner that adequately reflects what results you really can provide. If you do not look the part don’t expect anyone to pay you what you are worth.

3. You are not targeting the right audience. If your marketing and other efforts are reaching a demographic that cannot afford what you are asking how on Earth can you expect them to pay you? Your branding is all on point, your price is definitely in line with what you are worth but the sales just won’t happen. Imagine this: a realtor walks into a homeless shelter trying to sell a million dollar home. They want it. They need it. However they can’t afford that! Essentially that is what you are doing when you are selling to the wrong person. You make them want to buy it soooooo bad, but they can’t. Therefore they get so desperate for it that they ask you to make it more affordable to them. C’mon…stop teasing people! Align your product or service with the RIGHT people.

Adjusting this can be the difference between a $1,000,000 company and a $10,000 company. Stop letting others cause you to question yourself by requesting free or discounted products/ services. You work hard and you have bills to pay just like everyone else in this world. Position yourself correctly so that the thought to request a discount won’t even cross anyone’s mind. At the end of the day you are running a business. The intent of the business is that share your gifts, passion and talent with the world, but also make money! The bills don’t stop. Don’t lose sight of the passion, but also don’t lose sight of what you need in order to continue operating so that you can continue sharing that passion!

Business Blessings!

Do as I Say Not as I Did

Unknown-2

I met or connected with many of those that follow me and my endeavors through an organization I started some time ago called Mompreneur, Inc. Mompreneur, Inc was designed to celebrate and educate the mompreneurs- the female entrepreneurs that are successfully running their business and being the matriarch of the home. As you may personally know that is NOT AN EASY TASK!

Mompreneur, Inc provided education opportunities for mompreneurs. This was mostly done through live events. I then started providing more private consulting and legal services to entrepreneurs which left me with less time to focus on Mompreneur, Inc. With so many women-owned businesses closing and women feeling frustration and losing hope it was important to me to find the resources and experts to help ensure success. My passion remained with the organization.

However in addition to the time constraints there where other struggles. My primary struggle was that I found it was incredibly difficult to impact a community of mompreneurs when they were spread all over the globe. So many women were requesting live events and for chapters to be organized in their city I found myself overwhelmed. I was overwhelmed with trying to manage my own start-ups, my children AND attempt to execute the organization. I honestly stepped back because I could not handle the demand. I was not expecting such a huge global response. I was thinking a small local organization meeting at a small table at Starbucks! SURPRISE, SURPRISE! It was a classic example of thinking too small and not planning BIG enough.

After months and months of brainstorming and talking it out with my team of advisors I feel I have created the perfect solution to reach the masses! ***Clears throat and smiles****I am pretty darn excited about it too!

(INSERT DRAMATIC DRUMROLL HERE PLEASE)

I am pleased to have the ability to unite and educate mompreneurs nationwide through a virtual subscription box. Do you love subscription services as much as I do? This works much like a subscription box service that delivers hair products, jewelry, snacks, etc to your door step every month. However instead of delivering beauty and snack treats to your MAILBOX every month we deliver educational services and resources straight to your email INBOX every month.

This will provide education and resources to help subscribers’ grow their business. It also provides tips on the balance that mompreneurs have been yearning for. The service also provides monthly e-books, virtual business group coaching, business motivational conference calls, access to a private online community, specialized business educational webinars from industry experts, access to exclusive interviews with successful mompreneurs, a mobile app with discounts to over 200 vendors and MORE!

I already know you will LOVE it!! For more info on the service and how it works click here.

Mompreneur, Inc launches at 12 am tonight (June 7). For the month of June there will only be 100 subscriptions. FIRST COME FIRST SERVED. Here is the secret… Registration is open for a few hours RIGHT NOW for my VIPs. HURRY UP!!!  Click here.

I hope this relaunch helps you to see the importance of thinking BIG. Had I thought and planned for big initially there would be no need for a relaunch. Nonetheless it was a learning experience and I good story to share with my clients. “Do as I say, not as I did”!

Hope to see you on the subscription list!

I’d love your feedback! Check out the site and let me know what you think below.

XOXO,

Lenise

My Top 3 Mistakes as an Entrepreneur

images-1

I am addicted to making my own money. When a first time entrepreneur earns their first 50 bucks ON THEIR OWN WITHOUT A BOSS the feeling is empowering. Well, I can only speak for myself. 🙂
I have been a business owner in some capacity for eleven years. I absolutely love it and would not have it any other way. However in buying businesses, starting businesses and growing businesses I have learned so much. Many of the things I have learned I learned by making mistakes…plenty of them. I want to share the top three mistakes I made as an entrepreneur with you. Hopefully you can learn from them. Here are a few more tips on budgeting.

1. Don’t think every opportunity is the best opportunity.
In the beginning I thought everyone that reached out to help me or support me were all “Team Lenise”. Guess what? Many of them were not. People that I thought were “Team Lenise” would present to me what I thought are opportunities. I would jump at them without hesitation. After getting burned several times I realized that some (not all) get close to you because they want to see you fall. Some disguise that with what looks like an opportunity that you just can’t pass up. Do me a favor: investigate, investigate and investigate again. Trust your intuition. If it seems too good to be true it very well may be too good to be true!

2. Create a budget and stick to it.
Whether you have created a budget for the year or for the month try your hardest to stick to it. Troubled financials is one of the biggest reasons that small businesses close. Every dollar counts…it all adds up! Don’t be scared to switch vendors and price search. If you are going over budget research other vendors and make sure that you are getting the best price possible. I had an office supply vendor that I worked with for years; however I had to stop doing business with them after finding lower prices elsewhere. Loyalty is great, but business is business!

3. Don’t ever get comfortable.
Business is booming. All that marketing you did has really paid off. Here is my tip: DO NOT STOP! Keep marketing and keep working hard like you did before anyone knew anything about you or your products/services. It is that same hunger that will keep you afloat. I remember when my phone in my first business (my law office) never rang. I did some effective marketing and for 2 months straight the phone rang off the hook. I got comfortable and way too confident. I stopped airing commercials as often. I figured I did not need it. Needless to say my phone did stop ringing and I had a drought for awhile. Once I started marketing again it picked back up. However had I kept the momentum going I wouldn’t have experienced that drought.

There are so many other things that I have learned. However these stand out the most. Take the time to listen to stories from others. You can learn so much and avoid so many pitfalls if you just take the time to listen. I did not have the privilege of having a mentor when I started my first business. It was so competitive that everyone feared that the other person would take their clients. Silly, I know. Back then I did not know that business coaches, consultants, etc even existed. Had I known I could have saved myself lots of time, headache and money. But then again if I had known then I wouldn’t be able to share with you!

What is your biggest lesson learned? Share below.