What I tell myself every day.

Copy of Want to make money when you sell your

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Lesson 1 was about choosing the right name for your business. What I didn’t have time to mention but am often asked is “What if I just use my own name?” It is definitely an easy option at the beginning of a business as it doesn’t require much creative input at all.

business nameThe pros – perhaps one of the biggest reasons people want to use their own name is that they don’t have to register it with ASIC. Another advantage is that many businesses start off by word of mouth or with low budget advertising. It can often be easier to remember someone’s name than an impersonal business name. Finally, most of you who read this blog and are starting or have started a business will be doing it on your own and possibly from home. You will be the only person answering the phone and all inquiries will come straight to you.

The cons – the best way of protecting a business name is to register it as a trade mark but a trade mark needs to be capable of distinguishing your goods or services from those of other traders. Registering a name is difficult and you may have to supply evidence of use of the name to show it has become distinctive. Plus, there can be difficulties if someone else has the same or similar name and uses it for the same or similar goods or services. Thinking even further ahead, your business name will become a valuable asset and one day you might decide to sell your business. So, do you really want someone else using your name? Worse still, what if you sell the name with the business and then want to start up a new business under your own name?

Some real life situations

In 2010, Collette Dinnigan, the famous fashion designer, sued Colette Hayman of Colette Accessories for use of the “Colette” name. Hayman countered by trying to remove some of Dinnigan’s trade marks and it all ended up in a big, expensive, legal battle. The parties ultimately settled, each being able to use their own name, but it isn’t an ideal situation for either one.

business nameThen, just recently, Bob Jane, the Australian former race car driver, and founder of Bob Jane T-Marts was held in contempt of court for using his own name in relation to a new tyre business. Some years before, he had left the family business and his children had obtained a court order to stop him using his own name because it infringed their BOB JANE trade mark. The marks used by the family even have Bob Jane’s face on them!

business nameBut you really want to use your name? Then do it but at least you know the risks. Also, consider registering your signature as a trade mark with or without a logo like .



Sonal Moore of Moore+Moore IP is a mother of two almost grown up daughters and has been advising in the intellectual property area for 30 years. Her firm has no website (because there are not enough hours in the day) but you can find her on LinkedIn or at [email protected]. She is passionate about helping start-up businesses navigate the world of copyright, trade marks, patents, terms and conditions and the Australian Consumer Law.


Superbrands image courtesy of endcy / www.freedigitalphotos.net

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getting the most from your charitable donationI was recently involved in the sourcing of donations for the Silent Auction at my local primary school trivia night. Whilst I was overwhelmed by the number and quality of donations received, I was surprised at the number of companies that didn’t make the most of the opportunity to gain more exposure for their business. I realise many companies probably just used the opportunity to do a good deed and maybe clear some of their discontinued or deleted stock from their warehouse. As a marketing professional I saw the missed opportunities to leverage more business. Following I have put together my top 5 tips to get the most out of your charitable donation:

  1. Offer samples with your donation – People like to touch and feel a product. There is no point offering a gift voucher if the people attending the event don’t even know what your product looks like. Supply the organisers with some samples for display or make up a display sheet with products shots.
  2. Offer a promotion code – Why not use the opportunity to gain as much exposure as possible by offering everyone involved in the event a special promotional discount. Ask the organisers to distribute flyers with a special promotional code to all attendees to be redeemed in person or online.
  3. Logo with web address – Most event organisers are happy to acknowledge your support of their event by including your logo in material to promote the event, given to attendees or on an electronic presentation. Have a special logo designed that includes your web address. This will make it easier for people to find your business after the event.
  4. Social Media – Ask the organisers to acknowledge your support via social media. Get them to tag your social media account in the post or take a photo of you handing over the donation that can be uploaded.
  5. Advertise your support – It is no point donating your time or products to charitable causes unless you advertise that support. Use social media and your client communications to advise current and prospective clients of the great work you are doing in the community.

Supporting charitable causes can not only raise your credibility amongst your current clients but can be a great way to get your product or service in front of hundreds or thousands of prospective new clients.


get the most from your charitable donationsCindy Parker, B.Bus Marketing Consultant, Four P’s Marketing Solutions

Cindy Parker combines 18 years of marketing experience with a Bachelor of Business degree to help small/medium business owners maximise their profit. Cindy has worked in the marketing departments of Australian owned and multinational companies within the Medical, IT, Financial Services and Beauty industries.

Four P’s Marketing Solutions assists small business with easy and cost effective marketing activities including website text , PR activities, powerful promotions, plus logical and easy to implement marketing advice.

For further information, contact:

Cindy Parker | Ph 0417 035 007 | Email

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Giveaway Monday – Review of a product for mums in business

Va Va Voom is an graphically appealing workbook/how to guide that has been written for those who are considering a career as a Virtual Assistant (VA) or who are already running a VA business and are not sure how to take it to the next level. It is written by Rosie Shilo, who runs one of the most widely respected Virtual Assistance and Training networks in Australia.

virtual assistant manual / workbookHaving established myself as a VA 12 months ago, following many years in sales and marketing and running my own businesses it was not a book I had on my must read list but it did give me further insights and I enjoyed reading it. I would consider it a “must read” for anyone considering establishing themselves as a VA. I particularly liked the modularity of the book. Read a section, absorb the lovely images and complete the workbook section to personalize the information. It would also work as a how to work from home as a “mumpreneur” book.

There are great tips throughout the book from people who are working in the Australian industry and it realistically addresses even the tough issues involved in establishing a work from home business.

At only $28 this book is a worthwhile investment for anyone starting a work from home business and a must have for those looking at becoming a Virtual Assistant.

virtual assistant manual / workbookA little more on Rosie Shilo, Virtually Yours

Rosie Shilo is the owner of the widely renown Virtual Assistant Network, Virtually Yours, a network for over 150 Australian Virtual Assistants. This passionate woman who has been described many times as ‘awesome’ is a true asset to the Virtual Assistant industry and her desire to see the industry grow and develop shines through in everything she does.

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virtual assistant manual / workbookReviewed by Louise Kerr, Dynamic Virtual Assistance

Dynamic Virtual Assistance provides a customised executive assistance service to busy professionals, especially those who work alone providing services to clients. Giving them back time in their day to concentrate on improving their service or to take much needed family or personal time.

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The giveaway:

This gorgeous hardcopy book includes heaps of advice about setting up your virtual assistant business and what to consider to ensure you are working with the right clients and getting them to LOVE you for your AWESOMENESS!

It is a book and manual in one – activities are included to help you along the way. Feedback and tips from many business owners are included so you know EXACTLY what they are looking for in an awesome VA! Valued at $36.30.

For your chance to win, simply comment on the blog on why you absolutely have to win this by Friday 19 September 2014.


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I attended a great conference on Monday – the Artful Business Conference.

I was insanely excited as the speaker line-up was crazy good – all my biz crushes in one room at one time – Karen Gunton of build a little biz, Denise Duffield-Thomas of Lucky Bitch, Lisa Messenger of Collective Magazine, Valerie Khoo and Julia Bickerstaff of The Business Bakery.

L- R Karen Gunton, Lisa Messenger, Elle Roberts (Conference founder), Kelly (Conference crew), Julia Bickerstaff, moi!

During the breaks I was like a stealthy leopard, stalking and tracking them all down to introduce myself, have a great chat and tell them what I loved about each of them. I did this for two reasons:

  1. To start/develop a relationship that could lead to…well, anything really! Maybe working together in the future, maybe cross-promotion or maybe just knowing someone fab in the same Industry as me.
  2. So they knew about me and what I do in the hope that they liked me/my business enough that they might refer to me in a social media shout out or even refer others to me. Or start a relationship that might lead to this in the future.

However, when I looked around during one of the breaks I noticed that many of the women at the event had returned to their tables with their morning tea and they continued to do this in every break. Not many were approaching the speakers.

I was surprised. Especially as during her talk Denise had said that people who tended to be lucky were those that reached out and connected with new people and built their networks, thus expanding on the possibility of opportunities.

Julia had also made an important point – that business owners were not nearly rigorous enough about Marketing their business, that it should happen on a daily basis.

And I whole-heartedly agree. If you aren’t shaking hands with people and telling them about your business then that’s one less person in the world that knows about you. So don’t ever let the opportunity pass you by – especally when it’s one of your biz heroes.

Cheers! Alli x

p.s. if you wish you could network with confidence – check out this blog I wrote a while back x


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