14 Dec Preparing Your Business for a Resilient 2021
Last month, I wrote to you about the importance of being prepared for anything when it comes to your family. I wanted to start there because, as we all have seen over these past few months, there is nothing more precious than family. But, your business and your livelihood are essential, too. They also need to be prepared for anything. This month, let’s dive into the ways that you can make your business more resilient in 2021.
Reputation is Everything
As you know, your business is only as good as your customers. Without people to use your products or services, you don’t have a strong business. But, how do folks know how to find your business? How do they share with their friends and family about your products and services? How are you recognizable in the marketplace among all of the other businesses out there? That’s right! Your brand!
In business, reputation is everything. A brand name, logo, product names, and brand impression lets your customers know who is providing the goods or services they love and how to purchase them again. But, a reputation is a fragile thing. Of course, there are online reviews and word-of-mouth messages to protect, but there are also bigger threats to your brand and your business. Namely, the threat to the very brand itself.
I know I have asked you this before, but, have you protected your brand yet? This doesn’t just include applying for trademark protection for the name of your business (although, that is a great place to start). Protecting your brand also means ensuring that your logos, product names, web presence, and much more are all protected against infringement.
You may have been putting off trademarking your brand assets thinking, I only own a small business, who would want to rip me off? Let me tell you, I have some stories. But, more importantly, trademarking your brand assets isn’t just for protecting against intentional brand theft. Accidents can happen, too. The number one reason to ensure that your brand is safeguarded by trademark protection is to avoid customer confusion.
Remember how we said reputation is everything? Well, what if there is another business near you with a similar brand name, logo, or web presence? And what if that similarity causes customers to be confused about whether they heard great things about your business, or this other one? And what if that causes you to lose business? Worse yet, what if that other business with a similar name sells an inferior product to yours and their reputation starts tarnishing yours? See how brand protection can become really important really quickly?
In quarter one of 2021, stop procrastinating on protecting your brand. Your business deserves your protection. And what did we learn from 2020? Anything can happen. We need to be prepared for what lies ahead. It’s time to get your brand locked down and secured.
Protect All of Your Assets
Of course, your brand name, logo, and web presence aren’t the only assets in your business arsenal. You also have your online content, your courses, your writings, your images, and all of that hard work that you have put into your business over the years. These assets deserve protection, too. That’s where copywriting comes in. It’s obvious how copyright protection is important for artists, photographers, and writers because their whole business is in the content they create. But, what about businesses that create content as only one part of their service? Think about online course content, blog posts, articles, speeches, videos, and workshops. Does your business create that kind of content? What have you done to ensure that it is protected?
Copyright law doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does require vigilance. You are always creating new content, as well as tweaking and changing old content to make it fresh. That means you always need to have one eye on protecting all of that hard work (or, you know, you can hire someone to do that for you!).
Over the next month, before the start of the new year, start making a list of all of the assets that your business owns. This should include all of your intangible assets, including your content. Then, with the new year, it’s time to start protecting your most important assets.
Have a Plan in Place
I hate to keep harping on the unknown, but 2020 has done so much to remind me that we never know what lies ahead. What if we become ill? What if we need to miss work for a week or a month or more? Could our businesses survive that kind of disruption? For most business owners, just the thought of being incapacitated for a period of time is terror-inducing. Why? Because we don’t have a plan in place to shepherd our businesses through tough times. Isn’t it time to do something about that?
In the new year, shouldn’t we each take some time to create a business succession plan that allows our businesses to survive anything that may lie ahead? A plan can include things like gathering passwords and usernames, training staff to take on important tasks, and creating a chain of command if you ever are away from the office. It can also include the important legal documents that would allow your business to carry on, with or without you. These can include Powers of Attorney to empower certain individuals to pay bills, keep payroll going, and ensure a smooth transition, even if just temporarily.
Get a Strong Team Together
If all of this seems overwhelming, don’t panic yet! Each and every thing you need to do to protect your business can be done with the help of a strong team. First things first, hire a great attorney who can help you prioritize your business needs and take care of them, one by one. At The Brand Protected ®, we specialize in trademark, copyright, business, and estate planning law, each of which is essential to creating a strong and resilient business in the new year. We are already booking up for 2021, so click here to schedule an initial appointment. We can work through protecting your business together.