Financials Adjusted - Profit Marketed - Business Sold

How Trademarking Can Increase Value and Price Of Your Business

How Trademarking Can Increase Value and Price Of Your Business

A Small Business

A Small BusinessMany small businesses are a geographic entity.  The physical location they occupy on the landscape becomes synonymous with what they offer.

Your local coffee shop on the way to work.

The bakery in the strip mall.

The suburban fish and chip shop.

These businesses are sold as a cluster of assets.

• An array of plant and equipment
• The name of the business
• A lease providing the right to occupy the location
• Everything else needed to run a small business

A Different Perspective

There is another way of looking at a business.  It is as a cluster of attributes that have no fixed location

.• A consistent offering
• Something that is recognised beyond where it operates
• A culture of how work is carried out• A consistent look
• The name becomes byword describing how things are done

When these businesses are sold they are looked at as passing on a set of rights.

These businesses have a brand that sends a message to customers, staff, suppliers and every other stakeholder about what is on offer, what they do and how they operate.

Big businesses utilise this method of identifying themselves so that they appear at the ‘top of mind’ of their customers.  The benefits to them are enormous and outweigh the equally enormous costs that come with establishing that method.  It is their brand.

A Key to Becoming a Bigger Business

A small to medium business does not have the scale or resources to replicate this.  It does not need to.

Quite often what a business needs in order to step up in size can be obtained by using the essential tool that the large businesses use.

Instead of aiming to be top of mind, the smaller business can use this tool to create an identity that has a value greater than the sum of its parts.

This tool is a trademark.

What you are and what you can sell is no longer a list of assets and some goodwill but an identity that captures all of these things and which can be transported to other locations or even replicated.

It is more difficult to steal and it becomes something to sell that can pass on the value a business has created without even parting with the other assets.

More than that they can be spun off a business as a division that has its own identity.  Many large businesses are nothing more than a holding entity for a number of trademarks.  Some of them fail and some of them succeed.  You get to create a new identity without having to acquire a whole new set of assets.  If it didn’t work one way then you tweak it and try again.

A Key to Business Transformation

The world is your oyster and suddenly the idea of leveraging creativity become real.

Trademarks can provide the pathway from being a small business to being a small business that punches above its weight.  Or in other words, a bigger business.

They can be very useful when you have reached a plateau on your way to the success you are aiming to achieve.

A trademark can facilitate a process of business consolidation where focus can be placed on the essential successful part of the business. It provides an opportunity to work on your business in a way that many small business owners never do.

The 80:20 rule can be bought to bear during a considered strategy of trademarking your business.  This helps an owner pare back the operations of a business to that which is essential in its ongoing success.

Implementing the 80:20 rule does not mean that a business owner will free up 80% of their time.  This is generally unaffordable until other milestones are reached.  It means that the 20% of what you do in a business that is affective is expanded to fill the gap created by getting rid of the 80% of what you do that is best not done by you or your business.

We Can Overcome

In our fabulous country we have a tendency to celebrate the battler and the underdog and denigrate the achievers who raise themselves above the fray.  We have a phrase that describes this vilification.  The tall poppy syndrome.

Is it so embedded in our culture that many of us obtain security in lining up as a victim?

A trademark can set you free.

While there may be social cover in being constantly busy and struggling with business endeavours there is a benefit in defining using a trademark as a full stop or at least a marker of success that should be celebrated.

Perhaps it is time to place having a successful trademark as an ambition as lofty as owning your own house.  It is the mark of being on a ladder to prosperity.  It will spur innovation and creativity and strengthen the class of toilers who are working in a small business but who would be much better suited in working towards a bigger business.

These are the businesses that tend to have a stronger market value.  They have an impact on the social fabric of our country.  They will set us free from using immigration as a prop for maintaining living standards in this country and let us develop an inward strength that is sorely in need.

The Plucky Country

Living in the lucky country is a blessing that should not be overlooked and has brought us an enviable standard of living.  It also invites a mindset where attention is focused on how the national economic pie is distributed rather than how it is grown.

The problem with this approach is where it focuses our attention.  It diverts us from taking responsibility for our future as a country to one where we are at the whim of circumstances.  While circumstances will always have a powerful influence over on us we should not take leave of our opportunity to shape our futures.

There is an inherent trade-off between current consumption and consumption in the future.  The consumption we have locked into our day to day activity through government policy is getting higher.  Examples of this are the NDIS costs which are ballooning because of permissive criteria and poor gatekeeping and the difficult to manage infrastructure and procurement costs faced by the government which routinely result in 30-40% cost blowouts.

Reform undertaken by the government is being kicked down the road for many reasons.  It is left to business owners to navigate there own way into a prosperous future.

A key way of doing this is to look at their business as beyond a list of assets.  A trademark is a time honoured but underutilised way of doing just that.  It will require you to 

• Work on your business for a while rather than just in it
• Undertake some investment to streamline its operation
• Incur the costs in establishing the trademark
• Most importantly, force a business owner to figure out where he wants to get to in the future

The Right Journey Requires the Right Stuff

Like all journeys that are worth undertaking it can appear daunting initially but on the positive side, it is difficult to get too lost if you at least know where you want to get to.

A good trademark can become a valuable commodity when it comes to selling your business.  It is also a way of leaving a legacy when you have passed the business on.  Let’s not forget that few things are more passionate than success.  What is needed in building this success is focus.

Focus on the right stuff.

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