Archives March, 2010

The name also counts

By Jose on 10.03.2010 // 8:47 pm in General

In a world ruled by marketing, the image a company conveys is essential. In this sense, there is nothing as important as the name. The name of the company and its marketed products is similar to the first impression one makes when meeting somebody for the first time. That is, it is the company’s visiting card and therefore key to its success or failure.

A good name must be flexible, differentiating, credible, consistent, outstanding, evocative, legible, easy to pronounce, simple and finally, easy to remember, especially when dealing with products rather than companies. Marketing’s discipline in charge of giving commercial names to products is called naming. Nevertheless, this discipline can also be applied to the naming of the company itself.

To name a product or company is no simple task and requires a great amount of wit, creativity and abstraction capacity. Many companies turn to naming consultancy services to launch new products or to create affiliates. International companies such as  Lekicon, NameLab, Nomen and Idiom are the ones in charge of “giving birth”  to the names of products that will be used worldwide. The problem is that their services are far from cheap: they go from 4,500 to 25,000 euros, amounts that not everybody can afford, especially entrepreneurs.

If such is the case, the alternative is to use one’s imagination to devise the name of the company or the product. Obviously, a professional would do a better job, just like an accountant would also do a better job with our accounts, but it is not always possible to have one. There are some peculiar Internet tools designed to put terms together –generally 2.0 or related with technology- in order to find more or less funny, and generally not so adequate, names. Nevertheless, they can be a good start to get some ideas. Some of these sites are SugestName, Namimg2 2.0 or Domator offers some advice to find the best name following the steps in theory taken by experts. In this sense, the first thing to do is to define what do we want to communicate.  At the end of the day, the company’s name has to define or bring to mind the business the company is in charge of or at least the vibes it wants to transmit. This is the key, since the rest of the process starts at this point.

From this point, factors such as the sector we are targeting (for example, in retail the market is very segmented, therefore the name must straight away bring to mind what the client is looking for) and the expansion strategy –if we want to be international we can not use elements that geographically limit the name-. In general terms, the name must be evocative, which moreover saves ulterior explanations.

Dictionaries, tools as those previously mentioned, books, magazines… these are excellent sources to look for ideas. Help from relatives and friends, who can give their own personal perspective, is always useful –not to say essential- in this process.  The main idea is to make a reasonable amount of proposals (between 20 and 30) that meet our communication objectives. We will then start working on them and ruling them out.

As soon as we have short-listed the number of alternatives down to more or less five proposals which should be easy to read and express the business nature, we have to start our search in the brand’s register. We need to make sure that our names do not belong to another company already, and if we consider it appropriate, register the brand.

The name of the company is important because it is the company’s first image, the first impression for the client. Nevertheless, if the business is built on solid foundations it will progress. There are thousands of examples of companies with dreadful names that are currently market leaders.

The entrepreneur advantage: training

By Jose on 02.03.2010 // 10:41 am in General

The entrepreneur’s road is hard and full of obstacles, nevertheless, since hundreds of people start for this road every year, there must be some advantages to be found. Leaving aside the personal development aspect, that is the satisfaction of being your own boss or the –relative- freedom of establishing your own working hours, truth is that self-employment has other advantages, for example training, to begin with.

We are not discovering anything new if we say that training is essential for any project’s development and especially growth. Nevertheless, the training area is one of the most neglected ones by most companies, specially the smallest ones. Most multinationals do have career development programs for their employees who can thus improve their CV and add knowledge “at zero cost”. The percentage of people working on this area decreases proportionately to the company’s size. The reversion of this trend is in the hands of the businessman himself and the worker.

At the end of the day, an entrepreneur can choose the time and resources he wishes to allocate to training and just because he or she is self-employed, he or she has access to a training offer that is not available for everybody. In this sense, the various self-employed workers associations periodically publish the courses this type of workers can access to. Moreover, those who have chosen to create a company and appear as workers of such, can also be trained at almost zero cost, or at least partly subsidized. In order to achieve this, the only thing they have to do is use the amounts included in every employee’s payroll as continuing training and which the company and/or employee can make use of afterwards if they wish so.

In Spain the Fundación Tripartita explains the steps a company has to follow to apply for these training subsidies, together with the subsidized courses that normally refer to official degrees in the case of masters. In fact the Foundation even has a special section for SME’s support that can be very useful for entrepreneurs.

Even though most entrepreneurs already have a busy agenda, to devote at least a couple of hours to study the subsidized training alternative is worth it, since we must not only focus on short-term work. Sometimes, important things, or in the case of training, strategy, should go before urgent issues.

Image - edans

Elevator Pitch contest for BBVA Open Talent projects in Salón Miempresa

By Jose on 02.03.2010 // 10:36 am in General

As we have advertised in previous posts, we are preparing the participation in the Salón Miempresa event so that 10 of the projects submitted to BBVA Open Talent second edition can be presented in this congress that will be held on March 9 and 10 in Madrid’s Palacio de Congresos. More specifically, presentations will take place on March 10 from 17.45 to 19.00 and the 11th to the 20th most voted projects will have the chance to participate. BBVA Open Talent’s organization has already got in touch with these projects to prepare the presentations.

Salón Miempresa is the first relevant annual event thought for allowing entrepreneurs, businessmen and freelances to find solutions to all their worries on varied issues such as starting up, funding, development, management, and also SMEs transfer and acquisition if appropriate.