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How To Check Business Name Availability?

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Your business name is what your customers, suppliers, and other people will associate with your brand. Some people only use their names, while others prefer something catchy that makes themselves more memorable in the minds of others.

When starting a new business, it’s crucial that you put a lot of thought and consideration into your new brand. Get it right, and your name will be instantly recognizable. However, if you get it wrong, you’ll find it hard to start again with a new name. Especially if your brand is tarnished because of an oversight on your part!

One of the most important things you need to do when considering a business name is to check that no-one else is using it in some way. For example, if your surname is McDonald and you wish to use it as part of your new restaurant brand, you’ll have some intellectual property issues with a similarly-named and well-known established business.

Once you’ve shortlisted a few potential names, ask yourself the following questions to ensure the name you consider for your business is right, unique, and won’t cause you any legal or financial headaches:

Has someone else already registered your potential new business name?

Let’s say that you wish to start a business as a self-employed person and become incorporated at a later date. Is there anyone out there already using your brand? As with most online queries, it makes sense to do some research on Google and other search engines. You can also search at sites such as the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission).

If you’re planning on trading in other countries, you may wish to set up local offices in them. To do that, you’ll need to register your business name at those locations too. So, to do that, you’ll need to first check that your brand name is not already taken by another company there.

Is the name someone’s intellectual property?

When you start a new business, you don’t want to step on anyone’s toes because you have the same name as their company! So, how can you ensure that the name you choose hasn’t already been taken by someone else?

The first thing you should do is check if it is someone else’s intellectual property. To do that, you need to determine if the name is a registered trademark. In case you didn’t know, a trademark helps people protect the names of their brands, products, and services.

It’s important to check if your brand is used both on a domestic level and abroad. Why is the latter important, you may ask? Well, if you wish to expand your brand to cover international markets, you want to ensure no-one else has beaten you to it!

The good news is that it’s quite straightforward to check trademarks. You can search online for free from a variety of official sources in almost all countries. You can also hire a research agent to check local sources where a searchable online list is not available.

What does your business name mean?

One of the considerations people make when starting a new business is to think of what their brand name means. Some startups may use their personal name as part of their brand. But, for those that don’t, could their potential brand name mean something else in another language?

Here’s a sample of some brand names and how they can mean or sound like different things in other languages:

  • Zhiguli – Russian domestic car brand. Sold as “Lada” in other nations as “Zhiguli” sounds like “gigolo” when pronounced;
  • Blédina – a French infant food brand owned by Danone. “Blé” means “wheat” in French, but sounds similar to a vulgar Russian insult to women;
  • Barf – an Iranian brand of washing machine powder, the word “barf” is Persian for snow but is English slang for “vomit”;
  • Bing – Microsoft’s search engine sounds like the word for “disease” in Chinese;
  • Hulu – the popular streaming video on demand service also means “cease and desist” in Swahili, a language spoken in several African countries.

As you can see, a business brand name could have an entirely different meaning in other languages! You can use a translating tool like Google Translate to see what your proposed name might mean in languages other than English.

Don’t forget that there are even some different meanings within variations of the English language! For instance, a “butt” in British English means a rainwater tank or a wine cask size, and in American English, it can colloquially refer to someone’s behind!

What do people search for in your niche?

Once you’ve established your brand, the chances are high that most people will find out about your business just by searching for what you sell. After all; your startup brand won’t be internationally recognizable at first like some established brands are today!

When thinking of a name for your new business, take the time to learn more about the things people search for in your niche. For instance, if you are going to manufacture cell phones, you might find that people search more for terms like “mobile phones” or “smartphones” instead of “cell phones.”

Depending on your proposed business name, you might find that your keyword searches highlight mistakes in your name. So, using the previous example, you may wish to call your brand “Acme Mobile Phones” rather than “Acme Cell Phones.”

In a sense, the above also ties in with the previous section on business name meanings in other countries. “Cell phone” is a term used in the Americas, whereas “mobile phone” is a more common term in other parts of the world including Europe.

How does your business name sound when you say it?

Last, but not least, a proposed name for your new enterprise might look good on paper. But, could it be hard to pronounce verbally? And if people with certain accents say the name, does it still sound the name or could it sound similar to another business name?

By taking the above points into account, you can ensure that you’ll have a unique, relevant, and memorable business name.

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Startups

Essential Guide To Start A Detergent Powder Making Business

detergent

If you’re thinking of starting a business, one of the most promising industries today is the laundry washing powder or the detergent powder. Plus, anyone can start a detergent making business. You don’t need significant capital investment to make it work.

Are you considering it?

If you are, here’s an essential guide to starting a detergent powder making business.

About Detergent Powders

Washing and detergent powders are surfactants. These are the most crucial ingredient in washing and cleaning purposes.

In general, there are two types of manufacturing technologies today. There’s the mixing of raw materials, and the other is spray dried. However, you have to keep in mind that the first option is your perfect choice for large-scale operations. It even demands a huge capital investment for you. The second one is the easier option, which is the mixing formula. Here, you can easily start your manufacturing process with a small amount of money.

Detergent Manufacturing Business

Market Potential

In recent years, demand for detergents has increased as with the growth of population. In general, the detergent powder segment only caters to three different categories, which are the lower, middle, and higher-end markets. As one of the necessities of people today, the demand for detergents is slowly increasing.

Because of rapid urbanization, there’s more and more demand for detergent powders in sachets and small pack sizes. Aside from that, there’s also the increasing per capita income, which helps in boosting the population’s purchase capacity. Furthermore, a very wide range of options in hunger for good living, health awareness, and choice are just some of the main reasons why detergent powders are growing in demand.

Also, rural areas are replacing detergent cake with washing powders! Aside from domestic consumption, these products also have different usages in several industrial sectors. In the small and medium sector, you can find a good investment opportunity in the detergent industry. Thus, washing powder manufacturing is quite a lucrative opportunity for those who want to start a business.

Plant Setup and Machinery

Initiating a small-scale detergent powder manufacturing in only around 1000 sq ft area is possible. But the final area required will depend mostly on your desired quantity output.

Plus, you still need to secure your factory location with careful planning. It must have transportation, electricity, and water nearby.

Machines

These are some of the types of equipment that you will need in manufacturing detergent powder:

  • Reactors
  • Pulveriser
  • Weighing Scale
  • Blender
  • Neutraliser
  • fine screen
  • Machinery
  • Separator
  • product quality
  • mixer

You can find most of these on Unifite.

Formula

Each company has its detergent powder making the formula. Depending on your target market demographic, you have to craft a unique formula. You can source the needed manufacturing technology from several researchers and schools.

To help you, we’ve put together this reference for your basic formula and ingredients percentage.

IngredientsPremium grade (Wt, %)Popular grade (Wt, %)
85% active LAB acid slurry1815
Sodium carbonate (soda ash)3532
Sodium metasilicate2No
Alkaline sodium silicateNo7
Sodium bicarbonate1010
Sodium Sulphate (anhydrous)2025
Sodium tripolyphosphate107
Sodium carboxymethyl cellulose1.51
Phthalocyanine blue color or oil-soluble yellow color0.10.1
Optical whitener0.30.2
Perfume0.10.1
Water32.6

Manufacturing Process

Here’s how detergent power is manufactured.

  • Using soda ash, neutralize the acid slurry.
  • Then, so that the reaction is completed, keep the mixture for about an hour.
  • Mix all the other ingredients like Colours, Glauber’s salt, CMC, STEP, Perfume, TSP, and many others.
  • Once done, continuously mix everything so that your ingredients blend to the neutralized acid slurry.
  • Afterward, dry the mixture.
  • Lastly, pack your finished product. Make sure to use proper packing.

Packing Your Detergent Powder

Aside from the raw materials above, you have to look for suitable packing for your detergent powder. In general, these come in a poly pack. Then, pack them into quantities of 250 grams, 500 grams, 1 kilogram or 5 kilograms.

Make sure to think of the packaging thoroughly since these have important aspects of marketing. You have to design them with the customer in mind. Also, every one of your basic details should be put in the packets. These include the MRP, quantity, manufacturing date, customer care number, company address, and many more. Don’t forget to arrange the outer cartoons for transportation and bulk packaging.

If possible, make sure to choose eco-friendly materials for all of these. Don’t contribute to global warming.

Conclusion

All in all, if you want to make a commercial detergent powder, you’ll have to read a lot. Get to know some basic knowledge. Get a book. This is one of the best guides for you. We’d recommend the “Soaps, Detergents And Disinfectants Technology Handbook.”

Detergents refer to dish detergents or laundry detergent in comparison to hand soaps or other cleaning agent types. You can find in the book some technology fundamentals of washing saponified soap or soap making. Plus, you can see here  total soap making operation, earth bleaching oils, construction materials for plants that can be used for soap making, chemical bleaching, framed soaps manufacturing, fatty acids, floating soap bars, soap mixing, chips and flakes manufacturing, Mazzoni process, manufacturing of milled bars, chemicals from detergents and soaps, antiseptics and disinfectants, dry cleaning agents and many more.

Furthermore, you’ll find in the book some formulae, processes of different types of disinfectants, soaps, and detergents. These products all have a good demand in the domestic and international market. For entrepreneurs venturing in this field, this one’s a very food scope. You will find the book invaluable if you want to diversify into this field.

Plus, you can even produce liquid detergents and detergent cakes from your detergent powder manufacturing unit. How awesome is that!

If you’re still thinking of starting your own business, it’s best to start now. If you keep doubting, you won’t reach anywhere. If you fail, it’s okay. You learn from your mistakes. If you succeed, then well and good. Don’t stop learning.

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Startups

10 Things To Do Before Starting A Business

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Entrepreneurs are good at commercialising ideas and turning new products and services into must-haves. Before long their business has structure, systems and staff as well as a sustainable revenue stream, and they make everything they do look easy. However, behind that calm exterior lies a hard-working creator who has made sure their new business is well prepared for the long journey ahead.

One day you’ll feel invincible as everything in the business is going smoothly, sales are coming in, and bills are being paid. However, the next day, something unforeseen will challenge your very reasoning for starting a business in the first place. It takes many years to say you have a mature company.

Preparation

Evidence of poor preparation is in the statistics that most businesses fail within the first five years.

A lack of preparation and knowledge of how to run a business is the key cause of business failure. Stop worrying that a delay in opening your doors will give a competitor the chance to beat you to it. Take the time to understand what makes a business successful. Once you’re satisfied you can tick the box of these important issues then it’s time to start operating.

Find Your Target Market

Your first step has to be thinking about your target market. Where are the prospective customers? No product is universal and finding the right target market is going to increase your chances of reducing pre-sales and marketing costs to secure sales and a profit. Your target market is going to impact everything about your business model from how you promote your company to where you choose to promote it, from PPP advertising to SEO initiatives.

Name And Logo

Next, consider the name and logo for your business. The name and logo need to be memorable and dynamic. It should stand out amongst the sea of competition that you’ll face online. You may want to pay more attention to the logo rather than the name. Research shows that consumers are more likely to remember images rather than words. Consider hiring a professional to create your logo too. That way, you can avoid it looking as though it came out of a cookie-cutter. Once you have decided on a name and logo, trademarking is vital. You must make sure other businesses aren’t able to piggyback off your potential success. Also have a look at Branding Considerations For Your New Business.

Build Your Site

Where are you going to display the name and logo of your business? A key area of your campaign would be your website. Again, you should hire a professional to design and website and make sure you host it yourself. By hosting it, you can increase your potential ranking online, thus attracting more traffic to your site. You need to think about what your site is going to be used for. It could be a place purely for marketing purposes, or you may want to set it up for purchases. If the latter is true, you must invest in secure sales software to protect customers data.

Set Up Social Media

No company will survive in the modern market without a social media presence. You need to set up profiles on everything from Facebook to Instagram and Snapchat. This will give you a wide range of options when choosing how to interact with potential customers online. More importantly, it will enable users online to find your business, updates, and information easily. These profiles can have a specific tone and consistent. You can also republish any content that you produce across all your profiles. This will ensure that you get the largest reach online.

Get In The Green

Starting a business is always going to be expensive, and it will damage your credit score at the beginning. You will need to borrow a lot of money for everything from inventory to employees. Increasing your credit score before you open your company will ensure you can borrow money with low-interest rates making it more manageable. At the start, most business owners pay for expenses out of their savings and quickly run out of money. At this point, you will have no choice but to borrow. It is crucial that lenders trust you to pay the money back or interest rates will quickly push your company into unmanageable levels of debt.

Pick Your Business Model

There are lots of business models to choose from when you decide how to run your company. For instance, it is possible to set up a company and run it from home, online or tap into an established brand via a franchise model. You might also consider using freelancers or outsourcing agents rather than hiring permanent employees on contracts. It all depends on the type of business that you want to run and the cost-cutting schemes that you want to use. Another good post to read is What Is The Best Legal Structure For My Business?.

Hire A Legal Advisor

A legal advisor is always going to be a beneficial hire for your business. It should be one of the first individuals you think about recruiting. They can help you with everything from paying the right amount in tax to forming contracts with business owners for suppliers and stock. They will ensure that you are up to date with important regulations and laws that will affect how you run your business. Also read Why Its Important To Engage A Lawyer ASAP When Starting A Business.

Form Contacts In The Industry

No business owner is an island, and it’s important that you have people in the industry who you can contact for help and support. A mentor to help guide you and provide skilled opinion is also highly recommended. You also want to make sure that you have clients set up, interested in your service before you open your doors. Early guaranteed customers will be crucial for keeping your company profitable in the first few months. You might already have contacts from a previous position in a similar business. Also consider tradeshows and exhibitions to give you a natural way to rub shoulders with investors, suppliers, and buyers.

Consult With An Expert

You won’t be an expert in all the areas of running a business. But you can hire someone who is. There are consultants for every sector of a company who can aid you in marketing, accounting or employee management. With someone by your side who has experience in these areas, you can avoid some of the common early pitfalls new owners endure.

Prepare Your Escape Plan

Finally, make sure you have an escape plan or an early exist plan should things not go your way. If your business struggles to sell enough to be profitable have a plan to quickly sell your inventory and make any money you spent back as quickly as possible. Selling down assets and stock will prevent you debt spiralling out of control and your business becoming insolvent.

Additional Reading

Where To Find Help And Training For Starting A Business?
How To Check Business Name Availability?
How Do I Write A Business Plan?
How Do I Price My Products/Services?
Ideas For Keeping Business Costs Down
How Do I Manage Business Cashflow?
How Much Money Will I Need For My First Year Of Business?
How Do I Check My Businesses Compliance Requirements?
What Do I Need To Prepare Before Hiring Staff?
Five Basic (And Cheap!) Tasks That Will Dramatically Improve IT Security For Small Businesses
What Insurance Do I Need For My New Business?
Do I Need To Be PCI Compliant?

Suggested Next Read: How to Start a Business For Under $5,000

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Startups

Is A Franchise Business Right For Me?

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With startups all the rage these days, it’s easy for people to forget about another way of starting a business – franchising. Franchises are still a great way for people to get ahead in business, and there are options in almost every single industry. But, while franchising offers plenty of potential for success, the business model isn’t for everyone. In this guide, we’re going to take you through a few of the pros and cons of becoming a franchisee, and, hopefully, help you find out whether the pathway is a suitable one for your needs. First of all, let’s take a look at some of the advantages of becoming a franchisee.

Taking advantage of a recognized brand name

When you start a business yourself, there is a lot of work to do to establish your brand name. With franchises, however, it’s a little different. You are, in essence, buying into an already recognized brand name, and that means there are plenty of benefits. There is a lot of security in place right from the start, and you could be profiting from trading under a name known nationally – or even globally. In short, it almost guarantees customers as you already have their trust for quality and reputation.

Buying into an established – and successful – model

It can take a long time for startups to work out how to do things the right way – years in some cases. However, when you assume a franchise, everything is already there for you to take advantage of. The way of working is proven to be a success already, and you are enjoying a tried and tested formula. All the hard work of refining the business model is already done, leaving you to reap the rewards.

Running a business

Running a franchise is, to all intents and purposes, precisely the same as running an independent business. You will be responsible for everything, have the opportunity to explore growth opportunities, and, ultimately, will need to meet the same expectations as you would impose on yourself anyway.

Training opportunities

When you buy into a franchise, the franchisor wants you to succeed. So, you get everything you need to kick things off in the right possible way, right from the very start. First of all, you have excellent training to ensure you have the skills necessary to become a success. Your employees get that training, too, making sure that everyone knows what to do before you open your doors. When you start a business yourself, training employees comes at a vast expense – which you just don’t need to incur with a franchise.

Systems, support, and savings

You will also get the advantage of equipment, software, IT systems and a lot more besides when you get involved with a franchise. Everything you need to succeed is given to you and is refined to the exact standards to ensure you achieve your goals. There is support available when you need help, too, which you just don’t have when starting a business. And, finally, the scale of orders that franchises place with suppliers means that you can take advantage of lower costs of raw materials.

Of course, franchising isn’t always without its problems. And to work out whether the model is the right one for you, it’s important to know the disadvantages, too. Let’s take a look at the other side of the coin of running a franchise business.

The cost

First of all, it’s vital to understand that buying into an already successful brand name is not cheap – some franchises cost millions for the license. Some franchises require less, of course – five-figure sums for buying in are not uncommon. But you should expect to part with a six-figure sum in many cases, and you will also have to pay ‘royalty’ payments of anything between 4 and 7 percent.

The commitment

While starting a business of any kind requires 100 percent commitment to ensure success, it’s even more important for franchisees. When you consider the vast sums of money you have to spend to trade under a strong name, it can take years to pay that back. It means that commitment to your business is nothing short of essential, and you also have to bear in mind that signs of success could take a couple of years to start showing.

The experience

As we mentioned above, your franchisor will give you plenty of training opportunities to develop your skills. But you shouldn’t assume that this will be enough experience to run a well-drilled and productive team. If you have never managed people before, it can be a difficult prospect, due to the type of employees you have to take on. As a rule – although this isn’t always the case – franchises pay low wages, which, in turn, means a low quality of staff. Employee turnover, therefore, tends to be high in many franchises, and enthusiasm and productivity are often significant issues you can’t afford to ignore.

The rules and regulations

When you work under a franchise name, there is little room for creativity with regards to making choices for your business. The franchise rules will run through everything you do, from the decor of your store or offices to the way everyone works. And if you want to make changes, it can be hard to persuade the franchisor to let it happen. Bear in mind that many franchisees have made changes to the way they run their business, and are, more often than not, punished with a contract termination.

Not all franchises are a safe bet

Not all locations in the country are suitable for opening a franchise – even when that franchise isn’t represented in the local area. For example, some parts of major towns and cities are fiercely independent and don’t like the prospect of a massive global chain opening up on their doorstep. It’s vital to explore the market potential of your franchise of choice before making the wrong decision – which could result in an incredibly expensive mistake.

As you can see, running a franchise business is not for everyone. The big question is – is it a good fit for you?

Additional resources

A Consumer’s Guide to Buying a Franchise
5 Tips for Buying a Franchise
7 Reasons to Buy into a Franchise
What is a franchise? Advice for small businesses

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