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Naming Your Franchise Enterprise | Entrepreneur

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The next excerpt is from franchise professional Mark Siebert’s guide The Multiplier Mannequin. Purchase it now.

One of many first—and most essential—duties you will want to think about when beginning a franchise enterprise is selecting your identify. The identify represents you to your clients, and as such, it isn’t a call that ought to be made frivolously.

That stated, names do not make companies. Companies make names.

Whereas a very good identify alternative is probably not the reason for your success, a foul one can undoubtedly contribute to your demise, so maintain the following tips in thoughts.

Associated: Is Franchising Proper For You? Ask Your self These 9 Inquiries to Discover Out.

Do not be too descriptive

From the standpoint of acquiring a trademark (which can assist you to implement your mental property rights), the extra descriptive a reputation is, the more durable it’s to trademark.

The phrase “hamburgers”—whereas it seems prominently on many indicators—is just not topic to trademark safety. Think about the quantity of authorized charges you’d gather in the event you had been combating over the phrase “hamburgers.”

A descriptive identify may additionally lock your model right into a market place that you could be not need to personal sooner or later sooner or later. Boston Hen grew to become Boston Market as a result of the corporate wished to advertise different menu objects like turkey and meatloaf. So selecting a descriptive identify can harm you when it comes time to broaden.

In case you completely want to make use of a descriptor to assist clarify your client providing, use it in a tagline, which you’ll or might not have the ability to trademark.

Guarantee that the identify is straightforward to spell, pronounce, and keep in mind. Shorter names are simpler to make use of on signage, permitting you to make use of bigger letters and make the identify extra seen.

Associated: The 4 Largest Myths About Franchising

Talk optimistic attributes and values

Even in the event you keep away from a descriptive identify, one factor you would possibly do is ask your self what attributes you need to talk about your model. You’ll be able to then incorporate a phrase or a part of a phrase that helps convey that attribute.

FedEx, for instance, which was initially Federal Categorical, was centered on the model attribute of pace. PayPal focuses on friendliness and ease by including the “Pal” appendage.

Logos

The method of growing a reputation and emblem may be complicated. It could embody steps like:

Title derivation utilizing phrases or elements of phrases with particular characteristicsTesting names and logos with focus groupsOther instruments utilized by consultants on points comparable to shade and design

Once you first create your emblem, don’t fret about spending some huge cash on design. There are a variety of on-line assets that may designnice-looking logosfor a fraction of the price of an expert design agency.

Associated: 10 Tricks to Go From Worker to Boss, From Franchisees Who Did It

Be sure you can trademark your identify

Maybe essentially the most vital facet of selecting a reputation is being positive the identify you select may be trademarked earlier than you make investments any time or effort in selling it. Burger King, for instance, operates in Australia underneath the identify Hungry Jack’s due to an analogous trademark downside.

Within the U.S., a fast search of the Trademark Digital Search System (TESS) on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Workplace (USPTO) website can inform you whether or not or not a reputation is trademarked.

Caveats with trademarking

Though you possibly can search TESS to see in case your identify is on the market, this methodology is just not with out its flaws. If, for instance, you searched “MacDowell’s” as a doable identify in your hamburger restaurant, the TESS search would come up empty—however the USPTO would possibly nonetheless reject your trademark if it felt the similarity to McDonald’s would possibly confuse shoppers.

On the flip aspect, the mere existence of a competing identify might not preclude you from getting a trademark both. Emblems are registered based mostly on varied courses within the USPTO’s classification system. There are a complete of 45 completely different courses—34 representing product courses and 11 representing service courses. So the truth that you’ve the identical identify as one other trademark proprietor is just not essentially a deal killer in the event you’re in numerous courses. Nobody is prone to confuse an Ace Bandage with Ace {Hardware}.

Associated: Franchise Possession Made Simple: Greatest Practices for Managing and Rising Your Enterprise

Trademarking is just not at all times price it

In case you had been working as “Joe’s Pizza,” and also you felt you could possibly trademark the identify, it is best to contemplate whether or not that identify is extra bother than it’s price. In case you searched Google and located 10,000 completely different Joe’s Pizza Parlors (or related names), all these companies would have prior rights to the identify. So even in the event you may get the trademark, you’d have 10,000 companies “infringing” on it—and legally, they might have each proper to proceed to function underneath the model.

Search recommendation from counsel

After you have narrowed down your listing of potential names, it is crucial to get the enter of trademark counsel in your best choice earlier than you finalize your determination. The price of acquiring an uncontested trademark, even when utilizing an lawyer to file the paperwork, is minimal when in comparison with the price of having to rebrand your corporation sooner or later sooner or later.

Professional tip: When deciding to file your trademark, accomplish that on the federal degree (not the state degree). That gives you the broadest rights.

You have filed… what subsequent?

When you file, the USPTO will assign an analyzing lawyer to assessment your mark. At that time, your utility might be rejected (which you’ll be able to enchantment), or it might transfer by means of the method of publication—the place your utility is listed within the Official Gazette printed weekly by the USPTO. If nobody objects to your mark inside 30 days (and keep in mind, trademark attorneys religiously scan the Official Gazette on behalf of their shoppers), you go to the following step, and your trademark is registered.

In case your mark is uncontested, the method can take six months to a 12 months or extra. However you possibly can go forward throughout that point and begin your corporation underneath your chosen identify—so long as your trademark lawyer feels snug that you simply’re prone to get hold of the mark. As soon as they’ve given you the go-ahead, you possibly can start growing your appear and feel—which shall be communicated to the general public by means of your emblem.

Associated: Contemplating franchise possession? Get began now and take this quiz to seek out your personalized list of franchises that match your life-style, pursuits and price range.

Get began with The Multiplier Mannequin

Going from small enterprise to profitable startup to scalable development takes extra than simply good luck. It takes a system. Over the past 34 years, franchising advisor and development professional Mark Siebert has been sought out by greater than 70,000 executives seeking to broaden their corporations. Out of these 70,000, solely 5,000 had the correct programs in place to go from profitable to scalable. In The Multiplier Mannequin, Siebert discusses the components that decide if an entrepreneur is able to scale their enterprise — and the most effective methods to get began. Learn extra.

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