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Naming Your Business

Seven ways to choose the right name for your business.

Bertie du Plessis

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Did you know there are only a limited number of options to name an enterprise? What a relief, isn’t it? As a matter of fact there are only seven really different ways in which you can create a name for your business or product and I am going to show them to you. However, before we get to the seven ways, we must first get a strategic issue out of the way. Going through the seven options with the wrong strategy will only help you from the frying pan into the fire.

So, let’s quickly play a game.

What would you choose?

Upfront I offer you a name that won’t harm your enterprise.  Take it, off you go to a flying start! It is not a “Wow!” but it will work. Most importantly it won’t harm your business.

However, I also have a secret name in a box. If you reject the “plain” name that I offer you upfront, you may choose the name in the box. But, wait, here’s the trick! In the box can be either of two names.  Name A is an absolutely fabulous, mindboggling “Wow!” name for your venture.  Name B on the other hand is a very inappropriate, “ouch!” name for you business. For our experiment’s sake you will have to use whatever you choose. Once taken you can’t discard.

What do you do? Take the appropriate, but uninspiring name and get off to a flying start? Or do you take the chance and choose the box – at least you have a fifty-fifty chance of getting a fabulous name for your business?

What you should do, is choose the appropriate if uninspiring name, because a name alone will not guarantee business success. A business is by far too complex for that. A bad name, however, may positively harm your business. I have seen some really bad names for businesses which the owners justified by saying that “they wanted to be different.”  Yes, we need to differentiate, but if we are too different your market will fail to make the connection between their needs and your offering! Many things will differentiate your brand. The onus is not on the name alone! When you come to a professional agency for name development, the greater part of the fee will be for preventing you choosing a name that will make you look foolish and harm your business!

Before you even begin to name you enterprise, make the right strategic decision. If, by luck or inspiration you do stumble on a “Wow!” name, good for you! You are lucky, but don’t over estimate the power of a name in business success!

Now we get to the tricks of naming a business or enterprise.

1. A personal name

If you are in the services industry, your first choice should always be your own name. Only when there are compelling reasons to the contrary (for instance: you are afraid if you fail, your name might be tarnished), should you choose anything else. Take your name in the real world, for instance Sue McGregor and add the description of your business, for instance “Sue McGregor Financial Advisors.”   Your biggest advantage in small businesses is you yourself; especially in services. Use your name to give personality and a face to your business. Personalise, personalise, personalise!

2. Combine two words to create a metaphor

Take two words and combine them to make a new word with a new meaning, “airbus,” for example.  A bus transports passengers in bulk on land. Combining the word bus with the word air creates a new meaning, bulk passenger transport by air.  You use a part of the meaning of one or both of the words.

3. Combine two units of meaning (morphemes) to create a new word

“Provita,” the name for the well-known health biscuits come from “pro” meaning “for, on behalf of” and “vita” life. This is very powerful.

4. Create an acronym from the first letters of a description

This is very popular way with technology companies.  “Intel” comes from “Integrated electronics.”  “Modem” comes from modulator emulator.  The important thing to remember is that the name must sound like a real word. This means that you should have vowels attached to consonants as in In and tel.  Don’t, don’t have only consonants such as BRD or RDF.  “IBM” only works because it first was Industrial and Business Machines, became well-known, and was then abbreviated. You are not IBM!

5. Take a part of what you do and use it to refer to the entire enterprise

“Staples” is only an (insignificant) item on the list of office supplies, but it is the name of a large supplier of all kinds of office supplies in the US. Windows is only the obvious visual part of the office software package.

6. Take a well-known word from one area of life and apply it to your enterprise

“Diesel” is the name of type of fuel, but it is applied to a well-know clothing brand. In this case the word carries emotional overtones of “rugged” and “working class.”  “Apple” is another example. The trick here is to choose words with emotional associations that will support your enterprise.

7. A totally new word that has not existed before

There is a strong case to be made that this may yet be the best of all options for a product or large enterprise. Examples are “Exxon,” “Sony” and “Kodak.

Finally your biggest no-no is to be generic.  You can’t be “Our Game Farm” or “The Pharmacy” or “My wine.” As an individual you don’t want to be known as “My father’s son.”  You want to have a name! The Internet has not changed this at all.  Remember, books.com got nowhere, but Amazon did!   Search.com got nowhere, but Google did!  It’s counter-intuitive but indisputable true!

Bertie du Plessis founded his successful consultancy firm, MindPilot, 17 years ago. He names several of South Africa’s blue chip corporations among his client list and has taught as a lecturer and guest lecturer in six different disciplines at tertiary institutions. His fin24.com blog is the most read business blog on the 24.com domain. Visit Bertie Du Plessis's website for more information.

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Increasing Productivity

The 3 Nasty Little Secrets About Teams

Internal competition, poorly designed incentive systems and groupthink can derail your group quickly.

Beth Miller

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In today’s world of business, we all understand the value of teams. Well-functioning teams can collaborate and drive innovation, which is a competitive advantage. Without innovation, many companies wither and die.

Iconic brands like Borders and Blockbuster are examples of companies that were unable to adapt quickly enough to the changing competitive landscape. Now you can bet that these companies understood the importance of innovation and had teams focused on the future, but what went wrong? From my experience, three things derail teams – internal competition, poorly designed incentive systems and groupthink.

1Internal competition

When companies have processes and structures that create competition for limited internal resources, things can get ugly quickly. Strong team identity can be a huge benefit to productivity and engagement but only if all of your departments have a single goal that requires co-operation, not competition, amongst the departments. So how do you create the “big goal?”

Related: 10 Traits Of Managers Whose Teams Are Happy To Come To Work

Ideally the big goal is a concept and more abstract. It should speak to your company’s purpose. For example, one PEO company’s big goal was to provide unique human resource solutions to their customers’ problems by listening to customer needs and leveraging unique technology solutions.

Once the company “why” was clear, the CEO facilitated a discussion with each department about what the goal meant for them. They explored the answers to questions like: What are the principles and programs that each department could create and embrace that would assist them in providing unique solutions to customer problems?

For the PEO, listening to customers was determined to be a core principal. The CEO met with his executive team to determine what program could be developed for each department that would enhance listening to their customers. In this case, all the executives agreed there were three departments – sales, customer service and accounting – that interfaced with customers on an ongoing basis. And, that without the three departments cooperating, they could not deliver unique custom human resource solutions to their customers.

Armed with this knowledge, each of the three department leaders were in charge with communicating the big goal and assisting in determining what department goals would drive and support the big goal while requiring the cooperation of the other departments.

2Incentive systems

With incentive systems, remember that what you incent and reward others for will drive their behavior and results. The classic example is sales commissions. When the metric for sales commission is revenue, you will have your sales team looking for any sales opportunity. But, if you compensate your sales team by gross margin dollars, your sales team will bring you only profitable sales.

Compensating sales by gross margin dollars may increase profits but it doesn’t help solve the problem of internal competition amongst sales and other departments. What behaviors do you need to increase your sales and profits while focusing on collaboration and innovation?

For one technology company, there was one value that all employees within every department lived by that helped drive company growth and profitability – listening to and solving customer problems. So company leaders proceeded to develop firm goals around listening to customers and driving innovative solutions. Then each department created specific objectives, which linked to the goals and were dependent on the other departments’ co-operation.

Related: Building A Hard-Working Team Starts With You

3Groupthink

Leaders often have strong opinions, which can lead to groupthink. Groupthink discourages perspectives from being challenged and narrows thinking, stifling innovation and organisational competitiveness. In order to manage and break groupthink, a leader needs to listen more than talk during meetings where strategy and innovation are the focus. He/she needs to have dissenter(s) on their teams and encourage and support the dissenters. While team members generally do not like dissenters, they are often the ones who care the most and have the courage to dissent.

As a leader of a team, is your team at risk of groupthink? You can do a quick assessment by asking for feedback from team members on your listening skills. How much time do you spend listening versus talking? When do team members get the opportunity to speak in meetings? What questions are you asking that will lead to exploring alternatives and processing information objectively? Who are the dissenters on your team? And how do you support and encourage their views and suggestions?

One technique I recommend to team leaders is Six Thinking Hats presented by Edward de Bono in his book by the same title. The method will transform your meetings so that all perspectives are taken into account.

Now that you know the derailers of teams, it is time to take action and define goals that drive collaboration across the company, reward teams for working collaboratively and encourage the dissenters on your team. What is your first step?

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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HP Launches New Ink Tank Printers For High-Volume Home Users

New HP DeskJet GT Series offer high quality printing at an extremely low cost-per-page.

HP

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HP Inc. unveiled the new HP DeskJet GT 5820All-in-One series targeted at high-volume home users looking for a wireless ink tank printer that never stops. This wireless all-in-one prints thousands of pages, all at an ultra-low cost-per-page. Our easy-access, spill-free refill system means no more mess, just exceptional quality and reliability for all your high-volume home printing needs.

“High volume home users are focused on efficiency and are constantly on the lookout for innovation that can reduce cost and minimise disruption to their work,” said Jane Geypen, HPS Category Manager for South Africa. “The new HP DeskJet GT series makes high-quality, reliable printing more affordable and wireless printing and ink refill easy and fuss-free.” 

Related: Why You Need To Be Using The HP GT 5820 In Your Business

Longer staying power, renowned quality

The HP DeskJet GT series prints up to 8,000 pages with a set of three HP colour bottles or up to 5,000 pages with a HP black ink bottle out of the box. Original HP inks are specially formulated to deliver sharp text, vibrant graphics and photos that are water and fading resistant, while also offering professional quality and borderless printing.

Replenishing ink is also clean and easy with HP’s innovative spill-free refill system. The bottles can simply be plugged into the tank without any squeezing required. You can also easily monitor ink levels with the transparent ink tanks.

Connect wirelessly and work from anywhere

The working environment today needs to be connected and wireless. The new HP DeskJet GT 5820 All-in-One printer makes it easy for you while working remotely to connect via a smartphone or tablets. The printer can be set up out of the box using just a mobile device. Even without a wireless network, Wi-Fi direct enables you to directly connect your printer to your mobile device at home.

Related: 3 Unique Paths To Improving Office Productivity

In addition, with the HP All-in-One Printer Remote app, you can quickly send scans to email or cloud storage through your mobile device. You can easily print from a variety of devices including iPhone® and iPad® using AirPrint™, or smartphones and tablets running Android™, Windows® 8, Windows® 10, and Google™ Chrome™ operating systems. 

Quick, easy setup

The HP DeskJet GT 5820 All-in-One comes with a set of three Original HP GT52 colour ink bottles, plus an Original HP GT51 black ink bottle, so you can set up fast and start printing right away. High-yield HP GT51/52 ink bottles are the perfect match for high-volume printing. Original HP inks are specially formulated to work with the all-in-one, and ensure that printing is simple and reliable, with amazing results every time.
More information about the new HP DeskJet GT 5820 All-in-One series is available at http://www8.hp.com/za/en/home.html 

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Why You Need To Be Using The HP GT 5820 In Your Business

Extremely low cost per page. Innovative high-quality printing. Everything you’ve come to expect from HP.

HP

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HP GT 5820

HP recently launched their GT 5820, this All-in-One printer is ideal for high-volume users or small- and micro-businesses who need low-cost, high-volume printing. If you need to be able to print on-the-go the GT 5820 can give you the freedom to print from your smartphone or tablet, the 5820 model offers easy mobile printing options.

No matter which model you choose, you’ll get:

  • Affordable high-volume printing
  • A clean, easy refill experience
  • Easy monitoring and maintenance, with minimal intervention
  • Consistent, high-quality results for everyday documents and photos
  • Borderless printing for brochures, flyers, photos, and more
  • Convenient, quality copying and scanning.

Higher stamina at a lower cost

The new and innovative GT 5820 can handle high-volume printing, affordably. It can print up to 8,000 pages (colour set) or 5,000 pages (black), with extremely low cost per page with high-volume printing. You can print thousands of pages with the new and improved high-capacity ink tanks, and whenever you want you simply add more ink.

Related: How To Make Better Business Decisions That Drive Productivity And Profits

User-friendly ink refill system

Restore ink levels with our easy-access, spill-free refill system. It will help you to improve your workflow with productivity features and print longer without having to replenish ink. Monitor ink levels with transparent ink tanks, and easily replenish whenever you like with Original HP high-yield ink bottles.

You can now avoid messy overflow as HP’s unique spout design prevents ink from filling past the tank’s maximum fill line. Simply plug the bottle into the ink tank and let it drain, no squeezing, no spilling.

Exceptional HP quality

With the GT 5820 you can print crisp, sharp text, vibrant graphics, and so much more. If you’re looking for consistent, professional-quality results try using the world’s No. 1 printer brand.

This all-in-one is designed and built to HP’s high standards for reliable, long-term use.

The GT 5820 will help you to produce standout everyday documents with sharper lines, darker blacks, and reduced smudging on ColorLok® papers. Rely on Original HP inks for durable colour photos that resist water and fading, and last for decades. You can be sure your projects always look great no matter what you print. Create borderless brochures, flyers, photos, and more, right in your office.

Get the features you need for work and other tasks, in this all-in-one, including copy and scan functions, so you can save time and accomplish more using just one device.

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