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Knowledge Economy – The New Paradigm

Uncategorized Aug 12, 2019

If you prefer to listen/watch a video instead of reading then click here to go to my Youtube channel.

As we transition from an industrial economy to an information, knowledge based one, there is a boom in entrepreneurship. More and more service based ventures are sprouting up. These invariably offer knowledge based consultancy products and services, drawing on the founders’ skillset.

Knowledge is now the equivalent of raw materials used in factories back in the industrial age when those who owned the means of production developed efficient processes to turn raw materials into goods.   In doing so their assembly

line goods became cheaper to make and delivered a more reliable quality than goods built by craftsmen in cottage industries.  This drove down the price of goods, and made them more widely available to consumers.

When your business involves the provision of a service, knowledge-based solution, it is important to remember this parallel so you can...

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What Effect Does Deregulation Have on The Market for Legal Services?

Uncategorized Aug 05, 2019

Although “deregulation” of the legal industry in the UK was initiated by the Legal Services Act 2007 the new laws didn’t come into effect until 2011, and far from the “big bang” that was anticipated it was a damp squid.

There was an air of anticipation around Alternative Business Structures which were the new vehicle introduced to implement Lord Clementi’s recommendations.  Some people believed that the ABS would cause a sea change in the way legal services were provided because for the first time non lawyers could own a stake in law firms.

However, to date the radical transformation of the legal services market that was envisaged from deregulation hasn’t happened - at least at the small business end of the market where access to lawyers is still costly for many.

In my view, the new regulations about to come into effect in November 2019 which relax the rules around how solicitors may practice will have a far bigger impact in opening up...

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Starting Your Own Business  – Learn From My Story Setting Up A Law Practice

Uncategorized Jul 29, 2019

If you prefer to listen/watch a video instead of reading then click here to go to my youtube channel.

When I started my law firm back in 2004 I really didn’t have a clue about how to run a business let alone a law firm. So, I did what I usually do when I want to learn how to do something – I found a book to read. It was and remains the Law Society’s recommended text book Setting up and Managing a Law Practice by Martin Smith.

Had I known then what I know now I would not have followed the central advice in this book – which was to take whatever work you can get. However, at the time I really didn’t know much about marketing, or positioning, and the importance of being niche.

So my first year in business I did as the book suggested and became a general practitioner, taking whatever work came my way. I’m not sure if later editions of the book have updated this advice. I certainly hope so, but if you are a solicitor intending to start your...

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Digital Products – How to Launch a Successful Digital Product

Uncategorized Jul 22, 2019

If you prefer to listen/watch a video instead of reading then click here to go to my youtube channel.

What’s the big deal with digital products? Why are so many people creating online products to sell? What are digital products anyway, and how do you create a digital product that sells?

Digital products are intangible assets, meaning they can’t be held, tasted, or touched.  What makes them especially appealing is that digital products can be created once and sold repeatedly to different customers without having to replenish your inventory.

Using digital media intellectual property assets such as downloadable or streamable files, MP3s, PDFs, videos, plug-ins, and templates – it’s possible to make products ranging from music to videos, ebooks to online courses, and more.  Be sure to check that you will own the IP rights as I’ve discussed in previous posts.

 

Low Overhead Costs

Digital products appeal to people because...

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Digital Courses – Did You Know That Few Are Actually Consumed?

Uncategorized Jul 15, 2019

If you prefer to listen/watch a video instead of reading then click here to go to my youtube channel.

I was surprised to hear a while back that only a minority of students who buy online courses actually open and use them let alone finish them. That was from a respected thought leader who sells many online courses.

An article I came across recently seemed to bear this out According to this piece, although “hundreds of courses are now available from dozens of the world’s best universities and professors on the major platforms such as Coursera, edX, Udacity, and Udemy, and have attracted at least 4 million sign-ups to date, more than 90% of these would-be learners don’t finish. Many don’t even start the courses”.  What’s more, those who do finish their course, don’t go on to take another one.

When you bear in mind the flexibility and other advantages that online courses offer this is extremely surprising.

The perks of taking...

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Intellectual Property Business Advice For Startups

Before considering a budget for services such as Outsourcing, Trademark or Patents even, I’d like to give you some pointers based on my experience of advising startups of all types over the last 15 years.

Businesses tend to change radically in the early years so that a few years after starting up, many look nothing like their initial manifestation.

Sometimes this can be because as they get market feedback on their concepts their ideas develop and they pivot. Or it may be that new businesses don’t know what it is exactly that they do, and who they do it for. Even professionals, like lawyers and web designers, who you would think know pretty clearly what they do, struggle with this.

Startups, therefore, take time to find their feet.

For this reason, I would counsel against spending too much money on anything, be it design, legal fees, or otherwise. As the business gradually achieves clarity about the demand for its goods and services, and figures out which services will...

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Power of Habits – How Habits Are The Way To Protecting An Organisation’s Intellectual Property

habits Jul 01, 2019

If you prefer to listen/watch a video instead of reading then click here to go to my youtube channel.

I recently read The Power of Habit Why We Do What We Do and How to Change.

Books have a wealth of wisdom and this one is a real gem. Among other things the insights I’ve gleaned from the book are that habits are the key to change.  Once a new action or activity turns into a habit - that is, a choice one makes without thinking about it – the chain reaction from the new actions will follow.

Essentially, if we want to progress in our lives, the key is to re-evaluate our habits to see which ones to replace with new ones.  Some habits are keystone habits so that once you change them a whole series of other changes are likely to be more easily made. For example, if a heavy smoker gives up smoking that might be the catalyst leading to them taking up exercise, eating and drinking more healthily, finding new hobbies and turning their life around.

 

Habits...

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How to Start An Online Business Taking Action In the Right Order

Uncategorized Jun 24, 2019

If you prefer to listen/watch a video instead of reading then click here to go to my youtube channel.

The more thoughtfully you implement your ideas when starting your online business, the fewer actions you’ll need to undo or redo later.

It’s easy to get paralysed by fear or indecision or to be too perfectionist though. So, be ready to test your ideas, learn and try again, aiming for the happy medium between planning and doing.

Do put some thought into risk management and intellectual property protection though by being aware of the issues, examining them and then doing what’s feasible and desirable to reduce them so you’re not gambling with your future and take calculated risks.

You have to start to be great so do commit to starting your project, spending as little as possible in the testing phases.

 

Find your starting point

To reach our goals in life we need to be at the right starting point for the steps we’re about to take.

Where you...

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Baby Boomers – 6 Reasons To Avoid Stereotypes In Your Marketing

baby boomers Jun 17, 2019

A LinkedIn connection recently messaged me saying “this may be of interest to you and relevant to your situation”. The link was to an article on retirement.

Really? She thinks this sort of message is going to sell anything to a baby boomer?

In case you need reminding, baby boomers are those of us born between 1946 and 1964, so about half are at retirement age, which is currently 65 in the UK.

Referring to a baby boomer as old is hardly a winning approach. Here are 6 reasons why not.

 

Reason #1 – Don’t Intend To Get Old

Baby boomers are a generation that never intended to get old. As Roger Daltry of the Who evocatively puts it in the song ‘My generation’, he hopes to die before he gets old. Hence why he is still going strong at 75, performing and singing, while Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones also 75 still tours, and is back dancing after his recent heart surgery.

Music invariably reflects the culture of its time and this refusal to...

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Opposition to a UK Trade Mark

trademark Jun 10, 2019

People often ring us up when they receive a note of threatened opposition to their trade mark application so I thought it might be useful to give an overview of the UK Intellectual Property Office’s opposition process.

 

The UKIPO provides a number of guidance documents about UK oppositions which provide detailed information and advice about all aspects of the opposition process. Rather than duplicating those notes, I want to give you a short overview with weblinks to the relevant UKIPO information.

 

What is an opposition about?

 

All UK trade mark applications are published by the UKIPO for a period of two months (extendible by one month). Publication allows third parties to oppose registration if they consider that the UK mark should not proceed to registration.

 

There are many grounds on which you can oppose the registration. A common reason is that the published mark is confusingly similar to an earlier mark owned by you for the same or similar goods...

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