Differentiating a Service Business – Part 1

Uncategorized Jan 07, 2019

I want to do a deep dive into differentiation, specifically what’s involved to differentiate a service business.

I’ll start by looking at law firm differentiation today and will discuss other service sectors in the future.


More than two-thirds of businesses nowadays are in the services sector. Their founders have a specific area of expertise. So, when they set up in business it’s to deliver knowledge-based skills.

This is the upshot of the trend for the corporate sector to retain smaller teams of permanent staff and to use contractors with specialist skills to increase resources to deliver specific ad hoc projects.  Consequently, there has been an explosion in the number of self-employed people in the market.

The common issue these new businesses face when it comes to the need to stand out among competitors is how to operate in an environment that is likely to be quite competitive.

For example, small intellectual property law firms were rare...

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How To Get An Outstanding Brand

Uncategorized Dec 17, 2018

Last week in Why Purpose is Paramount I explained that it’s the responsibility of the leaders of a business to work out the “why” for the business. When looking for the purpose behind a business find one that’s capable of inspiring the team and customers too. Your “why” should be a belief that galvanises you into making long-lasting positive changes that drive growth and innovation. A business’ purpose needs to motivate team members who are involved in the business.

I was intending, this week, to explore how purpose-driven organisations stay core to their mission by keeping their “why” uppermost. However, as I began to research this topic, I realised there is a lot of ground to cover. So, I’m postponing those pieces till next year. 

Instead, I’m going to do an in depth focus on differentiation, and positioning to explain how a business might attempt to stand out among its competitors. This is...

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Why Purpose Is Paramount! – Take Aways From My Experience

Uncategorized Dec 10, 2018

Last week in Why I’ve Set Up A Second Business And Expect To Crush It As An Olderpreneur, I highlighted the trend nowadays for baby boomers to set up new businesses.

Far from wanting to retire, I explained my reasons for wanting to continue working many more years.  In fact, I’ve even started a second business, Azrights International Ltd, because I want an even greater sense of fulfillment and purpose from my work.

I see exciting new ways to contribute to the world and deliver added value.

Fulfillment Through Purpose

This question of fulfillment and purpose is an important one for all of us to think about whether we’re in business or working in careers.

Getting clarity on our purpose is widely advocated as the way to greater success, and enjoyment in life.

As Steve Jobs put it, doing work you love is important. To quote his words

You’ve got to find what you love . . . Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly...

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Why I’ve Set Up A Second Business And Expect To Crush It As An Olderpreneur

Uncategorized Dec 03, 2018

According to this Institute of Directors report a growing number of people are starting their own businesses in later life. In their article, Over-50s are the new business start-up generation, the Financial Times has very encouraging statistics for anyone considering starting out again after 50, namely that businesses set up by the over-50s are more likely to still be trading five years later than those established by younger age groups.

A study by Jones, Javier Miranda of the U.S. Census Bureau and MIT's Pierre Azoulay and J. Daniel Kim looked at an expansive dataset and supports these findings. Their research shows that older entrepreneurs have a greater chance of success in their projects than younger ones. The most successful entrepreneurs are middle-aged. This research said: “We find that age indeed predicts success, and sharply, but in the opposite way that many observers and investors propose”. “The...

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Copyright Protection of an App

Uncategorized Nov 26, 2018

The way copyright works to protect an app provides useful insights into copyright generally. Essentially, the important point to hold onto about copyright is that the default rules mean that the creator of the app will be the owner of the copyright in it rather than you the person who pays for the development work.

Therefore, an important first step before you select the right developer is to make sure they will be happy to give you a copyright in the end product.

However, don’t just have a verbal agreement on this point as that’s not enough under the law. You’ll need to reflect this in writing and also have a good development agreement in place. That agreement should clearly specify what is the be developed, the phases of the development, the payment plan, and how to resolve any disputes that may arise. Don’t agree to terms that only give you copyright when the project is concluded and you’ve paid for it. If for any reason you need to part company with...

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Legal Ways to Protect Idea For Your App

Uncategorized Nov 19, 2018

Before you discuss your idea with developers think about legal protection. Whatever the idea, it’s important to develop the habit of being selective about who you reveal your ideas to during the early stages before you’ve explored the possibilities. That’s because confidentiality is the only way to protect a mere idea. 

If you have an idea for an app, chances are the first thing you’ll want to do is to find someone to develop it for you. I’d advise against discussing the idea with any developers at such an early stage.

You’ll likely be keen to take action to get going with your project, so I’d suggest you interview a number of developers to understand whether they would be suitable for your project without actually telling them about the idea itself. 

Have another “idea” to discuss with them rather than your actual one as you find out about their past experience in developing apps, whether they have testimonials or...

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How To Protect an Idea for an App

Uncategorized Nov 12, 2018

The renowned inventor, Thomas Edison, famously declared, “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration”. His point was that hard work is required to transform an idea into a successful product.

So, when you have a great idea for an app or any other innovation, which instinct is telling you could be ground-breaking, bear this in mind. The idea just has potential at this stage.

To transform the idea into your vision for it involves addressing numerous issues along the way.  And whether you will ultimately have a successful app depends on whether your idea is well received. 

Did you know that Magic Cab was launched 3 years before Uber? However, they didn’t implement the idea as well as Uber and hence haven’t had the level of success Uber has enjoyed. 

Talking of Uber, Apps are so widespread nowadays. I certainly use a number of them. Each one is great at addressing a particular need, be it Voice Recorder Pro for excellent...

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Why is Failing to Capture Your Intellectual Property a Costly Problem?

Uncategorized Nov 05, 2018

It is surprisingly easy to overlook the importance of IP in the early stages of the creative process.

Some people believe that tasks like choosing a business name for a new product or service does not involve legal considerations, that they can pick any name, do a check on Google, and if nothing untoward is found, proceed to use the name.

It’s actually trade marks that govern ownership rights in names, so it’s essential to search the trade mark registers. A Google search is not enough. Not everything you need to know about a name shows up on Google.  People risk losing everything overnight when they use names that don’t take account of registered trade marks of others.

Microsoft’s EU trade mark registration of Skydrive shows clearly that a registered trade mark will not protect anyone against an infringement claim by a third party. Ultimately Microsoft had to rebrand. So, it’s just not enough to simply register a trade mark.

Another example of why...

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Intellectual Property – The Challenges of Protecting Ideas 

Uncategorized Oct 29, 2018

Everything begins with an idea. Every idea invariably results in an intangible manifestation of it once it’s brought into the real world.

Even if the idea involves creating something tangible, say a new gin, so that you have a physical end product – a bottle of gin - many components that are necessary to the existence of that product will be intangibles. There’s the brand name, the logo, product packaging, appearance or shape of the bottle, any website, marketing collateral and social media profiles, and the gin formula itself.

Intellectual property law is the legal area that governs intangibles, so it has a significant role in today’s digital world. Nowadays knowledge fuels our economy so that most assets of our businesses tend to be digital.  Our increasingly digital society makes intellectual property of central relevance. The term “Intellectual property” covers a large area of law, including patents, trademarks, copyright, designs...

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Copyright Basics

Uncategorized Oct 22, 2018

A basic, fundamental question people often ask me is What exactly is Copyright?

Of course, people have heard the term and have a basic understanding, but often there are gaps in their knowledge, or confusion around particular facets of the subject. 

Sometimes I’m asked for examples of copyright, or why it’s important to have copyright, and how to avoid copyright problems and so on.

Copyright is a large subject and has many different facets to it.

My aim in this blog is to answer 3 essential questions about what copyright is by giving you

  1. Examples of copyright
  2. Reasons why you might want to have copyright.
  3. Some ideas for how to avoid some common copyright problems.

These are three essential, need to know pieces of information about copyright. As copyright is a large subject you’re bound to have plenty of questions. Do feel free to ask them in the comments below.

Examples of what copyright protects.

Copyright is a type of intellectual...

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