Business Startup tools
Starting a new business is exciting and scary
and brings with it a lot of necessary planning
and research to be successful.
Trademarks, logos, domain names, business plans,
patents, and communication links with employees
and customers all play a part in the process
to build a profitable business.
1. FreePatentsOnline ( www.freepatentsonline.com )
If you’ve got that one-in-a-million idea, be sure and check to see
if someone else just got a patent on the same one.
FreePatentsOnline provides auto alerts on new patents, gives you browse capability by
categories – finance, software, paper products (think Post-it notes) – completes searches for patents,
and has information on top patent companies – HP, Apple, IBM, etc. The FreePatentsOnline advanced
searches sort time ranges chronologically, look for words stemmed from other words, and more. Users
of FreePatentOnline can download patents in PDF, subscribe to their RSS feeds, and attach FPO patent
searches to the Google Toolbar.
2. Jigsaw ( Jigsaw )
Start-up businesses are faced with a list of challenges; business
contacts are one of the largest. Networking with companies and
knowing who to contact within those companies, can be make-or-break moments for
contract awards, proposals, or getting through the door with you product line.Jigsaw, an online service,
takes users inside company information that will help them access the right
department and the right person for their pitch.
With six (6) million plus business contacts within 300,000
companies, the Jigsaw data base is where newbies need to start.
An easy to use, cost effective choice for positioning a company for
growth, the process is surprisingly simple.
After sign-up, users can browse through companies sorted
in alpha order or by industry, states, cities, and submit requests
for a specific contacts.
If it’s in the database, Jigsaw gives you details such as name and title,
address, telephone and email info. Their payment system is based on Jigsaw points.
For each point purchased, you pay $0.20. Your other option is to “earn”
points by submitting new contacts or make a correction to a contact in
the Jigsaw database and get ten (10) points. You start with the fifty
(50) points that Jigsaw gives you for registering.
Patents.com ( www.patents.com )
An international source for patent information, Patents.com
is a web based service listing over 450 million patents in fifteen
(15) languages. Information-rich with FAQs and other research
specifics on basic and advanced patent details, Patents.com has
four options for searches – simple, advanced, expert, and bulk.
Within those options, users can browse by keywords, terms, etc.
Patents can be viewed in text or images and are available
Google Patents ( www.google.com/patents )
Google Patents is an online service that provides
details on patents registered in the U. S. Patent and Trademark
Office. The huge database has over seven (7) million patents.
Patent searches provide data on the holder of the patent, important
patent dates, classifications of the patent, and other parties linked to it.
Individual patent product claims are included in the searches,
along with any thumbnail images attached to the patent.
The complete file on the patent can be downloaded and saved as a PDF.
More detailed information within a patent can be collected.
Advanced searches can be done using multiple filters.
Enloop ( www.enloop.com )
Business plans are a necessary evil if you want your new business
to start successful and stay successful. If you need a cash infusion,
all business lenders require a business plan.
Enloop, a web based service, has a basic template to assist you with
a business plan personalized to your industry, location, owners, funding,
market, etc. The business plan can be downloaded to your computer as a PDF document.
Enloop has its own scoring feature (EPS) which scores your business
plan as you develop it. EPS is an algorithm that predicts
your business idea’s potential for failure or success from the details of your business plan.
After you use Enloop for one business plan, there are two fee-for- service plans to choose from.
Reward Card Wallet
People with wallets straining at the seams with a pile of
loyalty cards and/or coupons or key chains filled with
loyalty tags, take heart. There is Reward Card Wallet.
This online service also provides a welcome way for
businesses to market through smartphones, pushing up sales and branding.
Reward Card Wallet integrates with services like Living Social and
Groupon, making it easy to store loyalty card details in digital format on
Through push notifications or location SMS, users of Reward Card Wallet
receive an alert when there is a store nearby where you have a loyalty card
on file; you also get alerts if that business has posted a
promotion or sale in the Reward Card Wallet database. Customers save money.
Businesses add to their bottom line. United States only.www.sundropmobile.com/index.php/sundrop-mobile-products/reward-card-wallet
Markify ( www.markify.com )
Ensuring that the trademark you’ve chosen for your new company
isn’t already on the market will save you financial and legal headaches.
The Markify web based service will search their databases in the U. S. (USPTO data)
and Europe (CTM data) for trademarked company names using keywords
the same or similar to yours.
The search reveals if the keyword’s domain name is open for use and
provides you with a list of similar trademark names in the U. S. and Europe.
The more unique your trademark the less confusion there will be with other
PlanCruncher ( www.plancruncher.com )
A quick way to create an abbreviated business plan, PlanCruncher is an online tool that guides you through
the process. The basic steps are: Complete six sections on the PlanCruncher
template – Business Idea, Product, Revenue, Funding, and Partnershi
Enter additional, brief info as requested Read your new business plan that PlanCruncher
creates with your information. At your request PlanCruncher will critique your
business plan and give you suggested changes. Your business
plan can be downloaded in PDF format.
Remindo ( www.remindo.com )
Something a little different, Remindo is an online intranet for small to medium sized businesses. It helps
company employees, managers, and customers all stay in touch confidentially while completing
collaborative projects efficiently. Remindo gives each company a unique URL and will add the
company’s customers to the dashboard. Its basic intranet communication tools include file hosting
to expedite communication, instant messaging, and private tweets.
Remindo has extra benefits with their project management tools. They include individual tasks, alerts,
milestones and status activity, and feeds. The free plan has 3GB of space for storing files.
GeoDomainMap ( www.geo.godaddy.com )
GeoDomainMap is another tool GoDaddy has added to their arsenal
of convenient online features. Users can search for potential domain
names by location (city, state, zip code, or map zoom), name, or keyword.
If available, you book your choice on the spot or put the name on your wish list.
In addition to producing a list of domain names available,
GeoDomainMap lets you view the domains on sale with purchase options.
Trademarkia ( www.tradmarkia.com )
Most new business owners don’t have extra cash to hire someone
to do trademark searches, yet the last thing you want to do is infringe
your logo or slogans on someone’s trademarked ones. Trademarkia, a web based
search engine, will search all registered trademarks in the United States since 1870 to ensure you are not
imposing on another company’s rights. Searches can be filtered by names, logos, brands, themes, products,
services, companies, etc. The search includes dead and active trademarks.
Wordoid ( www.wordoid.com )
Another web based tool to research the availability
of domain names and company names, Wordoid moves a step ahead and makes
suggestions for names based on the search terms you use.
Your search will include both domains with .com and .net tags
and their availability, and the frequency the name you chose
appears on the Net. Wordoid works in four (4) languages –
Spanish, Italian, French, English – and registers the names through GoDaddy.com.
Thanks the TIB Team