Sunday, August 15, 1999

SMALL-BUSINESS DIARY


Start-ups often miss available aid

        Numerous federal, state and local government assistance programs for entrepreneurs are so poorly publicized and marketed that prospective entrepreneurs rarely know they exist, according to a study by the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and Babson College.

        The study estimated that $60 billion is available annually in the United States for start-ups, accounting for as much as 71 percent of the total available worldwide, with Europe second at 19 percent, followed by Latin America with 6 percent and Asia with 3 percent.

        Despite the abundance of capital, officials say equity seed capital can be difficult to obtain, and that finding start-up financing between $50,000 and $1 million is particularly difficult.

        Among the recommendations outlined by experts are to:

        • Increase entrepreneurship education, particularly at the primary and secondary levels, as well as at technical and engineering schools.

        • Simplify government tax and reporting requirements, so as to diminish the resource drain on new ventures.

        • Create a clearinghouse detailing government programs in order to bridge the seed and start-up financing gap.

        • Systematize federal efforts to provide accurate, timely measures of new growth firms on an ongoing basis.

Web site naming serious business
        Three prime rules for naming on the Web, as proclaimed by Naseem Javed, founder of ABC Namebank International of New York:

        • Don't lean under someone else's umbrella. It is very bad to copy or borrow from an established identity. A look-alike, sound-alike name, resembling the personality of a powerful, established legendary name, would be fruitless in the long run.

        • Creativity is a spark of genius. Over-creativity can cause severe damage. Do not twist, bend, stretch, exaggerate, corrupt or modify alpha structures in naming.

        • Work locally, name globally. Do not short-change. No matter how small or local the project, think of the planet. A name is only good when it is free and clear to travel around the globe, without encountering translation problems or trademark conflicts.

Business bookshelf
        Eric Schulz, a former marketing executive for Procter & Gamble Co., Walt Disney Co. and Coca-Cola Co., on linking a message with a name (from The Marketing Game: How the World's Best Companies Play to Win; Adams Media Corp.; $24.95):

        “Never produce advertising that only states your brand or company name. Always have a relevant consumer message linked with your name that reinforces your brand positioning strategy. ... Instead of posting a sign that merely says "Budweiser,' the brand should aim for "Budweiser, King of Beers.'”

        — Hang Nguyen and Enquirer news services

       



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