Here are three more rabbit holes I've been falling down (down, down, down). I'll just talk about these three for now. It's all interesting to me, but I'm not sure how long it will hold YOUR attention. You never know though. It's getting easier and easier to start your own business, so you just might benefit from knowing these things some day. :-)
Patenting Vs Copywriting Vs Trademarking Vs Trade Dressing Vs etc..
- Patenting is for inventions (like if Nathan and I would create a new kind of bicycle entirely). These can take over a year to get and cost thousands of dollars.
- Trademarking (also known as Service Marking) is for things like pictures, phrases, etc…basically non-tangible objects. Nathan and I would trademark our logo, our colors, our tagline, etc. This takes significantly less time and money than patenting.
- Interestingly, I learned that you don’t really even need to register things to have them trademarked. As soon as you begin to use them in commerce, they automatically, magically become protected….as in "protectable/defensible in a court of law"! Coolness!
- Also, this is less interesting, but I think it's kinda weird that "trademark" is one work and "service mark" is two...
- Copywriting is for things like songs, patterns, etc…basically anything you write down. Nathan and I would copywrite the patterns for our Luggers.
- Trade Dressing, I think, is for fabrics and textiles specifically. If Nathan and I ever create our own fabric, we would trade dress it.
- Here's a link to the USPTO (United States Patent And Trademark Office). They have some (actually interesting) videos explaining how the process works. And here's a picture of their "mascot", T. Markey (ba dum bum).
Search-engine marketing and Optimizing your content
- I don’t remember all the terminology here…but I’m pretty sure the names sound more complicated and technical than they really are. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Natril Gear hasn’t started employing any of these cool ideas to help us in the world of “search” yet. It’s still on the to-do list.
- Here're some of the thingees to know about:
- Keywords/Search Term searches
- Linking to other sites just to increase your click count
- Here's a chart showing "good SEO". If you don't understand it at first glance...join the club! (but like I said, I think it's going to be a lot simpler than it sounds/looks. Here's hoping!)
American Vs overseas production/products
- First off, let me just say that the price difference between making something in the USA vs overseas (aka: Asia) is outrageous!
- Example #1: A manufacturer told me that he can make and sell a particular item in the USA for $10. If he has the same item made overseas, he can purchase the materials, pay for the labor, pay for the shipping back to the USA, and still sell it for a profit for just $2!!
- Example #2: We have talked to label companies who are located in the USA but ship their orders overseas for fulfillment (that was surprising to learn). Labels made in the USA cost over two times as much as labels made overseas! (And their other associated fees are greater in the USA as well.)
- I asked one manufacturer why I should make Natril Gear’s Luggers in the USA when I can save so much money manufacturing overseas (and, of course, using a manufacturer that has fair labor and wage standards). The manufacturer told me that Europeans consider things with “made in America” tags to be higher quality than things made elsewhere in the world – China, Mexico, Brazil, etc. I wouldn’t have guessed, honestly. Nathan and I hope to go world-wide with Natril Gear in the future, so that is really good to know! (Of course, I plan to do a little more research to find out of this is true or not first.)
Partly as a result of all of this, we ran into some unexpected obstacles, and we had to do another new thing: write an open letter. (If you just heard the *dun dun duuunnnnnnnn* music in your head, you're thinking the right thing.) Read the next post to hear all about it.