Trademarking Your Business

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In my business consulting, I have found that a lot of people do not know the difference between copyright and trademark. They do not know how to copyright a logo, business, website or blog name. Or in using the actual term, TRADEMARK their business. I used ‘copyright’ in the title because most people confuse the two. As I researched this subject I found out some interesting things …

Copyright is actually not the same as a trademark. According to the U.S. Copyright Office, a copyright provides protection for original works in the realms of music, poetry, movies, literature, etc. Copyright exists as soon as the publication exists. It is just advised to register your publication with the U.S. Copyright Office for legal purposes. Some people also like to publish the copyright facts on their publications and make sure there is a public record. Registration fees vary from $35 to $80. It cost more money to renew, get copies, or search copyright records. Believe it or not, people steal ideas so you want to make sure you are protected. And for a mere $35 at least, I ‘d say it’s a good idea to make sure your writings are safe, LEGALLY.

Now to the good stuff. A trademark is what is used to protect ideas, trademarks, and patents. This is handled in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). A business name, logo, or even business idea would fall under the trademark category. It is often confused with copyright but now you know the difference. The reason you would want to register for a trademark is to get legal use of a service mark (, SM, ® )for your word, symbol, phrase, or design.

The benefits of getting the service mark is to protect your name. To keep people from stealing your ideas. Just like with copyright, if you claim ownership, you can use the and SM symbols on your business name or logo at any time. Owning the federal trademark registration obviously has it’s benefits legally. Some of which include, being able to defend your logo in federal courts, being listed in the USPTO database, and the use of the ® symbol. YES! You MUST be registered with the USPTO to use that symbol on your logos, etc. You can not even use it if your application for registration is pending. So, there are great benefits to registering your business name and logo.

Now, keep in mind, the USPTO has the right to deny your registration application. If there’s a similar logo, especially. So, you need to research and make sure your business name and logo are UNIQUE and fit federal regulations. When filing an application for trademark registration (or to get a service mark) you must file one application per category(class) you the need the service mark for. If you need a service mark for a t-shirt logo AND for the store marquee, you must submit two applications. Application fees vary from $275-$325, depending on the type of application you submit.

Considering A Career In Childcare

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Everyone comes to a point in their lives when they must leave childhood and enter into adulthood. Most instances are marked by the person leaving school and entering the workforce.

Choosing among the different careers available can be difficult. Do you go with money or fame? Or do you opt for a job that makes little money, but benefits? The true calling of a career is whether or not it is something you love doing.

There are a few facts you should know if you find yourself considering a career in childcare. The first is that there is a huge difference between the different types of childcare. Babysitters, nannies and a daycare center are not always interchangeable.

A nanny lives with the parents, travels when they do and is usually available whenever the parents need them. Some work through an agency that takes care of running their background check, while others may be freelance.

Child care centers and babysitters can be full or part time, depending on the sitter or the center. It is typical to find teenagers as babysitters since there isn’t a licensing requirement. Most babysitters are found through recommendations by other parents who have utilized their services. A daycare center is a business and will have to follow state licensing requirements.

Some facilities do not require licensing of their staff whereas some make it mandatory. The higher end pre-schools will staff licensed professionals. Careers with a quality daycare center can be rewarding, as they often provide insurance and benefits.

The additional benefit of having your license can mean higher pay as well. It pays to consider becoming licensed and staying abreast of the current educational needs for infants/toddlers, special needs and pre-school children.

There are other positions available if being in a teaching position is not one of the careers you have in mind. You might consider taking an administrative position. The Director of a preschool often deals with children but not in a hands-on setting.

The position entails paperwork and knowing the rules set forth by the state. These positions usually require at least an Associates Degree and knowledge of associated paperwork.

It is a sad fact that most careers in the field of childcare or education are poorly paid, yet there is a great need for qualified teachers in every age group. Parents trust them with their most valuable assets and mankind’s future rests upon the teacher’s shoulders. It may not pay much but the reward of seeing your charge excel in school is one that can not be measured with dollar signs.

Improving Your Skills

True motivation to succeed is of paramount importance; but it is not enough to be able to move up the career ladder. Constantly, updating your skills is what plays a pivotal role in your career advancement. Since every job has an exclusive set of skills necessary to perform with excellence there is no fixed formula to increase those skills. However, there are some basic steps that you need to take.

Have a Clear Perception of Your Vital Skills

Everybody knows that skill improvement comes with practice. Practice implies consistent effort and hard work; but skills are not hard work. If you are not very clear about the skills that you need to improve, much of your hard work may go to waste.

First of all, identify those skills that are related to your area of work. Your boss or is the best person to help you do that. Once you have a clear perception of those skills, find out how your level of expertise. Of course, you will have to use some tools of comparison to measure your mastery of those skills. Then ask yourself if there are skills that are totally new to you.

Improve the Skills You Have

As a result of the quick pace of business today, knowledge in every field has been expanding at such an amazing speed that it is impossible for any single person to keep pace and know everything related to their field.

On the one hand, the good news that you don’t have to know everything related to your field. On the other hand, if you are not striving to constantly upgrade your skills, you will be left behind and your career will be in jeopardy. Utilize every opportunity in your job to improve your existing skills and strive for perfection.

Learn New Skills

Climbing up the career ladder implies being promoted to higher positions and being in charge of more employees, which in turn requires handling a larger number of responsibilities. Those new responsibilities will make it necessary for you to learn skills that may, at times, be absolutely new to you. Without acquiring those new skills, you will not be able to move up in your career. Of course, you may initially resent learning something that you have not been exposed to so far, but if you invest your time in learning those new skills, you will be rewarded.

These tips will go a long way in helping you improve your professional skills – and as a result, you will continue to move up the career ladder without looking back.