Name your objective when playing to win

Talk to the right audiences and deliver a clear message.

WE RUN a successful business that caters for job seekers and is a definite niche market. We reach out to all job seekers, however we do not know how to dominate the market. We have assisted thousands of job seekers finding employment and also have a very high success rate in the process we deliver. I would like to know how can we get out there and be better known, be it through marketing campaigns or networking with larger organisations. If marketing campaigns are the answer, which ones are the most effective? If we should network, how do we do this?

Marketing campaigns aren't something you can buy off the shelf - they only work if they're tried, tested and constantly tweaked to achieve your business goals. The effectiveness of marketing depends on the commitment from the business and the implementation of a long-term strategy - it is not a quick fix.

If you're looking to get more clients in the door, you're right in assuming that getting your name out in the marketplace has to be a priority. There are plenty of marketing avenues to get your business some attention - advertising, PR, editorial and networking are a few that generally work. But you need to be strategic and know what you want to achieve before figuring out how you're going to achieve it.

Marketing doesn't have to break the bank, but your strategy does have to talk to the right audiences and deliver a clear message. Spend some time considering your options and don't fall into the trap of trying one thing and letting it fall by the wayside. Be proactive in your approach, do some research on what your competitors are doing, and talk to an expert who can give you the right advice.

I AM a qualified carbon manager and an auditor, and am planning to start my own small business as a consultant and auditor. I have decided and registered the name pointCarbon for my small business, which I plan to operate from Townsville and focus on small business in north Queensland. A friend has advised me there is a very large company, owned by Thomson Reuters, based in Europe with the name Point Carbon, which deals in carbon trading, energy insights and markets on a global level. Its website is Can I use my preferred business name and use a website Are there legal issues to be aware of or should I try to come up with a different name?

It depends on where you think you'll get the majority of your business leads. If you're planning on marketing your business in the local media and you want to run a small, tight ship in Townsville, you'll probably be OK. But if you foresee a majority of your business coming from website enquiries, you might want to reconsider the name.

It's doubtful that people will confuse your company with the Thomson Reuters one, but the hard truth is that you'll never be on top of a web search if you're up against a global company in the same industry. If you're dead-set on the name and think the web will be a good lead generator for you, make sure you have strong identifying factors that position yours as a Queensland-based business.

Point Carbon seems generic enough that you won't run into legal problems, but run it by your lawyer anyway. If you want to use the name for the long term, I suggest you register pointCarbon as a trademark.

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Mark Bouris is executive chairman of Yellow Brick Road, a wealth-management company and small business adviser that offers products and services for home

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