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6 Services That Startup Owners Should Outsource to Ensure Efficiency

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In the game of entrepreneurship, time and money are important factors that will determine how the business will perform in the long-term. Every startup owner knows the importance of capturing a bigger market so that cash flow will be abundant. But when it comes to time, you can free some of it be ensuring all the processes are efficient.

Outsourcing is a great way of making sure that you are spending time and energy on tasks that matter most to the growth of the business. This doesn’t mean that there are tasks that are less important in a business; it only implies that you should focus on what will help the business move to the next level. There are several services that you can outsource and accelerate the rate of business growth.

Big data and related analytics

We are living in the information age and this has given rise to a generation that lives online. as a response, businesses have to incorporate digital strategies into the business plan.

As such, it’s important to use reputable cloud-based tools that are efficient in data collection. This will help in identification of stumbling blocks to productivity. If the tools are not standard, the data can be misleading since the conclusions will be drawn from erratic data.

For instance, you can collect data about conversion rates, revenues per converted customer to get an educated conclusion on the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. In addition, you can see which content is popular with the audience as well as how the landing pages are performing.

Data collection on its own is insufficient. If you intend to get a clear picture of the business performance; you have to run a comprehensive analysis. When you outsource this task, it’s possible to get a detailed report that reflects the situation of your business. When you have the reports, it’s easy to make decisions that are informed by the data and make the necessary adjustments.

Content marketing

In content marketing, you are aiming at educating the audience without pushing them to buy your products. Besides lead generation, it will also nurture good relationships with your audience. When the business is young and you don’t have a digital content manager, you can outsource.

While some people will work on creating, recreating and posting the content, the effort may be counterproductive on other management tasks. In fact, most marketers prefer outsourcing a large percentage of the content.

If you are just getting started, you can get a freelancer to handle content creation for your startup. Alternatively, you can get a content agency to manage the content.

Bookkeeping

According to a scientific research from APA, multitasking can make your productivity to drop by up to 40%. This means that you will take a longer time to complete the tasks and the level of stress will be quite high.

Finances are a critical aspect of a startup and the last thing you want is making an expensive mistake when managing the accounts. When you outsource this task, you will be getting an experienced team working on the most important factor of your business.

There are many angles involved in managing business finances. For instance, if you used a loan to start the business it has to be factored into the budget to make sure you are in good relations with creditors. In addition, when you intend to take an additional business line of credit or installment realistic loans to help you smooth out the irregular cash flow, it’s important that an expert incorporate the same in the financial plan.

Payroll management

There are many regulations and laws that revolve around the payroll and it’s wise to have it done by an expert. Since this involves lots of tiny bits here and there, making a mistake can attract tax audits which are both expensive and risky.

Every year, small businesses are penalized billions of dollars for making improper fillings and omissions. You don’t have to employ a permanent accountant to handle the payroll because you can get the services from a contractor. By doing this, you will free up precious time while you make sure that no mistakes will occur during the process.

Human resource management

It’s an open secret that a good human resources department is critical to the success of any company. Nevertheless, when a startup is young there are budget constraints making it almost impossible to have an in-house department.

There are numerous outsourcing organizations that specialized in offering human resource service to companies. You can save your time and funds by having an agency perform tasks like recruiting, capacity development and hiring of specialized personnel.

Basically, contracting an independent firm to manage recruiting and hiring of personnel can be rewarding if you don’t have sufficient experience in the area.

Cybersecurity

Vendors selling IT products and services will always assure you the safety of your data, but as a business owner, you should know better and get some additional cybersecurity. In fact, it’s wiser to outsource a cyber-security service as opposed to completely relying on the word of an IT vendor. The truth is that no company however good can give a 100% guarantee on data safety.

Basically, an IT vendor is not a qualified cyber-security professional and they specialize in selling the services. Every time they tell you that all your data is perfectly secure, please remember that most of the IT networks in use today have security features which are more of an afterthought.

The main job of a cyber-security expert is to stay in constant anticipation of looming threats and developing the necessary measure to mitigate the situation. However, some IT products sold to businesses come with great security features but you should also have a cyber-security expert to give you a better layer of protection.

Conclusion

When your team is busy juggling between securing business funds, accounting, marketing, and human resource management, other important tasks may suffer. In fact, some entrepreneurs think that multi-tasking can reduce the ability to create a great product on time. Therefore, you can outsource some tasks and dedicate your time and energy on growth facilitation.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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ILMAP leads the way in quality for all types of water management hardware

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water management

For over 50 years ILMAP have been developing and refining the technology and materials used in the installation and management of water management. Using the wealth of experience gained through all those years in the field, they have been able to build a wide range of products that meet a huge range of specifications.

Specialising in nozzles, traps, collectors and other accessories, their products have a wide range of application across the production of drinking water and demineralized water, treatment of waste water and filtration and water treatment  for the pharmaceutical and food industry. With so much experience and innovation ILMAP is one of the leading filter nozzle manufacturers in the world.

Filter nozzles for water treatment for industrial and residential uses

Specialists Ilmap – Filter Nozzles Made in Italy provide a wide range of water filter nozzles  and nozzle strainer for water treatment.

Across industrial applications, the products cater for a variety of industries, including electricity  power generation, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, the food and beverage industry and the agricultural sector. But is also developed for domestic uses, such as in home swimming pools, irrigation and water softening filters.

Application can range from industrial water treatment and waste water treatment to water purification and ion exchange systems, all with the highest quality and safety at the forefront of development.

Parts are produced by state of the art modern injection moulding machines, known for reliability  and high standards of finish. Customers are always at the forefront and ILMAP prides itself on offering the best in customer service. With more than 700 m2 of warehouse, supply is assured and delivery procedures set to fixed lead times, so work can be planned accordingly.

It is not only nozzles, ILMAP also produces resin traps that guarantee effective protection against material losses in your system, in materials like plastic and stainless less as required.

Quality products in the best materials for the job

ILMAP has put a huge amount of effort in the research and development of their products over the years combining experience with the latest materials and efficient production processes.

The focus has been to ensure the best quality products, with dimensional accuracy and repeatability in the production time and design. Also a key focus is compliance with standard measurement and the control of the raw materials in production. So confident in their passion for good practices, they will open their factory for both client inspections and for certification bodies to review the procedures and controls.

With a fully functional test laboratory to allow testing of the pressure drop of the nozzles and the correct certifications available, it is easy to have confidence in the products.

Independently certified for guaranteed quality

All products are manufactured with top quality materials purchased from leading suppliers. Polypropylene, PVDF, ABS and masterbatches used are certified by the manufacturer for contact with drinking water according to the main current world regulations.

Even once the raw materials have entered production, and so the raw material certification becomes invalid, the final products are also audited at authorised laboratories gaining the following certifications:

ITALY – D.M. 174 del 06.05.2004

FRANCE – ACS Certification

UNITED KINGDOM – WRAS – BS 6920 Approved Material

“Suitability of non-metallic products for use in contact with water intended for human
consumption with regard to their effect on the quality of the water”

EUROPE – Food Safety Regulation – (EU) 10/2011 & 1935/2004 EC

“materials and articles intended to come into contact with food”.

All offering reassurance for the purchaser in the standards that are applied, especially where the products come into contact with potable water. It is very important for any company involved in the purification or management of water to ensure that their suppliers follow these standards, and ILMAP are well prepared to meet them as part of their core principles of manufacturing.

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Dawn Ellmore Employment reviews the shock defeat for McDonald’s as it’s stripped of its ‘Big Mac’ EU trade mark

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mc donalds europe EU

For more than half a century McDonald’s has been a recognisable brand in just about every country you can think of. According to its website, the chain has restaurants in 101 countries. Its 36,000+ restaurants serve around 69 million fast food fans every single day.

With stats like this, and McDonald’s easily recognised by just about anybody, the recent EU trade mark ruling has surprised many. McDonald’s has just lost its EU trade mark for the Big Mac in what is dubbed a ‘David and Goliath’ battle with a small Irish chain.

How did McDonald’s lose its Big Mac EU trade mark?

When Supermac’s took on the might of McDonald’s in a trade mark battle, it was assumed by many that the smaller chain would lose. While Supermac’s may not be a household name in the UK, however, it’s much loved in Ireland.

Now the largest fast food chain in Ireland, Supermac’s began in 1978 and today has more than 110 franchises and restaurants all over the country. Founded by Pat and Una McDonagh, it was named after his nickname, ‘Supermac’ when he played Gaelic football. They also own Claddagh Irish Pubs & Restaurants through Supermac’s Ireland Ltd.

The EU trade mark battle

Supermac’s has been locked into an ongoing fight with McDonald’s since 2015, when it announced plans to expand into the EU and UK. McDonald’s initially objected to Supermac’s registering a number of trade marks for products and its name. They argued that the names McDonald’s and Supermac’s are too similar and would cause customer confusion. McDonald’s further argued that the Supermac’s brand name is visually too similar to their trade mark.

Supermac’s responded by pointing out that they had happily traded at the same time as McDonald’s in Ireland for more than 30 years with no signs of confusion on the part of customers.

Initially, McDonald’s won a part-victory when the European Union’s Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) decided that Supermac can continue to trade in its own name within the EU. However, it rejected the Irish company’s trade mark applications for various products and menu items, saying that consumers might “be confused as to whether Supermac’s is a new version of McDonald’s”, given that there are near-identical products sold by both restaurant chains.

Revoking McDonald’s EU trade marks

In January 2019, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) made a decision that allows victory to Supermac’s after all. By ruling that EU trade marks owned by McDonald’s are to be revoked, Supermac’s is clear to expand into the rest of the EU.

The landmark decision went into effect immediately, on the basis that the EUIPO rules that McDonald’s had failed to prove “genuine use” of its Big Mac trade mark as a restaurant or menu item.

Unsurprisingly delighted, Pat McDonagh says: “Never mind David versus Goliath, this unique landmark decision is akin to the Connacht team winning against the All Blacks. This is the end of the McBully. Just because McDonald’s has deep pockets and we are relatively small in context, doesn’t mean we weren’t going to fight our corner.”

How the fight played out

In April 2017, Supermac’s requested that the EUIPO cancel McDonald’s trade mark for ‘Big Mac’ and ‘Mc’. The chain also accused the US giant of “trade mark bullying” by registering and gaining protection for names, but not actually using them to stamp down any potential competition.

On its part, McDonald’s legal representatives provided signed affidavits from high level executives and showed examples of packaging and adverts to demonstrate it serves Big Macs right across the EU, and therefore deserves to retain the EU trade mark for that specific product.

However, the EUIPO deemed this “insufficient” in its judgement. As trade marks are registered at national level and at the EU, McDonald’s does not lose all of its protection for the Big Mac. They also have the right to appeal, which we suspect they are likely to do.

Supermac’s forges ahead

For Supermac’s, all eyes are on the future. Mr McDonagh says: “This now opens the door for the decision to be made by the European trade mark office to allow us to use our SuperMac as a burger across Europe.”

A representative from EIP, an intellectual property law firm, Carissa-Kendall Windless, says: “This decision is a significant one, partly because it serves as a warning to multinational companies that they can no longer simply file trade mark applications without a genuine intention to use it”.

It’s inevitable that McDonald’s will exercise its right to appeal, and it will be interesting to see how this David and Goliath battle goes on this year.

About Dawn Ellmore Employment

Dawn Ellmore Employment was incorporated in 1995 and is a market leader in intellectual property and legal recruitment.

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Dawn Ellmore Employment analyses Heineken’s trade mark application for 2026 World Cup

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heineken beer dawn

Dutch giant Heineken has made a strong statement regarding its connection with football with a trade mark application to be named the “Official Beer of Soccer” in the United States.

Heineken is the partner of Major League Soccer (MLS), the professional football league in the US. The recent trade mark application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is particularly relevant given the pending arrival of the World Cup in the US in 2026.

Trade mark application gives indication of brand’s plans

The beer company is already positioned as the “Official Beer” of the league throughout its marketing collateral. However, the application shows that it wants to build on this and strive for full ownership of football in the US.

In 2018, Heineken signed a new partnership deal with MLS that goes through to 2022/23, clearly showing long-term ambition. Felix Palau is the Senior Vice-President of Marketing for Heineken. He says: “Since working with MLS, we’ve seen a huge spike in our pull with soccer fans and supporters, and we hope to continue this trend for the short and long term.”

And with the latest trade mark application, we can surmise that soccer in the US is working well for the long-standing European brand.

What does the trade mark application show?

The trade mark was filed at the USPTO on 4 January 2019. It’s likely that the application shows Heineken’s ambitions to block any potential rivals from linking with the World Cup in 2026, by firmly establishing itself as synonymous with US soccer. It’s certainly likely that there will be brands looking to leverage the same kind of connection during the World Cup.

For example, before 2018’s World Cup, US brand Budweiser usurped Carlsberg as the “official beer” of the English national football team. This was the biggest partnership deal in the Football Association’s history at the time. Not only did Budweiser sponsor the team, which did spectacularly well and revitalised UK interest in international football, it also took over the beer taps at Wembley Stadium. Budweiser also partners the FA Cup and helped to boost the increasing popularity of the brand in the UK. It’s highly likely that Budweiser will want to continue its links with the sport in its home country in the 2026 World Cup.

How popular would the move be?

If European based Heineken is granted the trade mark, it will be interesting to see how popular this would be with US fans. Following the news of the trade mark application, sports journalist Richard Gillis says: “I must’ve been out of the room when football fans were consulted on this. I’m assuming it’s legally binding and we’re all now required to drink Heineken on every football related occasions, with heavy fines for those caught drinking Bud or Carling.

“It’s a welcome trend, and a real timesaver on the part of sponsors and their agencies. No need for ideas or strategy: just declare yourself ‘Official Partner’ and wait for the love and affection of the football family to flow toward the brand. A masterstroke.”

While clearly a sarcastic response, this could indicate that Heineken’s move may not be embraced with open arms in the US.

How beer brands help grow sport

Heineken is no stranger to major sporting partnerships. Global partners of the brand include Formula 1, the UEFA Champions League, the Rugby World Cup and Formula E. In popular culture, the brand is also linked with major franchises, including Daniel Craig’s James Bond.

And it’s a two-way relationship, with MLS benefiting from the marketing money ploughed int the sport by partners like Heineken. The Managing Director and President of MLS Business Ventures, Gary Stevenson, says: “If we are good at solving the brands’ problems, then they will spend more money. That way we can tap into our partners’ marketing dollars and they can make our sport, league and players come alive. We can never have that amount of marketing dollars to do something similar. We’re reliant on them to build the sport.”

The USPTO takes at least six months to process trade mark applications, and Heineken is currently waiting to see whether it has been successful. As with so many major trade mark and patent applications, time will tell whether Heineken will be able to call itself the “Official Beer of Soccer”. With its background of strong support for the sport in the US since 2014, it would seem they have a strong chance.

About Dawn Ellmore Employment

Dawn Ellmore Employment was incorporated in 1995 and is a market leader in intellectual property and legal recruitment.

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