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1.     Your company's name should inform potential customers what products and services your business offers.

If you design and sell dog houses, your company should not be named "Serendipitous." If I am driving past your store front, (or browsing the web) and I have no idea what you offer inside, I am not going to pull over, park, (or redirect my browser) and go inside your store to find out what products and services you offer.

If you name your business "Serendipitous Dog Houses" and I need a dog house, I will make a u-turn to get into the parking lot and see what types of amazing, dog houses you have waiting for me to buy. If you offer more than dog houses, consider "Serendipitous Dog Houses and Much More." How about, “Happy Dog, Happy Life," with a tag line "All things to make your dog happy?” This allows you to expand what you offer over time.

2.     Choose the font(s) you intend to use and do not change them. This applies to your website, social media sites, business cards and packaging. Do not use a myriad of random fonts all over your marketing designs.

3.     Choose your color palette and do not change it indiscriminately. You are creating a brand. Consistency is critical.

4.     Incorporate (consult with an attorney) and secure your domain name. 

5.     Create a logo.

6.     Sign up for  social media accounts using your business name.



Professional Advise

1.     It's essential to obtain Professional Advise. Do not start signing contracts that you do not understand. Get advice from an attorney BEFORE you sign. This includes leases, equipment rentals, and everything else.

2.     Make sure you understand and pay your taxes. Taxing authorities will often guide you through many of the procedures. There are a lot of taxes out here, however.

  • Sales Taxes - a tax on sales or on the receipts from sales.

  • Franchise Taxes - this tax is not based on income, but rather on the net worth of a corporation, partnership or other business entities. The franchise tax charges corporations for the privilege of doing business in the state.

  • Federal Income Taxes - the tax levied by the IRS on the annual earnings of individuals, corporations, trusts, and other legal entities.

  • Individual Income Tax - tax levied on an individual's wages, salaries, and other types of income. 

  • Corporate Taxes - taxes  paid on a company's taxable income.  

  • Alcohol Tax in Texas - The alcohol tax in Texas varies slightly based on the type of alcohol. In Texas, liquor is subject to an excise tax of $2.40 per gallon of spirits. For beer, an extra 19.4 cents is added and wine has a tax of 20.4 cents. However, any wine that is sparkling has an additional $0.516/gallon and any wine over 14% alcohol has an additional $0.408/gallon in excise tax. A sales tax of 6.25% is also applied to all alcohol and local taxes can add an additional 2% sales tax in some locations. An 8.25% tax rate is imposed on mixed beverages. Finally, all airline drinks are taxed an additional 5 cents per drink.

  • Payroll Taxes -  taxes  required to be handled by employers who can be penalized if not done properly. There are a variety of payroll taxes, some paid by employers, some by employees, and some by both. But in all cases, it's up to employers to deposit the tax.

  • There are more.​


Get advise from a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) BEFORE you find yourself buried under tax problems.

3.     Before you hire an individual or company to provide you with professional services, make sure the individual or company has the requisite experience and success record. Research their digital footprint and their credentials.  Ask for referrals.

Digital Presence

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Your digital presence is what people see when they look for your business online. Make sure to create a clean, consistent,  professional digital presence for you and your company.

Your digital presence includes your business's website, social media sites, reviews, business listings, and much more. 



Business Card Etiquette

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1.     Remember to carry a sufficient quantity of business cards at all times. Some people are opting to use digital or electronic business cards. Digital cards are eco-friendly, and can be readily updated. I have found, however,  that not everyone wants you to upload data to their electronic devices.

2.     Keep your business cards in a business card case. It is difficult  to make a good impression when you are handing out torn, dirty, frayed, or outdated business cards with a new telephone number written across the front with a pen. 

3.     Your business cards say a lot about your identity and your business. Make sure your business cards are well designed. Avoid cluttered and difficult to read card designs. Make sure your cards do not contain outdated information. Do not print your business cards on anything other than heavy card stock.

4.     Hand out business cards with discretion. Do not hand out business cards to everyone you meet or pass on the street. 

5.    Hold the top, right-hand corner of your card when handing it out. Make sure the recipient of your business card can read it without having to flip it around.

6.     Give and receive cards with your right hand.

7.     If someone asks you for your business card, make sure to ask them for one of theirs.

8.    Sometimes it is better to wait to be asked for your business card rather than being too aggressive about giving your card. If someone is interested in connecting with you, he or she will ask about ways to contact you. This is the perfect time to offer your business card.

9.     It is generally impolite to ask for a business card in front of a group of people. It is preferable to ask for a business card privately.

10.    It is also generally considered impolite to write on someone else's business card.


11.     If you are traveling to another country, take the time to learn the customs and practices of business card etiquette in that country.

1.     Hire an awesome, professional photographer. People will know who you are by what you show them. If your images are poorly framed, pixelated, oddly colored with questionable backgrounds, it is going to negatively impact the perception of your business. If you are in the Dallas area and need a great photographer, contact Dave Carlin,

2.     Take product shots. Take life-style shots. Take seasonal shots. Take images of your facility and your staff. 


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