Online Business and Legal Landmines

Online Business and Legal Landmines – What to Watch Out For

Doing business online is full of opportunities. Access to a national (or international) audience, the ability to augment your ‘offline’ offering and an efficient way to spend your advertising and marketing dollars are all form ticks in the ‘pros’ column.

But while the ‘cons’ are limited, there are some basic tips and legal considerations to be aware of when you’re thinking about online business. Knowing them can help you plan properly and hopefully be aware of any avoidable (but potentially expensive) mistakes that could be made.

Intellectual Property (IP) – Domain Names

IP in online business is most likely to be your domain name, which is also known as your ‘web address’. A few things to note – just because you have registered a business name with a regulator, or even if you have a company, that doesn’t mean that you have any ‘right’ to the same web address.

So if your business is called Sunrise Furniture, and your registered company name is the same, there is nothing stopping another company buying the domain name ‘sunrisefurniture.com.au’. A competitor could even buy the domain name then redirect anyone who clicked on it to their own website, potentially costing you a customer.

In Australia domain names are ‘rented’ rather than ‘owned’. That also means that you’ll want to keep on top of when any renewals are due to avoid any dramas with re-registering a name if it lapses.

7 Customer Refund Rules That Every Business Owner Should Know

7 Customer Refund Rules That Every Business Owner Should Know

Hopefully, if your business is one which occasionally has to refund a customer, you have all the rules related to refunds in place, and therefore not require your commercial lawyer to represent you in a court case, due to a customer is suing you for a refund.

These rules are in place to not only protect customers but to protect businesses too, however, if they are not known or misunderstood, it can cause either party to feel they have been wronged by the other.

We have outlined the basics of each rule below, but please do not consider what we have written as legal text. If you have any queries about refunds, and their legal implications, please consult your commercial lawyers.

Rule #1: A customer is not entitled to a replacement or a cash refund, simply because they change their mind, and no longer want the item they have purchased. You might choose to have an exchange policy, but there is no legal obligation for you to refund because of a change of mind.

Rule #2: When the goods or services that you have sold the customer have a problem, then the customer is entitled, either to a replacement, or a refund. A replacement can be a like-for-like, or an alternative, if the customer is happy to accept it.

Planning for a successful integrated digital strategy Part 4

Benefits of A Customised Social Media Marketing Strategy Part 3

Increased Loyalty To, and Awareness Of Your Brand

Your customised social media strategy will have many parts to it, and each of them will add not only to the awareness that people of your brand, but it can also increase the loyalty that those who are existing customers or clients, feel towards it.

In terms of awareness, social media is a really effective way of achieving that. Bear in mind, your campaign is likely to be active in multiple platforms, and there is also the real possibility that a really good post or piece of content is shared, to the point of going viral.

To a local business that might not seem as important as it might to global business, but do not dismiss its impact though. Every one of those shares, even if from someone on the other side of the planet, is a signal to Google that gives your search engine ranking a boost.

As for brand loyalty, the more your customers are exposed to your social media posts, the more they will associate themselves with being one of your customers. Also, your customised campaign will have specific posts that help to cement that loyalty.

This is particularly important now, as the customers who are buying today now include the Millennial generation born between 1980, and 2000. These are known to be especially loyal to companies, businesses, and brands that engage with them on social media.

Planning for a successful integrated digital strategy Part 3

Benefits of A Customised Social Media Marketing Strategy Part 2

Increased Inbound Traffic

Online business has a currency, and that currency is traffic. Normally, the businesses which can generate the most traffic to their online properties, such as their websites, are the ones that are the most successful.

With that in mind, your customised social media campaign will be generating currency for your business, not in terms of dollars (that will come), but in terms of traffic. That traffic will be visitors to your website, that may have clicked there, or searched for it, having been exposed to some of the social media content that has been created as part of the campaign.

Planning for a successful integrated digital strategy part 2

Benefits of A Customised Social Media Marketing Strategy Part 1

Whichever business niche, sector, or industry you are in, any marketing campaign which is implemented to increase customers and revenue, needs to have a social media strategy included as part of it.

The reason why, is simply that 3 out of every 4 people use social media, and more important than that, the vast majority actually use and refer to social media before making an online purchase.

Now you may not be a local business where customers actually buy your product or service directly from your website. However, if you want them to take action that may lead to a purchase, such as filling out an online enquiry form, or calling you on the phone, then social media is every bit as relevant and necessary.

Protecting The Intellectual Property Rights Of Your Business

Protecting The Intellectual Property Rights Of Your Business

Many businesses, large and small, are creative, and by that, we are not just talking about those in the arts or fashion industries. Anything a business creates from a product to its logo can and should be protected, and this is something that your commercial lawyers can advise you on.

The umbrella under which designs, new technology, written material, artwork, branding, and so on can be placed is called intellectual property. Just as with any physical property you own, intellectual property can be stolen, and when that happens you have legal recourse which can be instigated by your commercial lawyer.

You could try to do so yourself but given the complexities of the law relating to intellectual property, you want the experts on this in order to ensure that your rights are protected properly. Part of those complexities is that different types of intellectual property are protected under different laws and knowing which is which, is something every business owner should know.

Whilst we are not going to turn anyone into a lawyer with the information that follows, at least we can give you a better understanding as to which protection you need for each of the three main areas of intellectual property.

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