5 Surefire Tips
To Help You Protect Your Business Ideas
You’ve worked hard to come up with a successful small business idea. You’ve pitched the idea to a prospective client or investor only to find out later that the idea has already been implemented without your Knowledge. This can be a harrowing situation to be in. Business idea theft is a common phenomenon these days, and it’s a great concern for most people, as these forefront business people or even investors can take advantage you because they have the money and direct access to the market. Luckily, there are steps you can take to prevent your creative small business ideas from being stolen:
Desist from revealing too much of your business ideas
This is the best way to keep your business ideas from being stolen. When presenting your business ideas to a prospective client, make sure you don’t reveal too much. Only gives small details that pass the idea. You don’t have to give a detailed demonstration of how your idea works. The much you can do is to give an overview of your business idea and state the problems it’s going to solve. The only exception is if you’re pitching your business idea to investors or financial institutions. They always want to know the details about the business idea before they can open their purse strings.
Apply for a trademark to protect your business ideas
A business name is almost always tied to a business idea. Therefore, you can trademark the name to protect the business idea from theft. Also, you can come up with a great business idea and tie it to your business name. Maybe the business name you choose could already have been be snapped up by someone else. So applying for the trademark could protect you from legal issues in the future. Even if you didn’t register the name in time, the business idea could be proof that you owned the name before someone else beat you to trademark it.
You can protect your business ideas by getting a provisional patent
Getting a patent is expensive. In fact, it can consume a big chunk of any startup owner’s capital. That’s why it’s recommended that you apply for a provisional patent. However, a provisional patent can only protect you for the first year. It is prudent to know that upfront. The provisional patent normally expires after one year, and there is no option for renewal.
Use non-disclosure agreements to protect your business ideas
Another effective way to protect your business idea from theft is to ask your investors or prospective clients to sign a non-disclosure agreement. However, you should know that most investors and prospective business owners will not agree to the signing of a non-disclosure agreement. And because investors call the shots when it comes to funding your business idea, you may be forced to give up the idea of them signing the non-disclosure agreement. The most convenient way to deal with this is to print a confidentiality statement and include it in your business plan.
Research, the person you are pitching to protect your business ideas
Make sure to research the person you’re pitching your business idea to upfront, whether it’s a prospective client or an investor. With the rapid internet development, information is freely available online, and you can get it in a matter of minutes. You can easily determine the reputation of the person or institution you are dealing with by reading their reviews online before revealing any information about your successful business ideas. Specifically, check out for any disputes with other business owners. They should be squeaky clean before engaging with them.
Your business idea is one of the most precious assets you have. So don’t let anyone take it from you. Make sure to use one or two of the tips below to safeguard it.