This blog does not provide legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice or if you would like to schedule a Business Audit & Strategy Session with our office in order to best protect yourself & your business, you can reach us directly at (512) 925-7882.
Aspiring entrepreneurs know the feeling all too well. The moment that light bulb goes off, you begin searching for a pen and paper, or rush to your favorite note-taking app to write your idea down before it escapes you.
This is brilliant!
How has nobody thought of this?
I know so many people that would love to use this app/buy this product/order this service.
But then what?
Lots of people experience these moments. Few actually take the steps necessary to transform their idea into a plan. Even fewer execute the plan and bring it to fruition. Read on to find out what you should be doing after that magnificent idea comes to mind.
1. Spend time developing your idea
Take the time to sit down and develop your business idea. What is the product or service you would offer? Who would your target audience be? What are the needs of your ideal consumer? What steps are necessary to develop the product or service? What market research needs to be done? What kind of subject matter experts would you need to recruit to be a part of your team? What are the best-suited marketing methods for this product and audience?
Make notes of your ideas and expand on them over time. These questions are simply preliminary; don’t feel overwhelmed by them. Take your time, but continuously make progress.
2. Scope out the competition
Check out your future competitors. What are they doing and how can you do it better? Is there a void that has been left untouched? What are their consumers’ complaints? Competitive analysis is a must in determining how your startup will withstand the competition in your industry of choice.
3. Intellectual property protection
Do you have a brand/product name in mind? If so, great! If not, no worries. Check out our post on ‘Selecting your brand’s name with IP protection in mind’ if you’re still narrowing things down. If you’re set on your brand name, check out our post on ‘Steps to take once you’ve selected your brand/product name’.
Once you’ve considered all of these important points and consulted with a Business Development attorney (click here to schedule a Business Strategy Session), you should consider filing for a trademark registration.
Briefly, a trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, or design used in connection with the sale of goods and/or services. It serves to distinguish your goods from those of another source. For further explanation of trademark protection, click here. If you’re putting goods or services out into commerce, you should seriously consider filing for trademark registration in order to protect your brand or product name, as well as your logo. This offers you the protection and peace of mind of knowing that another business cannot swoop into your industry, sell similar goods/services, and benefit from the reputation you’ve built around your brand by using a name similar to yours. Many times, a company’s intellectual property is its most valuable asset.
4. Have an NDA on hand
Through your entrepreneurial journey, you’ll find that you will need to discuss your business idea with many individuals. This is especially true in the beginning stages. Some entrepreneurs fear that sharing their idea with others may increase the possibility of another ‘stealing’ the idea and building a company around it themselves. Another concern is that these individuals may share your trade secrets or strategy with your competitors. While this is possible, it’s not impossible to prevent it from happening. Taking the appropriate precautions and having consultants, web designers, app builders, etc. sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement before discussing your plans with them can help you and your business in the long run.
5. Consult with a business development professional
Many of these questions and considerations may seem difficult, or even overwhelming, to any (aspiring) entrepreneur, no matter how experienced or inexperienced you are. Take a deep breath. Remind yourself that you are only one person. Nobody expects you to do this alone. In fact, nobody that’s built a successful enterprise has done it solo! Part of your entrepreneurial journey will include recruiting a team of professionals to help you reach your goals. Connect with us to schedule a discovery call and to make us a part of your winning team!
To the success of your business,
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