Holding onto your business idea is not always the solution as there is often need to share your idea with the right people. Sharing your idea gives you a platform to interact with other entrepreneurs and potential customers.
Although most people would find that stupid, especially with the common question – ‘What if someone steals my idea?‘ Well, here are a few tips to protect your most valuable resource – your business idea. Don’t forget the business plan is more important and valuable than a business idea, and what do you know of having a business partner?
Back to what the post is all about – How to Protect Your Business Idea:
1. Don’t Tell All.
When talking to potential investors, one of the best ways to reduce the risk of your idea being duplicated and implemented by another company is to limit the amount of information you disclose, especially during the early stages of discussions. For instance, instead of sending an entire business plan to an investor you can send a detailed executive summary. Later, as discussions progress, you can reveal more information.
2. Include a Confidentiality Notice.
You should include a disclaimer in your business plan to avoid wrongful distribution or use. The financier you are presenting the business plan to should sign the disclaimer.
For instance, you can write the following:
The content of this business plan is confidential. The information herein has been prepared for review by ABC Bank and should not be shared without written permission.
3. Seek Legal Advice.
Have a great idea that you think can be of use to a big company and at the same time generate money for yourself? Before you pitch talk to a lawyer. A big company probably has the finances needed to execute the plan, hence it is important to get legal advice and find out how safe your idea is once you disclose it to another party.
4. Understand Intellectual Property Rights.
Intellectual property rights simply means that if you come up with an idea, you have the exclusive right to implement the idea for a period of time. For instance, if you have a technology business and come up with a new innovation it is important to patent or copyright your innovation, so as to have exclusive rights to exploit the commercial benefits of the innovation.
Source – BT.org