From Business Idea to Reality
Some people find it very difficult to transfer a business idea into a business. They dream for years about what they would like to do and never seem to know where to start, who to talk to or how to make that leap into the unknown arena of developing a business. Many people say that they are scared to talk about their business idea in case someone steals it.
To bring an idea to life we have to talk about it to the right people. There are ways in which we can protect or copyright our ideas by making a note of them with the date and posting it in an envelope addressed to ourselves and then when it arrives in the post keep it unopened. That way you will have proof that you were the originator of an idea. You can also register design and design rights. Make sure that any product you are planning to offer does not infringe any existing rights Penalties can be severe whether the breach is deliberate or not. If in the UK, Trade marks, registered designs and patents can be checked online at the Patent Office’s website www.patent.gov.uk or for free design and information pack and free copyright information pack 0845 9 500 505.
Patent Attorneys, members of The Chartered Institute of Patent Agents provide professional paid-for advice on patents. The Institute also organises clinics giving free basic advice to innovators. Contact: www.cipa.org.uk
It is very important to research your chosen business passion. Find out as much as you can about who else does it, how do they do it, where, when, why and how much do they charge for it and how much money you will need to set up and run your business. Visit the business library and find out to which industry your business belongs and how that sector is progressing. Is it declining or growing and are there opportunities to trade overseas? Research will give you the knowledge to be effective and successful by minimising the mistakes and risks inherent in running a business. Some people in the same type of business might not mind talking to you as long as you are not planning to compete for their existing customers.
Many people grow their business slowly by working in a full time job while they do the research and set up the business. Going part-time as the business develops. Not all types of business activity allows for that level of flexibility, in which case it is even more important to have done thorough research before investing heavily and giving up a full time job to go into business.
Franchising is also an option, buying into an established company has its advantages. Again, if in the UK, contact the British Franchise Association 01491 637 047. It is important to have a clear understanding of what franchising entails. The secret again is to do your homework first. Visit www.british-franchise.org.uk. Watch this space in the coming weeks for tips on Business Plan writing.