I met up with an entrepreneurial couple who had returned to the country from the UK and had decided to make energy bars to sell. They began making and packing their energy bars at home and then going around to shops and delicatessens to leave samples. Soon they were receiving calls from where they had left the sample energy bars with shop and deli owners placing orders. Sounds like a success story, doesn’t it?
The only problem is that when they fulfilled repeat orders at some delicatessens just outside of Cape Town they discovered that a swarm of copycats had descended on the same stores with their look-alike energy bars. But this couple isn’t too perturbed because they make the energy bars using a special process that the copycats and idea thieves won’t be able to easily imitate. This entrepreneurial couple has worked together overseas, are mature and experienced in ways of the world and realised that it is inevitable that others will copy your ideas.
How afraid are you about other entrepreneurs copying your promising new business ideas? What steps are you taking to prevent copying of your ideas? What is your attitude towards others copying your new business ideas including new products and services you may have made?
On a visit, my first, to the Old Biscuit Mall in Salt River, Cape Town, I was interested to see how most stores there in the mixed retail space are paranoid about people taking photographs inside the shops. A typical notice at the front door of one of the shops read: “No photographs to be taken in the shop without permission.” I was also surprised because if someone wanted to really copy an idea for a product in the shop, they could just buy the product, take it home and re-engineer it. Then, what protection do they have?
I don’t know what your take is on this but I would humbly suggest that if you have made an original product with excellent materials, it may be difficult for someone who produces a cheaper knock-off to match your quality. The other thing is that if cheap imitations of your product are sold in other stores, discerning buyers may wish to find the original or a better quality product that you offer and this may in effect increase your sales. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide how far you want to take protecting your product idea.
If you really and truly believe that copying in any way of your product will jeopardise your sales for your business, you should get hold of a copy of “Breakthrough Ideas”, a resource for turning your business idea into a viable product or service.
In this hands-on, practical guide, to be found nowhere else, you will find various ways to protect your product or service idea, your prototype and your final product or service that you put onto the market.
It will guide you even if you need to consult an attorney or lawyer. You then will know exactly what to ask your lawyer, which will cut down on high legal fees. The choice is yours.
What about “Breakthrough Ideas” itself? How will this valuable resource be protected? “Breakthrough Ideas” is protected through one of the very same means that you will find explained in this entrepreneurial guide. More important for you, is how you protect your business or product idea. Here is the link.