What you need to know about protecting your ideas

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(Photo credit: MikeBlogs)

You’ve worked damned hard to grow your brilliant idea into the tangible form of a product or service. What protection do you have to prevent others from copying it? Is it worth the trouble to seek copyright, patent or trademark protection?

If you’ve done your homework, and strongly believe that your idea is unique, then it’s worth taking a look at having your intellectual property legally protected. It could be worth the cost because your brilliant new product or service gives you your entry into the marketplace as well as a competitive edge. Continue reading “What you need to know about protecting your ideas”

How to promote yourself and your business without TV appearances and display ads?

We’ve all seen the rise of the celebrity entrepreneur, business people who have been able to create public personas that help them promote their products, services and brands.

The exposure of a company on TV is worth millions. Just think of entrepreneurs such as Sir Alan Sugar, Donald Trump, Sir Richard Branson, Simon Cowell and Martha Stewart who have chalked up many accumulated hours’ worth of television coverage. Continue reading “How to promote yourself and your business without TV appearances and display ads?”

Do you experience these struggles when trying to come up with profitable ideas?

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Introduction to my book, “Secrets of Generating Ideas For Profit: how to quickly and easily get viable business ideas”, by Chesney Bradshaw, published by Bell & Cray Business Books:

All it takes to make a million is to come up with a new idea for a product or service and you’ve got it made. A fantasy? Dream? A reality?

Small businesses, start-ups and solo entrepreneurs are coming up with new products and services all the time – just open up your business weekly or business section of your newspaper and you’ll see it. Or, go look around at shopping malls and see the number of new products that have been launched by small companies. Continue reading “Do you experience these struggles when trying to come up with profitable ideas?”

Where do you find ideas for nothing?

Ideas can make millions. Where do you find your million dollar idea?

Well, the first place you could look for ideas is your hobbies and interests. What have you done, are doing that could be turned into a profit machine?

Many entrepreneurs have got their new business ideas from their hobbies. Small businesses have been started from hobbies in baking, gardening, cycling, collecting share certificates – you name it – people have taken their hobbies, found a market for what they have to offer and slowly built successful businesses.

Ideas can come from problems and customer complaints. A young woman in Australia once heard a shop counter salesperson say, “If I had a dollar for every time someone asked for matte lipstick, I’d be rich.” Well, Poppy King listened and built a lipstick business. Listening can unearth a goldmine. Continue reading “Where do you find ideas for nothing?”

Secret sauce for small business start-ups

Now with the economy as it is, formulas, systems and processes to start up a business of your own are flooding email in-boxes and splashing on the cover of small business magazines.

Nothing wrong with that except for the glaring omissions in the advice, making it sound like a small business is so easy to start it’s like child’s play. We’ve covered the importance of transforming personal resources into business resources, market research, testing and implementation plans. But there’s still one secret sauce that doesn’t appear in these offers, books and articles written by gurus (gooroos), academics and instant authors, publishing hundreds of thousands of instant e-book’s each year.

That ingredient is so obvious that it’s left out or left alone because the authors seem to have no idea of how important it is. Continue reading “Secret sauce for small business start-ups”

Hey Joe, where are you going with that idea in your hand?

I came across a story this week about a man who has come up with a way to make a diesel-like fuel from waste plastic and old tyres. William Graham is testing his fuel in a diesel powered vehicle. His fuel costs 40% less than regular diesel.

William, who believes “nothing is impossible”, also came up with a desalination system for producing fresh drinking water. His technology is used in plants around the world.

Moctar Dembele from Burkina Faso and Gerard Niyondiko from Burundi have created a malaria-repellent soap using local herbs. They won the $25,000 Global Social Venture Competition.

These are people who believe in their ideas and work on them until they become reality.

What about those who walk around with an idea in their hand but don’t do anything with it? Continue reading “Hey Joe, where are you going with that idea in your hand?”

How a fun, practical creativity tool gave this man in his 60s a second income – and a new lease on life

I met with a business broker I have known for some years who has given me business advice from the trenches as he deals with valuing and selling all sorts of businesses. He can spot a dud a kilometre away.

John McQuade as Charlie Wild from the program Charlie Wild, Private Detective.
John McQuade as Charlie Wild from the program Charlie Wild, Private Detective.

Yet he’s being having a hard time selling businesses in this down economy. Sellers are desperate to sell even events businesses which have little assets and dubious goodwill because of fickle corporates who change suppliers at the drop of a hat.

Buyers of concrete solid businesses such as small manufacturing companies are taking long to make decisions – a sale can take up to 6 months or longer.

On top of this, he’s been moving from a large home in the suburbs to a smaller cluster house. Downsizing has proved traumatic for his wife who wants to take all her positions to their new home. She’s finding it difficult to change and let go. Continue reading “How a fun, practical creativity tool gave this man in his 60s a second income – and a new lease on life”

Ignore your pie-in-the-sky thinking if you want but don’t cry when your competitors steal a scrumptious slice of your market

Why has pie-in-the-sky thinking got such a bad rap?
Why has pie-in-the-sky thinking got such a bad rap?

Last night while driving to a jazz club I was listening to a new Johannesburg radio station and I heard a business consultant interviewing entrepreneurs who have taken a second-hand car sounds business and through innovative ideas have made it super successful.

What stood out for me was a remark made by the wife of the husband-and-wife business partnership. She said her husband was the “pie-in-the-sky” thinker. He was the one who had come up with ideas such as to showcase a classic car from the 60s in their car sound audio fitment centre. Continue reading “Ignore your pie-in-the-sky thinking if you want but don’t cry when your competitors steal a scrumptious slice of your market”

One overlooked secret to generating new ideas

It’s Tuesday today – the day that’s furthest away from Monday, the day when many feel at their lowest point of energy. It’s not for nothing that even songwriters have written about Monday blues such as “I don’t like Mondays”, “Manic Monday” and “Blue Monday”.

Interesting that songs about Tuesday are more upbeat: “Ruby Tuesday”, “Groovy Tuesday” and “Hooray for Tuesday”.

Mondays can drain our energy as we try to break away from the relaxed state of the weekend and recoil ourselves for the first day of the working week. Continue reading “One overlooked secret to generating new ideas”

Your idea sucks? Now, what are you going to do about it?

Today is a very special day in your life. How do I know this? I know because you have landed on this blog. You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t curious about how you can take your idea for a product or service and make it work for your life or business. Stay here for a few minutes I will show you exactly how you can make this day one of the most exciting that you have ever had in your life.

I was listening to a small business owner telling me excitedly about a new product idea that he had come up with but I was squirming in my seat. His idea sucked but I didn’t have the heart to tell him. I listened closely and when he finished I suggested he give the idea some more thought and recommended he use the New Business Idea Accelerator Evaluation Plan to see if his idea was feasible. Continue reading “Your idea sucks? Now, what are you going to do about it?”