Ever had that spark in mind when you have that great big buisness idea? And feel like telling someone be it your potential business partner or a company to provide you with seed funding?
Instead of presenting your idea to them, your enthusiasm stops. Suddenly fear kicks in, the fear of someone stealing your idea when you have everything in mind! (or in paper)
Well before securing your business idea you need to be clear of this aspects:
- How good is your business idea? If you have an idea in mind but haven’t put everything on paper in terms of situational analysis, strategic analysis, ROI, marketing strategies, potential customers, competitive profile matrix, etc, then consider your idea redundant.
- Who are your management team? If you have an idea but your idea on your own business is limited, it’s better to have someone who is proficient in the industry as your team member. It wouldn’t sound right to the venture capitalist when you are a graduate with no working experience and your idea is about oil and gas industry where you know nothing about the license, business nature, etc.
- Is your idea sell-able? Can your idea be a hit? Do some homework and draft working theories based on previous products which is a success and share similarity with your idea.
- What is the product-to-market time? If your product takes you 3 years to commercialize please do re-consider, certain venture capitals want shorter time period to reap the profits.
How do I protect my idea before presenting it?
- Ask the audience to sign a non-disclosure agreement / non-complete agreement. This agreement ensures that your audience does not use the information given by you for commercial purpose, whatsoever. Please be careful however to check on the audience before you ask them to sign; what I mean is venture capitals could be offended if you ask them to sign as they are professionals and not da kind of people who steals your idea.
- Patent your idea. This is useful for university researchers. During my research back in UPM, patent takes you years if you are in Malaysia, therefore having this is an advantage for R&D products.
- Appoint a lawyer. If you have that extra cash, go find some lawyers to consult you on the most effective way to protect your idea.
For examples on the protection I mentioned, you can check out these sites:
- Non-disclosure agreement sample
- Malaysia Copyright Act 1987
- Patents Act 1983 & Patents Regulations 1986