Thursday, July 9, 2009

I've Got An Idea

There’s a world of blood, sweat and tears that separates a great b­­usiness idea from a great business. That’s why - with few exceptions - people don’t buy ideas. After all, ideas are a dime a dozen, right?

So, what can you do with your great idea? If you’re like most people, you’ll forget about it until the day you see that someone else has turned it into a reality. If you’re not like most people, you’ll become obsessed with the idea to the point where you know you have to find a way to add value to the idea, whether that means patenting it, licensing it or starting a company to market it.

If you’re in the latter category, put together a plan to go with your idea. It doesn’t have to be a full business plan. Start with a proof of concept that explains what your idea is, how it will generate revenue, what kinds of operating expenses you’ll incur producing it or pursuing it and what your competition will be. What unmet need will your product or service fulfill? Why will customers buy it instead of buying your competitors’ products?

If you feel that your idea is a can't miss, pursue intellectual property protection for it and share it with a few trusted colleagues – preferably people already in business for themselves. Ask them to sign “non-disclosure” agreements before you lay out the idea.

Don’t get sucked in by phony inventor or patenting schemes that fleece naïve would-be entrepreneurs for thousands every year by flattery and flat-out fraud.

If you really have an innovative, promising business idea, and you’re driven to pursue it, you’ll be able to prove the concept, protect the idea legally and either license it to an existing business or round up the funding that will allow you to take the idea to market yourself, perhaps with a more knowledgeable business partner.

More information on protecting and commercializing your business ideas can be found at the National Inventor Fraud Center.


  1. Simple, yet great post, Karen. And agreed - the National Inventor Fraud Center site is quite helpful. Thanks for sharing!

    Pam W.

  2. You're welcome, Pam. Thanks for commenting! :-)