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Protecting a business idea

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By George Yammouni, CEO of the Bathroom Werx Group

The first thing to do is to make sure that you only discuss this idea with people that you trust.

And you are going to have to trust a few people as you go about making sure that this idea is feasible. Your accountant is probably your first step as it is important to do some financial modelling on your idea first to make sure that it stacks up.

In doing this modelling, you are going to have to make contact with various customers, suppliers and others already in the industry to get an idea of prices, demand, distribution, etc.

Ask you Lawyer to prepare a “Confidentiality Undertaking” that you can ask people to sign prior to any discussion you might have with them about your idea.

Your accountant and lawyer will also discuss things like trademarks and patents to protect your ideas as well. These are expensive undertakings so doing your modelling and research into the market potential first is a good idea.

If you and your advisors determine that you have a good idea, get it out into the market as soon as you can and let the market be the ultimate judge of your idea. If the market loves it, it will reward you will plenty of sales.

You can waste a lot of time and money protecting your ideas before they even get to the market only to find that the market doesn’t like your ideas. So there is always a trade off between getting to market first, getting protection and being feasible. It is not always easy to find the right balance.

If your idea can be easily copied, then I would get it out to market first and get the edge over everyone else as being the “original”.

About the author

George Yammouni is CEO of the Bathroom Werx Group – a national Franchise System specialising in quick and affordable bathroom makeovers and renovations.

He is a 30year CPA veteran by profession and started his business as a Franchisee in 1986 after a career in merchant banking. He acquired the Franchisor in 1988 and began franchising in 1990.
Bathroom Werx renovates over 200 bathrooms every month around Australia for Customers, including the world’s leading Hotel groups and Government Housing Departments.

George is one of Australia’s leading exponents of service franchising and is a Past Chairman of the Franchise Council of Australia.

To contact the author email [email protected]