But That’s My Idea!

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

There is no business without a solid idea that sells. The art of finding a profitable and engaging idea is a long and difficult journey for professionals. Contrary to popular culture, nobody wakes up with a fully formed idea. Most people never experience a “Eureka” moment. Ideas take a long time to develop. It’s ultimately what makes them so valuable for the business. They are the result of hard work. And therefore, the last thing you want to happen is for your idea to be used by someone else. Aside from the anger you might experience when you realize, you also need to be pragmatic about your design. Does it make sense to claim it as yours?

Protect your ideas 

Your business idea falls under the realm of IP consulting. Indeed, IP, or intellectual property, rights are vital as they set your business apart, whether they relate to trademarks, patent protection, or even design and copyright. There’s nothing fun in researching and developing a profitable idea just to see it stolen from you. But, more to the point, your IP rights allow you to share your idea with others, earning royalties by licensing it and allowing resellers to import your products. In other words, intellectual property acts as a safeguard against the commercial and creative use of your business asset. 

But don’t be afraid to share them with those who can help you 

Admittedly, while you don’t want to be careless about your commercial designs, you also need to be open to sharing your thoughts and plans with others. Indeed, your IP rights can serve as security for commercial loans, for instance. You can also pitch your idea to investors at the start of your business existence. For startups and SMEs, a confident pitch could be the guarantee of financial backing for growth. However, it relies on your readiness to expose your idea. You can’t afford to waste investors’ time by demanding they sign an NDA at the beginning of the pitch at this stage. 

Believe it or not, people notice when you’ve stolen an idea

Just as your idea is precious, other people’s ideas are too. As a result, your audience expects you to stay true to your creative direction. While you may be tempted to turn into practice ideas you’ve spotted in your competitors’ activities or at a trade show, you need to be careful about repurposing an existing concept. Indeed, your customers expect brand consistency from your business. If the “borrowed” idea doesn’t fit your mission and values, you’re likely to lose your audience. 

 

There is no I in team

Lastly, you shouldn’t be too attached to your personal ideas. Indeed, when working in a team, you need to be ready to share and transform ideas to develop a profitable concept. Reluctance to engage in creative exchange for the sake of protecting your ideas may be damaging to business growth. A good team can work together and collaborate in the creative process as smoothly and freely as possible. 

In conclusion, ideas are volatile assets that need to be calibrated to your business needs. First of all, you can’t afford not to protect their rights. However, it shouldn’t stop you from sharing your ideas in an appropriate environment. And finally, ideas need to be relevant to your business; don’t be tempted to take a shortcut by using someone else’s creativity!

How To Build A Strong Business Reputation

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

In business, reputation means everything. It’s the output you gain from your company’s hard work. It’s the perception your clients have about your business, and it’s what shall determine whether your establishment shall sink or swim. And so focusing on reputation to a degree is essential. Although we can’t instantly change others’ opinions of our business, we can manage expectations, feedback, and strive to consistently improve in the common areas that denote whether your business is deemed reliable and professional.

Brand Consistency

One of the things that creates a shaky ground for a business to rest upon is a brand without consistency. If your business’s missions and values aren’t threaded throughout your company’s imagery, content, premises, website, social media pages, and so forth, it tears away any prospect of your clients having familiarity and confidence in your business. As with most successful companies, you can identify them from a commonly chosen song, or slogan or picture of their logo without their name being mentioned. This is because their marketing teams have ensured that their brand is consistent and recognizable anywhere by everyone. Part of building a good reputation is creating a brand that people can link to your products and services with ease.

Customer Service

The critical link connecting your customers to your services or products is your customer service team. And so the connection needs to be a pleasant one for the customer in all scenarios. Whether they have a list of questions about a product, or they want to return faulty goods, your customer service team shall make the difference between persuading an upset customer to remain loyal to your brand or putting them off trusting your company altogether. The latter has dire circumstances on your reputation. So with each customer query, your staff should be equipped to handle whatever is thrown their way. This is mostly down to the training and time you spend on creating and taking care of your team. 

Manage Reviews 

Reviews for many customers spell the difference between the likelihood of them buying something or shopping elsewhere. So you must manage both good and bad reviews to your advantage and take any feedback on board. If you or your team members have the time, allocate a slot to read through and reply to reviews. Whether appreciating good reviews, looking at how to remove fake Google reviews or apologizing to customers for any fair, bad reviews. This shall show other customers reading through the reviews that your company takes an active interest in what your customers think. Plus it inspires confidence in uncertain clients to buy from you knowing that your business is accessible to speak to and accepts accountability for reasonable issues that arise with your products/services.

Above is a non-exhaustive insight on how to create a strong business reputation amongst existing and potential customers. Your company’s reputation is a combination of multiple elements all working holistically to create a picture to your audience. It’s up to you to orchestrate these elements to ensure they work to your company’s advantage.