Protecting your ideas (systems)
by Philip Scott
Congratulations to the many of you who visited the mind-map link I provided last week. Even bigger congrats to those of you who downloaded the trial. The fact that so many of you took action is really inspiring :)
Now I promised to tell you how to protect your ideas this week. Well actually I promised to do it last week and I didnt, so Im making good on my promise today!
Everyone (OK most people!) I speak to about implementing and documenting their systems are concerned that they are giving away their trade secrets.
Now this may be true, and I am sure you are absolutely brilliant at what you do and you are the only person in the world that can do it that well. I would argue that youd be much better off teaching others do it as well if not better than you because it will only help you grow your business!!!
But what if they get really good at it and then they leave to go to a competitor, or start up on their own?
Yes, that is a very valid concern. Again I would argue (I do that a lot dont I?) if you have good systems in place, your business is going places and you have good staff relations, then it wont be a problem. I mean why would that WANT to leave? There are many ways of ensuring your staff stay with you ...good systems do that! They also protect you in the sense that it is easy to train new people, because you have systems!
Now you could go and see my good friend Barry Eagar who is a patent and trademarks attorney (and an absolutely brilliant one at that!) and get him to ensure all your IP is protected. That is very important. It will allow you to sue people if they do copy your ideas, It also offers some resistance when they see it is trademarked they are less likely to copy it!
Of course to me the best way to protect yourself is by giving it to them!
You dont agree? OK let me put it another way. Develop your systems in such a way that you can package them .... and then sell them to other people :) Soon enough youll be making more money out of that than your business itself. True leveraging! So your top guy decides he wants to go it alone because he wants to be the boss. What better way to ensure his success by allowing him to buy a license for your systems.
Ideally you would want to package your systems into a managed Cloud Based or other software system (in which case you want to talk to someone like me!!! Yay, some shameless self promotion there!). Not only does it mean your systems are better and more efficient, you also create additional revenue streams for yourself!
Wow, I think I deserve another coffee :)