How do I secure my idea and dream?

Dear Aunty B,

I have an idea for a new style of hairdressing boutiques. It is just in its infancy as I am still researching and intend going back to Tafe to study.

Should I simply register the trading name or patent the idea also. From what I can see no one yet is offering what I plan to. As this is still just an “idea and a dream” what steps should I take to secure my idea?

Julia

Dear Julia,

Good for you for dreaming. Now you must turn this into a business and that can take a few years. You are putting the cart before the horse. Before you do any protection of IP, work out what business you are in. For example, a hairdressing salon that relies on sales of hair products for most of its revenue is actually in the retail industry not personal services. You then need to build the business around a retail model – not services model.

Then work out what your competitive advantage is – and is there truly a demand for it? Will people have a compelling need to buy it? What would make them switch from the service they are already using to your offering? How will people find out about it? How much money will you need to launch it and to cover the first few years of operations so you don’t run out of cash?

Once you go through all that planning you may well find the idea has changed, that your original name no longer reflects your dream and that you have a more appropriate name. On the other hand if you have a killer name, by all means register it and secure the URL.

I don’t know what your idea is but it can be extremely costly to patent ideas. It probably is also easy to copy so you may need to get to market and build up the business as fast as possible as you will have first mover advantage.

Good luck,
Your Aunty B

To read more Aunty B advice, click here.

Email your questions, problems and issues to auntyb@smartcompany.com.au right now!

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