Like Canadian rock legends Bachman-Turner Overdrive, entrepreneurs love “taking care of business”. But handling all of the tasks related to running a business can be overwhelming, and entrepreneurs don’t have the option of “playing something from the new album,” so to speak. They have to remain focused and diligent, and avoid falling into the trap of buying into common misconceptions and ignoring potential risks. There are plenty of startup myths that entrepreneurs fall prey to, but like the best shows from your favorite rockers, we’re sticking to the classics. Today's feature is the first part in a ten-part series.
Myth 1: You can worry about paperwork after you go to market.
Except for the most fastidious of us, it seems safe to say that no one truly enjoys paperwork. Entrepreneurs and inventors would rather get on with the business of creating and building and doing in an effort to bring their creation to market. But that often-tedious paperwork is the foundation of a venture, and ignoring it can put your entire endeavor at risk.
While it's tempting to do everything you can to get that million-dollar idea out the door in in the faces of those willing to give you money for it, it's crucial to remain patient and make sure that you're covering all your bases. If you're taking a prototype to be shown to interested parties, do you have signed non-disclosure agreements from those people? Have you taken steps to get the necessary patents, trademarks, or copyrights on your work? Are you risking revealing any trade secrets in presentations or conversations? These are all important questions you need to consider and take action on before you start the process of taking a product to market.
Along with not protecting your ideas, there’s no quicker way to scare off potential investors than to not have the proper contracts and agreements in place with those you’re working with. While it might seem like a given that if you own the ideas of those individuals you're paying to work for you, the reality is that it isn't so simple. Without written agreements, ownership can become messy, and if your company parts ways with the creator, possibly litigious. Proper contracts are your preventative against potential ownership disputes.
Click below to see the reports you can expect from using ID your IP or the free Business Risk Assessment: