When asked what contributed to their success, many entrepreneurs say they have the best people. Sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s simply not the sole reason your company is successful. While good people are vital, companies can still fold with great people.
A company is unsustainable without durable ideas. The bottom like is that every company started with an idea, and it is the continuation of innovation that will propel the company forward. No matter how experienced the management team, or how much investor money is thrown, stagnant companies will cease to exist in a consumer culture that’s always seeking the latest and greatest.
Your Company Name Can Make You or Break You
Begin with the name of your company. Learn from those who failed. According to “The Top 10 Worst Tech Startup Names” on Inc.com, the late fashion website Fashism began with investments from major celebs and still tanked. The comments section of a scathing review by Gawker indicates how low consumers regarded that name.
You should also experiment with your tag line until you hit on the right one. The state of Virginia has used “Virginia Is For Lovers” for almost half a century, and it is considered an icon of market messaging.
A good company name is invaluable, which is why most owners protect them with trademark registration – you’ll see the ® on the Virginia tag line. Since there’s a possibility your good idea for a company name may already be taken, it’s imperative to conduct a national search through the US Patent and Trademark Office before you invest anything in marketing the new name or tag line.
Protect Your Product(s)
Great leaders know they must constantly update their product line, and protect them with patents. However, what happens if you fail to innovate quickly enough, and don’t fully protect your product ideas? Trouble, that’s what.
In the 1990s, a duo of women developed the popular product called Icicle Lights during the Christmas season, and even patented a portion of their invention. The item gained so much popularity, knock-offs appeared instantly. They won one infringement suit – but in the end, their failure to continue innovating and patenting the basics of their invention, allowed others to develop creative ways to find loopholes to their original patent.
Icicle Lights was such a lucrative idea, many companies profited. The moral of the story is that patents are the most useful when the owner(s) stay on top of the right ways to protect the idea(s). Once you introduce a product to market, you have no more than one year to file for a patent on it, or you will forever lose the right to do so.
Good Copy Is Essential
According to the website marketing experts, “Content is king.” That means your blog, articles, and videos are valuable intellectual property referred to as copyrighted material. When you begin to think about your content as property, you develop a fresh perspective on the worth of these embodiments of your ideas. In fact, well developed ideas translates to engaging content – which is a valuable asset in attracting potential customers.
There are a few ideas to keep in mind regarding content.
- Don’t duplicate the good articles, videos, and pictures from a successful competitor’s pages to use as your own. That’s copyright infringement.
- If you outsource the job of producing content instead of using your own employees, make sure you get a “work made for hire” clause in the development contract, otherwise the developer of the content will own it, not you.
- If you plan to monetize your content, you should consider submitting the material to the Copyright Office for registration. There are advantages to doing this.
Good ideas are the source of great wealth. If you promote a culture of idea generation within your company, even your average people will perform like great people. So come to think of it, maybe your people are your greatest asset after all – at least the ones who bring the best ideas to you.