Protect Your Business Ideas -Don’t Be Naïve!

Festus Otasowie


Many people have business ideas and don’t know what to do about it.

Starting a business is one of the scariest yet gratifying endeavours you can ever take on.

It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and resilience – even then, there is no guarantee for success. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that only 25% of new businesses survive to their 15th year.

Those that make it big are the most carefully planned and meticulously executed ideas. Some other ideas fail within the first two to five years while the largest percentage fails before attaining ten years.

How can you steer clear of failure and build the business of your dreams? It all starts with getting the right idea and executing it with the precision of a brain surgeon.

This article lays out some of the proven tips you can implement.

Dream higher

How to Develop New Ideas

You may also be interested in how to choose your niche and explore new ideas in starting an eCommerce business

For you to succeed in any business you first have to eliminate all the doubts you have about your abilities, or just about yourself.

The easiest way to ensure this is by playing on your strengths and deciding whether they can empower you to succeed in business. This helps you identify a great idea that you can execute excellently.

You can start by figuring out ways by which you can earn money from your hobby or something else you love doing.

This works exceptionally great when there is a ready market for such a business. Without a market, despite how good you are, your idea will still remain a hobby.

Here are some of the questions you should ask yourself as you evaluate your strengths;

  • What do you enjoy doing?
  • What skills can you say you possess?
  • Where does your experience lie?
  • What do people say you do exceptionally well?
  • Do you possess special training in the areas you have interest in?
  • Are you able to bounce back when criticized or rejected?
  • Are you resourceful?
  • Are you self-driven and highly motivated?
  • Are you down-to-earth or a dreamer?
  • Are you ready to devote yourself into the day to day running of a business and the challenges it presents?
Banner showing new business survival rate stats
Far more new businesses fail than survive

When there is a ready market for a service or product you do not need to have it as your hobby to make it a successful business.

You can partner with or hire people who have advanced knowledge and experience in the craft you are unfamiliar with.

You can also learn as much as you can before you start your new venture or go for franchising where you rely on the advice and brand superiority of the parent company.

In the case of a new business, you can think of implementing any of the following four business strategies;

  • Developing a completely new type of product to serve a new market
  • Developing a completely new product or service for an already existing market
  • Improving an existing product to serve an existing market
  • Selling a proven product in an extremely new market

Profitable Ideas Exchange

Ideas exchange mainly aims at helping individuals generate more diverse ideas and refine the already existing ones.

This is because the knowledge exchange allows for free flow of knowledge and provides participants with new perspectives.

The practices and tasks rely on research from numerous professionals. The process of ideas exchange usually sets the pace for collaborative business efforts that go beyond the traditional sectoral and disciplinary boundaries.

Ideas exchange platforms work in form of peer groups that have immense power to accelerate learning, tackle challenges, and provide incredible perspectives.

As a business executive or expert you can increase your networks and find new partnerships that can help to make your idea a reality.

You can propose an idea which then gets deconstructed to properly analyze its potential challenges and profitability.


Ideas exchange platforms help share ides
Ideas exchange

How to Sell an Idea to a Company without Them Stealing It

Businesses consume a lot of money to grow into hugely successful brands.

For a new idea, there are several ways to get the funding you need to get it going. One of such is pitching to investors or investment companies that can give you the seed money you need.

However, you might feel that a company with a lot of money will just go ahead and implement your idea in your absence. This leaves you in a dilemma. You are right to be concerned as numerous young and naive entrepreneurs have been ripped off in such a manner.

How do you ensure that you do not fall victim to such intellectual theft? This YouTube video below on how to Stop Companies From Stealing Your Product Ideas provides some insight into how real this threat is.

An image of two men presenting a video
The threat of big corporations stealing your business ideas is real

The following are some of the tips you should consider;

  1. Getting a provisional patent. A patent gives you total rights to the ownership of a particular idea or invention. However, you do not always need a patent to protect your idea. You can take a provisional patent which is cheaper and faster. The provisional patent runs for 12 months after which you have to convert it to a non-provisional form
  2. Avoid sharing your business ideas with just anyone. Not everyone is your friend and people are more likely to steal your ideas than going into a partnership with you. Sharing your idea on social media may also nullify any intellectual property rights you previously enjoyed
  3. Avoid overexposing your idea. You should only share as little information as you can. It is not every investor that you approach who is guaranteed to help with the funding you need
  4. Use a non-disclosure agreement. The document prevents anyone you discuss the details of the idea with from disclosing it to third parties
  5. Research your recipients thoroughly. When you cannot get the investors to sign non-disclosure agreements it is advisable to get as much information as can about them. Try to find out if they are the type to go behind your back judging by their past business dealings

Companies that Pay for business Ideas

It is possible to sell your ideas when you are unable to execute them. You can sell a part of your idea or its entirety.

Here is a brief video just illustrating this concept with their list of the Best Companies That Buy Innovative Ideas 

Companies looking for brilliant ideas to support
Great ideas sell

The following are some of the companies that are looking to buy any of your exciting business ideas;

  1. Sharper Image. Deals in the latest gadgets, toys, and other technology
  2. 3M. Mainly deals in office supplies and electronics but always looking to venture into new markets such as healthcare
  3. Henkel. It is the parent company for Right Guard deodorant and Dial soap. It mainly looks for new packaging and existing product formulation ideas
  4. Dorman Products Inc. Looks for automotive, homeware, and hardware product ideas
  5. BD. Looks for new ideas in the medical technology sector


Starting a business is scary and exciting. Having a good business idea makes this journey easier.

If successful, it is a sure way to ensure your financial freedom. However, the path to business success is rocky and many ideas that start as businesses barely survive beyond five to ten years.

The most convenient type of businesses you can start is one that is properly aligned with your hobbies or strengths. You can also take successful ideas and implement them in new markets through models such as franchising.

After you have a successful idea, you can convince investors to buy in and finance its implementation.

However, you need to know the investors well or take a provisional patent, among other measures to prevent those you pitch your idea to from stealing it.

Some of the companies you can sell your idea to include 3M, Sharper Image, Henkel, BD, and Dorman Products Inc.

Do you have challenges making the most of your business ideas? Share with us and let us know how we can help.

Have some great ideas, why don’t you explore our guide to starting an Affiliate marketing business 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What is an innovative idea?

    A different way to do something that people are willing to pay for or a new product that is impactful

  2. How do you identify ideas?

    Think from a customer's perspective on what solution or product could be beneficial

  3. Which customers should you target?

    Go beyond the existing market and identify other people who need to have certain needs fulfilled

  4. How can you bring other people on board when you have an idea?

    A very effective tried and tested way is to use customer testimonials and visuals

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