This article was inspired by the mothers of my Tuesday SCG Group. How do you keep your idea safe from others? Despite getting several beautiful emails a week from mothers sharing their story and showing genuine interest in my classes, I also get emails from people regarding my business structure. Yes, imitation is the greatest form of flattery, however, business owners have worked hard to get that idea off the ground, and in some cases have the true and personal belief behind them that make them the ideal ‘cosmic owner’ of the idea.
So… what can you do to protect your baby? Your other baby. Your business.
Protecting the name.
Make sure you have Googled your prospective ‘name’ before you attempt to reserve the registration via IPONZ. There’s nothing worse than getting excited about your business identity to find out it already exists. Sad. For an easy ‘one step’ search here in New Zealand you can use this link: https://onecheck.business.govt.nz/
Once you’ve extensively stalked the internet, reserve the name via this website: https://www2.logon.realme.govt.nz/cls/logon.logon?cid=1
You’ll need to create a Real Me account, but the whole process of reserving the name while you finalise your idea costs only about $10, so totally worth it.
2. Your domain.
Buying the domain for your website is obviously a given, but to really protect what you stand for and get ahead with SEO (search engine optimization) you can buy others applicable to your business. Depending on whether you will be trading just in NZ or across the world, you may want to look at ‘.com’ domains or just ‘.co.nz’. This will prevent anyone from being able to use a website along the similar lines in the future.
3. Your business plan and future ideas.
I know, when you have that amazing idea you want to shout it from the rooftops! Better not. When speaking to anyone associated with your business, you can have them sign a basic non-disclosure, binding them legally not to share your vision. This sounds very brash, but it keeps everyone safe, should there be a restraint of trade. In our classes, everyone signs one, so that we know the details of each mother’s business is protected, and to demonstrate mutual respect. This has had GREAT feedback in the classes so far.
4. Your logo
When designing your logo, make sure (and get in writing) that it is fully original and not being used by anyone else. You can also ask to see similar logos created by the designer for other companies before you make your decision. Depending on the category of your business, it may be a good idea to get your logo Trade Marked. Trademarking can be expensive; the application alone is $150. However, if your business is in fashion or design and has a distinct logo, which features regularly throughout your products, it might be a good idea. Also, if you are only planning to expand nationally it may not be as much of a necessity as someone expanding internationally.
You can apply for a Trade Mark here:
5. Your media.
Make sure if you have anyone take photos or video content for you, that you receive ownership in writing. You can also add a watermark or logo to these so that others cannot use them It’s also a good idea to put on your instagram profile (if this a key platform you are using) that people need permission to use your photos.
So ladies, if you want any more advice with this – get in touch! I’m more than happy to sign a non–disclosure 😉