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  • #987435
    Tagger
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    Hi all

    This probably sounds silly and a little paranoid, but I’m worried about talking to people (even accountants and advisers) about my business idea.

    I’m 43, married, in full time employment in an office job I loathe in an industry I no longer have any interest in. It pays well though, so I have that classic dilemma of staying miserable but comfortable, or taking a chance on something completely new…and most importantly working for myself.

    I’ve spotted a gap in the retail market in a particular location but have no experience. I would love to be able to talk to people in similar retail businesses to understand what’s involved, and to talk to a professional adviser to nut out all the details and come up with a plan. But I am seriously concerned that once I reveal the opportunity it could be snapped up by someone else who has the experience and investment to get it up and running before I could.

    Any advice on how best to overcome this fear?

    Thanks

    MJamo

    #1162694
    Sellty
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    • Total posts: 10
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    Type the idea up, print it out, sign it and post it to yourself. That way you have a hard copy and a postal date and time stamp to prove that you have the idea first should anyone try to rip your idea off and they take you to court about it. This is the least in-your-face way but if you really want to keep what you say to people air tight and legally binding then get them to sign a confidentiality agreement before your meeting. If they don’t want to sign it then don’t do business with them! I’ve worked in TV for 5 years and I can’t tell you how many of these ‘gag’ orders I’ve signed, they aren’t a big deal, pretty standard really.

    #1162695
    Steffen Daleng
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    MJamo, post: 188049 wrote:
    Hi all

    This probably sounds silly and a little paranoid, but I’m worried about talking to people (even accountants and advisers) about my business idea.

    I’m 43, married, in full time employment in an office job I loathe in an industry I no longer have any interest in. It pays well though, so I have that classic dilemma of staying miserable but comfortable, or taking a chance on something completely new…and most importantly working for myself.

    I’ve spotted a gap in the retail market in a particular location but have no experience. I would love to be able to talk to people in similar retail businesses to understand what’s involved, and to talk to a professional adviser to nut out all the details and come up with a plan. But I am seriously concerned that once I reveal the opportunity it could be snapped up by someone else who has the experience and investment to get it up and running before I could.

    Any advice on how best to overcome this fear?

    Thanks

    MJamo

    Your fear is completely normal and understandable.
    I have been there as well.

    But here is the good part:
    Don’t fear talking openly about your idea.
    Its never the idea itself that holds the value. It is the execution.

    Google was not the first Search Engine.
    Facebook was not the first social media network.
    Apple was not the first computer or phone.

    Here is a good example.
    Elon Musk (yes the guy behind PayPal, Tesla Motors, and SpaceX)
    He is creating a new project now. The Hyperrail – And he is openly sharing his ideas and thoughts and investment proposals for this new idea that is worth billions.

    Why is he doing this ? Because he also know its not about being first with an idea, or being alone in a market. Its about how well you execute the idea.

    Also, its important to be a little humble.
    7 Billion people in the world. Do you really believe that you are the only one in the world that came up with whatever idea you have right now? (no pun intended)
    – Chances are it already exists, or someone is already doing it.

    A good tip is keeping that in mind and in stead of focussing on keeping things a secret, in the rather “arrogant” thought that we just invented the wheel, we should look into how we can make this idea into the best possible, through communication and dialogue with people that would fit the customer/user base.
    – And that requires openness.

    In some situations though, it can be worth considering an NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement, if you really fear to share your ideas that much) but my experience is that its the very few serious investors that wants to sign an NDA, because it really is a small world, and there is a large chance that your idea is already in production and that they might already have a finger in it.

    #1162696
    Tagger
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    • Total posts: 5
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    Thanks the replies Sellty and Steffen, both useful.

    Steffen – you’re right and perhaps I should have worded my post differently, because this is by no means a unique idea, it exists all over the world, just not in the location I have my eyes on.

    It’s the execution bit I have no experience of, so perhaps time to bite the bullet and get some time with a professional.

    #1162697
    John C.
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    Hi Mjamo,

    I’m with Steffen on this one. You’re idea is probably not that unique, and unless you’ve developed a new drug, or designed another iPhone, there probably aren’t too many people out there who are trying to steal it, who haven’t already had the idea themselves.

    Your accountant, if he is a good one, has enough on his plate, and enjoys his work enough, that he doesn’t need to steal ideas from his clients. Same goes for your lawyer, banker and Doctor.

    Worry less about who will steal your idea, and more about how you will implement it in the best possible way as quickly as practical. This is where people with great ideas often fail (i.e. most of us at one point or another).

    I hope it works out for you!

    Cheers,
    John

    #1162698
    Tony Manto
    Participant
    • Total posts: 581
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    Hi MJamo, you can always get people to sign an non disclosure form. I am sure there are plenty of examples on the web. I would get advice from an Accountant or even a business consultant. Someone that has a better understanding about business. They can see things you can’t.

    If you hold something in because you are scared of loosing it, you have already lost…

    #1162699
    MissSassy
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,255
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    Hi MJamo

    How exciting for you to have come up with an opportunity you can see working in the future.

    My suggestion is don’t delay – Get organised and get your business plan running ASAP. This way you will know if it is viable for you to go ahead with any further or if you need to do something different.

    I will happily sign a non disclosure statement and work with you to complete a viability study and create a plan for you to move forward. I have retail experience and knowledge so I definitely can help you there, even if you would just like to discuss the idea further.

    The contact form on my website is the best way to send me your details so that I can contact you. Happy to help.

    #1162700
    StevenMelbourne
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    • Total posts: 47
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    Hi MJamo,

    Through my experiences unless you have some ground-breaking technology then it is probably fine to share your idea with others. In fact in your discussions you may find some of the loopholes in your idea so you can then improve it.

    Most people are doing their own jobs and won’t really have time to use other people’s ideas. Start early, execute well, and socialise your idea along the way, it helps convince yourself your idea is great and also gives you more motivation to grow it.

    NDAs are always an option but they can be a big hassle for a lot of people if you just want to have a discussion. They are useful if you are going to provide your entire business operating model and processes to someone, but probably not necessary for discussing your idea.

    Cheers,
    Steven

    #1162701
    SACKO – Head Office
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    • Total posts: 35
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    Hi MJamo,

    If you are that apprehensive that someone might steal your ideas, NDA would be of help.

    I would agree with Steffen. It’s not about who did it first, it’s about who did it right and executed it properly. After all, risk-taking is one factor of business.

    It’s really all up to you though it would be best to talk to someone who have well-experience in the industry you are planning to enter.

    All the best!

    Regards,
    Edelyn

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