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Technology Law Blog

Tips to help entrepreneurs build a healthy client base

Upon starting a new business, individuals in New York and elsewhere may encounter a variety of challenges in building a healthy customer base. While attracting the interests of new customers is often a vital component to the success of a company, it can also be difficult at times. Entrepreneurs who wish to build a successful enterprise could benefit from seeking guidance on how to gain the attention of potential customers and how to keep them coming back for more.

There may be a multitude of prospective business owners who are enthralled by the level of exposure companies gain through larger marketing opportunities such as ads during the Super Bowl. However, these ads might not always come with an acceptable or manageable price range, especially for owners of startups. Those who still wish to gain exposure could benefit from finding other ways to promote products and services, such as through local trade shows and business conferences.

Taking steps to protect intellectual property early on

Upon staring a new business, owners in New York and elsewhere may have a multitude of issues to address every day. Concerns such as developing a marketing strategy and coming up with ways to attract potential customers can be demanding endeavors. While adding on additional priorities may seem like a daunting concept, business owners may also find that seeking out ways to protect their intellectual property could prove essential to safeguarding the longevity of their companies.

Experts indicate that seeking out ways to protect sensitive company information is vital and should be something that entrepreneurs begin planning for while in the early stages of forming a company. According to experts, the first step of the process involves determining what constitutes intellectual property. A company's trade secrets can come in various forms, ranging anywhere from product blueprints, operational procedures and even company logos.

Protecting Your Company’s Trade Secrets

Protecting your company’s trade secrets is key to building and maintaining a competitive advantage.

The first step in doing so is to identify the information you need to protect. A trade secret can be anything that has current or potential economic value for your company and is not generally known.  Here are just a few examples of information that could be a trade secret:

Entrepreneurs: Preventing potentially costly errors with guidance

Starting a new company can be an exciting endeavor.

It can also be a demanding task that may carry a certain level of risk. Since any mistakes they make along the way could have a devastating impact on the future of their companies, entrepreneurs in New York may wish to take steps to prevent them from occurring. However, without the necessary legal experience under their belts, many may be uncertain of the areas in which mistakes could be made.

One of the most common mistakes a business owner could make pertains to selecting the incorrect entity for his or her business. When starting a business, owners have several options to choose from and each of these options may come with its own set of potential advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the wrong entity could open an owner up to various risks, such as liability or adverse tax consequences.

Entrepreneurs: The financial side of starting a business

Upon making the decision to start a business, individuals in New York and elsewhere may need to address a variety of factors before they can bring their dreams to life. Many prospective entrepreneurs may choose to start by reaching a conclusion concerning the direction in which they wish to take their company and begin planning a road map for what comes next. However, entrepreneurs may also find it helpful to keep the financial side of the process in mind, and forming a plan to cut down on unnecessary expenses could prove vital, especially early on.

When it comes to financial planning, prospective business owners may find it essential to determine what they wish to provide to consumers. If they wish to provide a variety of products, ensuring they have the necessary capital on hand to cover the costs of materials and production expenses could prove vital. Alternatively, those who wish to provide a service might not need to invest as much at the start, but they may need a plan to promote growth.

Focusing On Near Term Achievables In Your Business Plan

To attract the capital your startup needs to be successful, you will need to focus time, resources and attention on deliverables and milestones that are achievable in a reasonable period of time. High-tech investors won’t finance a science project.

This doesn’t mean that your company is limited to pursuing a product that can be quickly brought to market.  The final deliverable may not be achievable in the near term, but your milestones need to be.  They measure progress toward achieving a deliverable product. 

Lessons that may help entrepreneurs reach their goals

Individuals in the New York City Metro region and across the nation who wish to achieve success in life may find that having a certain mindset can help them reach their goals.

This is no different for entrepreneurs, as the process of forming and running a successful business can be just as grueling as training to become a professional athlete. Those who wish to see their dreams of owning a business come to life could benefit by learning from the lessons that have helped others reach their objectives.

Prospective entrepreneurs may entertain a multitude of ideas and concepts when forming a strategy for the future of their companies. However, while being open-minded can be helpful, experts suggest that setting clear goals for the direction of the company could prove vital. Studies also indicate that business owners frequently face pressure in a variety of scenarios, and being ready and able to handle whatever is thrown their way could be essential.

Safeguarding intellectual property in a digital era

Many business owners in New York and elsewhere may feel that protecting proprietary company information is a vital step to the longevity of their enterprises. However, some might not be fully aware of how best to go about safeguarding their intellectual property. In a technological era, companies may face new threats when storing information digitally, and they might be uncertain how to know if their data is at risk of being stolen or misappropriated.

A company's intellectual property can range anywhere from details and blueprints on product designs to sensitive client information. While in previous years, companies may have stored this information in a vault, many businesses have begun to store proprietary company secrets online. However, this doesn't necessarily come with a guarantee of protection, as other parties may employ a variety of methods in an attempt to access online data.

Entrepreneurs: Bad habits that could hinder productivity

Nearly everyone develops habits over time, some of which may prove harmless, while others not so much. When it comes to running a business, some habits may help keep entrepreneurs in New York on track and assist them in dealing with day-to-day operations. However, there are some habits business owners could develop that may actually hinder productivity.

One habit that can be easy to fall into, and can be harmful to operations, pertains to the need to seek the approval of others. Regardless of the source, feeling the need to please everyone might not always be helpful, and it certainly isn't always possible. When challenges arise, business owners may also fall into the habit of placing the blame on others, and the ability to accept responsibility for failures and move forward can be crucial to reaching new goals.

Who Owns Your Company's Intellectual Property?

Vince Lombardi once said that winning wasn't everything.  It's the only thing. For startup technology and life science companies, the same could be said about your firm's intellectual property.

One area that many entrepreneurs overlook is determining who owns the company's intellectual property: the business entity or one of the founders?  If a founder, intellectual property that could be crucial to the success of the company can "walk out the door" if the founder leaves.

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