This is the final installment of our Building The Business Case series. We have been looking at the questions entrepreneurs need to ask themselves in order to Build a Business Case.
What are the competitive products / technologies / services currently available?:
It’s not enough to just design a great product; you also need to be aware of what other products are out there. Take the time to do the research to see what other people are already offering. Sure, the new shampoo you developed smells great and makes your hair soft, but were you aware that there are also 500+ other brands of shampoo out there that do the same thing?
Why is your product / technology / service better than competitive products?:
Once you discover what the other products are, figure out what differentiates your product from them. What do you have that they don’t? If you can’t come up with an answer to this question, perhaps you shouldn’t be marketing your product. Does your shampoo perhaps rinse itself, or automatically highlight one’s hair as it scrubs?
Can your product / technology / service be protected via patents and/or trade-secrets?:
This is important so that you get the credit for your idea and someone else doesn’t. Remember, it’s not your idea to steal if it’s not patented. Just because you thought of it first doesn’t mean it belongs to you. Talk to a patent attorney if you aren’t sure if your product should be protected. You might also want to conisder non-disclosure or confidentiality agreements if they apply to your situation. It is important to note that once there is public disclosure of your idea, your ability to patent the idea may be compromised. In fact, once there is a public disclosure, your patent rights are gone in most of the world (you have one year from date of public disclosure to file a patent in the U.S.).
Previous blog posts on Building a Business Case: