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  Step 13: Current Business Assets - Intellectual Property - Proprietary Assets

The world of business is all about cut throat competition and putting your best foot forward. Most of us are trying to fight it out for suitable deals. Whether it’s dealing with competition or garnering investment, they all have to do with positioning and packaging your product or idea, extremely well. A good packaging will ensure that the contents are at least studied well before acceptance or rejection. Although, the advent of technology has made business processes simple, it has completely done away with the local connotations of doing business. Business processes are increasingly acquiring a global status.

The opening up of the markets have enhanced competition manifold. We have been forced to compete with global players and match up to their levels of excellence and proficiency. Therefore, the way in which you communicate your business idea to prospective investors, has become extremely important. It all depends on how you make the most of what you have, in order to garner all that you want for the expansion or establishment of your business idea. There are certain things you need to prove to the investors, so that they are keen on risking their reserves in your venture, considering it to be a profitable one.

With fierce competition encountering you at every step, you need to convince investors that there is a distinct demand for your product or idea, amongst prospective customers or consumers. A venture essentially thrives on the demand and supply module. The stronger the demand, the greater are the chances of healthy supply. Enhanced supply is representative of increased sales and commercial success. If you cannot justify the demand, the idea does not stand at all. Secondly, you need to convince your investors that your product is superior to the other products in the same segment. If your competitors are established players and have been in the market for long, this could be a daunting task for many. However, there have been various instances where new players have taken over from established brands and surpassed them in the business arena. All you need is a bit of planning.

Third, and probably the most important, you need to assure your investors that you have the available machinery for keeping parasitic competitors at bay. These might actually thrive on your established business ideas and eat a huge portion of your pie from the market. For accomplishing all three of the above factors, you can actually make use of your current business assets in a suitable way. Your intellectual properties as well as proprietary assets can be used significantly to your benefit, in order to establish your business idea through an investor report.

As a creator of a business idea, most of us would be encouraged to believe that we have indeed conceived something extremely unique and novel. Most of us are convinced about the viability of our business acumen and feel immensely motivated to propel our ideas with enhanced vigour. However, the same is not true for investors. They have not conceived the idea and do nor harbour special feelings for the same. They need solid proofs to establish the fact that a particular venture does have the potential of cutting the market clutter. The intellectual properties, like the outcome of a patent search or a patent, would actually be able to distinguish your business from the rest. Selecting a suitable domain name, a trade identity or a trademark, should actually be able to single out your venture from host of others. If you have chosen these carefully, they might be able to strike a positive cord with the investors as well. Therefore, make it a point to include them in your business plan and elaborate on the various steps that has been followed to register them. A mention can be made in your investor report.

If your venture is a start-up, the risks could be manifold for the investors in particular. In order to surface as a viable investment option before them, you need to prove to them that your idea does not illegally thrive on any body else’s trade secrets, without due authorization. You need to validate through a trademark or patent search, that you are not using any other company’s intellectual property rights or trademarks. Sometimes, the chances of infringement can become pretty high and a patent search becomes mandatory in the given circumstances. Without proper validation, most investors might not be keen enough to invest in these start-ups for fear of expensive litigations and legal proceedings.

Sometimes it may so happen that, the core competitive edge of your business proposal lies in its proprietary assets. This may include any secret innovations or specific technical or financial knowhow. In this case, keeping parasitic competition at bay becomes very relevant. You need to communicate to potential investors that you do possess proprietary assets in the form of trade secrets and have adopted adequate measures to protect them from your competitors and rivals. Even if you have furnished the complete details of the same in your business plan for harbouring investor support, that too should be treated as a confidential document. It should be divulged only to interested investors and that too after they agree to sign and abide by an agreement of confidentiality.

In order to establish your business idea as a viable investment option for investors seeking safe and profitable investment opportunities, your intellectual properties and proprietary assets could play a crucial role. Your patents and innovative technical knowhow could provide the adequate competitive edge. The way you protect your intellectual assets is also important. This shows your investors how proactive and process oriented you are in managing your resources. Your proactive diligence can go a long way in convincing investors in your favour. However, you should learn the tact of when and how to divulge these crucial details, so as to maintain the adequate secrecy, as required.

Intellectual properties and proprietary assets are as important as tangible assets, when you make an investor report or formulate a business plan. You should list them along with your capital equipments etc, for correct assessment and evaluation of your business proposal and investor report.