Do you remember Jessica from our last blogpost? After she registered what she thought was the perfect name for her business, she wanted to make sure that nobody would copy her idea so she found an attorney and filed for a trademark. But when she did a bit more work, she came to the conclusion that what she wanted to offer was different than she originally thought. Also, the money she spent on her trademark applicant (for a business that still hasn’t begun) her short on cash that could’ve been put toward making her idea become a reality. Jessica recognizes she was quick to take the plunge in all of her excitement and now wishes she had taken a bit more time to feel out her business model prior to hiring a lawyer and filing her trademark application. It’s money she can’t get back.
Roadblock: Filing an unnecessary trademark application
We get that it feels “official” to have all of the ducks in a row. A trademark can provide a sense of security of your thing being yours, which is likely why people may start by filing. But in reality, a trademark is only as good as the amount of legal action you are willing to take. In other words having a trademark doesn’t keep people from copying your idea. It only serves to help you should you decide to pursue legal action against any copycats. Which obviously takes time and money–something most people in the beginning stages don’t have a lot of.
Solution: Spend that money to grow your business.
We’ve found that engaging in the work of ideating revenue streams, addressing the root problem, identifying your why, testing your solution and arriving at a place where you can get things up and running is a better way to spend those initial dollars. And once you know exactly what you’re doing it makes it a whole lot easier answer those pesky questions about what you do on all the forms and file for a trademark if you decide to.
If you’d like some guidance and support in navigating the process of making it all officially official, figuring out if a trademark makes sense for what you are doing (or plan to do), we can help with that. Sign up for coaching, avoid this roadblock, and find out how to make the most of the dollars and time you do have.