The 10 steps you need to follow to start your project / STEP 1: THE IDEA
Any business creation project starts with an Idea.
Whether it is the outcome of your experience, your know-how, your imagination or a mere coincidence, it is often the result of an intuition or a yearning that deepens and matures with the passage of time.
The more innovative your idea, the more you have to question the ability of your future clients to accept it! The more classic or banal your idea, the more you have to ponder its real utility in relation to the offer that exists in the market.
1- Find an idea for starting a business 2- The protection of the idea 3- Define and validate your idea
I. Find an idea for starting a business
No idea can be deemed, at first sight, superior to another in the field of business start-ups.
There are several sources of inspiration to find an idea: 1- Create in your profession (known activity) 2- New ideas, new trends 3- Identify an opportunity 4- Find a new application to a known product or service 5- Create a new product or service
Remember, that you must be able to understand the target market in order to be able to "make your mark" against competitors.
You can also join a franchise or organized business network.
The reputation and experience of the franchisor as well as the existence of his network provide (with the information obligations imposed on them) a certain guarantee of security for the success of the new business. But this does not, of course, exempt you from having to question one or more companies linked with the licensor or franchisor.
II. The protection of the idea
The idea itself cannot be protected!!!
The only form of protection is the form in which it is expressed: invention, trademark, literary or artistic creation.
In general, intellectual property is defined as the rights that protect creations "resulting from the activity of the human mind" against any appropriation by third parties. These rights are divided into two branches: 1- Copyright law 2- Industrial property rights
Industrial property rights, unlike copyright, require special formalities to be carried out with the INPI (National Institute of Industrial Property).
The protection of an invention is obtained by the grant of a patent or a utility certificate.
To be patentable, the invention must meet 3 criteria: I. It must be absolutely new: it must never have been disclosed to the public, II. It must not result in an obvious way from the state of the art. In other words, it must demonstrate an inventive step, which is why it is advisable to carry out a prior art search on the invention before filing a patent, III. It must be industrially applicable.
The registration of a trademark may be carried out by any company, whatever its form, or any natural person.
It may be a trademark, trade or service mark, or simply the name of the company if it is sufficiently original and not yet used by another competing company.
Essential: the domain name!
If you have found an original name for your product, service or concept, have the reflex to check if the domain name on the Internet is available. And if so, book it immediately!
III- Define and evaluate your idea
Whatever its origin, the idea does not represent anything concrete at first.
To move on to a realistic project, the first thing to do is to define it well, that is, to force yourself to summarize it in a few precise, concise and strong lines. This exercise will make it possible to put this famous idea on paper, to clearly identify its various aspects by evoking: - the characteristics of the proposed product or service,
- its usefulness, its use, the operating principles of the company to be created.
At this stage of the reflection, it is necessary to make an effort to become aware of the weaknesses and shortcomings of the proposed product or service, but also, a contrario, of the innovative or specific nature and its competitive advantages.