Posted on: 15/04/2021 by: Babs Jamieson in: Legal, SMEs, Startups
Starting your business is super exciting. You just want to get going with the fun stuff…but often this means that the more ‘boring’ things can be left out. This frequently comes down to legal matters.
As uninteresting as it may seem, protecting your business from a legal perspective is INCREDIBLY important…this includes making sure your BRAND is protected. Whether it be your business name, your logo, your creative content or business ideas (i.e. your intellectual property).
All of these can take so much time, effort and sometimes even money… why would you want to waste all of this by not ensuring you have the law on your side if things go wrong?
When talking about brand protection, I mean the likes of trademarking your business name or logo, or ensuring you have copyright clauses in your contracts.
I like to say that setting up a business without protecting your brand first is like going out to dinner and eating your dessert first. I know…comparing brand protection with dessert, who would have thought?
But it’s true. It’s literally like working backwards and can be very counterproductive. This really should be one of the first things on your ‘to-do’ list.
Here are 5 reasons why protecting your brand is super important…
1) If you don’t do it… someone else will
Maybe you think your business is too small, maybe it’s on the list to do later, or maybe you just haven’t even thought about it. Unfortunately, no business is too small to fall victim of copycats…it happens more than you’d think. And leaving it until later is incredibly risky. What if your competitor registers your brand name… and then they sue you for using the name you come up with in the first place?!
2) Your reputation could be damaged if you don’t
I know this sounds severe. I think a lot of people have the ‘that’ll never happen to me’ mindset, because it does sound pretty intense. But trust me, it happens! Think of this scenario…you’ve thought of a brilliant business name, you’ve went ahead and started trading. Things are going swimmingly. But because you didn’t trademark your name, another company decided to trade with that name…think of the damage this could do. Not good!
3) You could accidentally infringe on someone else’s trademark
Did you check if anyone else had trademarked that business name/logo etc beforehand… is it already trademarked?
Perhaps someone decided to get in there beforehand and trademark that name. Either of these could result in you infringing on another’s trademark. This could land you in a lot of trouble. You could be fined, and again it could cause reputational damage. What do you have in business, if not your reputation?
4) Competitors could end up getting your customers (who wants that?)
Think about it. Things are going well, and you’ve built a super cool brand. What’s to stop your competitors from then using your branding, name, logo etc to their benefit if you haven’t had them protected? This could result in them basically ‘stealing’ your customers’…or customers getting confused and going to your competitors. No one wants this to happen!
5) The benefits far outweigh the risks
There are so many benefits that come with trademarking your intellectual property, and just brand protection in general. I often think the thought of doing so scares people... it seems like a super confusing, expensive process. But it doesn’t have to be at all!
So, what are the benefits? Well, you know all of the above mentioned. You’ll literally have the law on your side to be able to deal with these issues.
Instead of damaging your reputation, ensuring you have the right brand protection in place can better it, allowing you to build a bulletproof, unreal brand that people will respect!
It can be used as a marketing tool to reach a vast audience (with minimal investment).
These are just a few reasons why you really should consider legal brand protection. Take that extra step and bring your business to the next level.
Don’t put all of your hard work to waste…there are so many cool brands out there that fall victim to this. It’s so easy to avoid.
The risk just isn’t worth taking.
We want businesses to thrive, scale and grow in the best and safest way possible!
To find out more about how you can protect your brand and intellectual property, please click here.