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Top tips for aspiring innovators

Here at the Business Support Helpline, we are privileged enough to speak with a wide range of individuals and businesses ready to take the next step in their journey. We speak to these individuals daily, which include aspiring innovators from across England, passionate about describing their ideas, and hungry to reach their end goal.

Apart from the obvious questions regarding finance for their innovation, including finance for research, production and product development, there are a couple of key areas that are regular challenges for aspiring innovators:

  • market research
  • intellectual property & design protection

Market research is key

Market research

When creating a ground breaking new product or service, thorough market research is key. You need to test the water and ensure there is going to be a demand for your new product or service.

If you are planning on creating a prototype, you need to make sure you record your findings effectively, and use your findings to make informed decisions, changes and developments.

This link from the Marketing Donut, will help you identify your opportunities within the market place, through creating a strong marketing strategy. It also discusses other vital elements of your journey including:

  • business planning
  • inspiration
  • moving forward with your current processes.

This link, again from our friends at the Marketing Donut, discusses the right approach to have when developing your product, covering topics such as:

  • planning
  • eliminating risks
  • picking your team wisely
  • cost control

The Sectors Donut is also great as it is broken down into specific sectors and not only covers market research but other elements such as sector trends, promotion and customer profiling.

Protect your Intellectual Property

Protect your intellectual property

Generally speaking, an innovation is generating and developing a new idea, and putting it into practice. At this stage, it is key to protect your idea/design from other budding innovators, to make sure you are the one getting credit when your new innovation takes over the world.

Once your intangible assets are protected, it will help balance out the risk and reward of innovation.

The Intellectual Property Office actually have a blog titled ‘IP and Innovation’which you can check out.

What are the different types of IP?

Below we’ve set out our definitions of typical IP related terms/phrases, so you know exactly how your innovative designs will be protected, and what you need to do to get there.

  • Register a design: You can register the look of a product you’ve designed to stop people copying or stealing it.
  • Trademarks: You can register your trade mark to protect your brand, for example the name of your product or service.
  • Copyright: Copyright protects your work and stops others from using it without your permission. You get copyright protection automatically - you don’t have to apply or pay a fee.

You can find further support or registering your designs and protecting your ideas here:

Find the right contacts

business connections

Getting in touch with the right contacts is key for the success of your innovative product, design, service or whatever it may be.

As the Business Support Helpline, we offer a general business support and signposting service to businesses in England.