Creating Intellectual Property

How often do you add value to your own business?

We spend so much time adding value to our clients that we sometimes forget to continue to add value to our own business. This is the foundation for NEW client value, as well as revenue and profit.

I’ve asked several contacts recently about how they do this, and the overwhelming response is that ‘we struggle to come up with new IP’. So why is this?

To me, IP is anything that you create, in any media, associated with your value proposition, and is the catalyst for meeting the current and future needs of your customers. IP could be innovative new products, re-designed services, etc. They may of course lead to formal IP rights, such as patents, trademarks and copyright.

So why is it sometimes challenging to continually create IP?

This is how I do it. You may have different or better ideas, but the key is to create a system that works for you.

  • Each January I review my value proposition. This stays fairly constant, with a few tweaks here and there.
  • Next, I review how I deliver the VP. This involves identifying how my client better off, following my engagement. This is a very important step, and for me, the content of this changes every couple of years (I like to re-invent myself, based on how I can add value).
  • Then, I identify the triggers – what has to happen that would result in my engagement with a client? It is this analysis that I then use to define my IP plan for the year. For each trigger (which is essentially a problem I help my clients overcome), I identify 3 elements:
  1. Articles I can write that would help organisations to overcome this problem.
  2. Blog posts (smaller, focused shots of value) that might be helpful to my community
  3. Tools – items that I can offer free to download, or new methodologies that I need to formalise

The result is a plan which provides me with all I need to create IP content throughout the year, and continue to add value to my community, contacts, and ultimately, my clients. The key repositories for this content are my blog (www.alistairmanning.com) and my website (www.practicalbusinessimprovement.com)

By the way, I use mindmaps for each step of the process, as they help me identify relationships and see the ‘bigger picture’.

So, that’s I how I do it. How do you create your IP?

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