Let’s talk about non-disclosure agreements…
If you don’t have one yet, you can find one here in our downloadable forms.
We get emails all the time from people who have ideas for products or already have the products and they are coming to us because they need help. They make the initial contact with us and then ask us to sign a non-disclosure agreement. THIS is the first indication that you are a novice.
Consider this… for everyone who is in this business of fashion, they are in process all the time with things they are working on. They don’t have time to steal your idea because they are too busy working on things that already exist, products that are real, that are going to market, products they are supplying to their buyers. You are sitting there with just an idea, now the question is… who knows what they’re doing in this and who doesn’t?
If you go to someone for help, the only way they can help you is if you tell them what kind of help you need and you have to be able to say enough for them to determine very quickly whether or not they can help you and what kind of help you might need. If, after you make the initial contact with them, you then say, “oh, and I’m going to need you to sign a non-disclosure agreement”, consider that these people are very busy, they are professionals in the industry and you are wanting their help. Do you think they care about your idea? Do you think they have the time to steal your idea? Do you think your idea is so original that someone is going to stop everything they’re doing to run off with your idea? Be reasonable, THAT is not how this business works especially when you are the one who is asking for help.
Consider this… if you are looking for an investor in your company, they have the money, you don’t… now how can you possibly think that you have ANY power in that relationship if you end up getting the money. They have the money, you don’t, you need it, they have it, you have to let go if you are going to move forward…
Consider this… you spend all kinds of money trademarking your brand name in the beginning and then lo and behold, you get some interest in the product but the buyer hates the name and wants it to be called something else. Your choice is, change the name or look for another buyer but what if that buyer is coming to you with a million dollars??? You change the name and get on with it so you can be successful and profitable. So there you spent all kinds of money on protecting something that ultimately changed into something else.
What you have to recognize is… the idea or product you have today may not be the idea or product you come to market with so the idea of having professionals in the industry sign a non-disclosure agreement so early in the process is not going to benefit you and is only going to take time away from getting to the business at hand. It also reveals that you’re a newbie.
Now, you may be thinking “what’s the big deal, just sign the NDA and then we can get on with the discussion”… well, the reality is, there are millions of people who are trying to bring ideas and products to market and there are far fewer people who are available to help them do that which means, the far fewer people are inundated with requests from people for help. If the experts spent their time signing NDAs all day, they would never get anything done and you would never get any help. Realize that an expert in this business of fashion is in such high demand that they are going to be very particular about who they’re going to work with and YOU have to make it as easy as possible for them to work with you. Remember, you need their help, not the other way around so when you make a request for help, follow these easy steps:
1. Identify the product you want to make or are making already.
2. Indicate how much money you have available to commit to launching your product.
3. Be very specific about the help you need.
If you can identify just these three things in any inquiry you make about getting help, you’ll be well on your way to getting someone interested enough in helping you. Remember, it’s not just about your product that is going to interest someone, it’s going to be YOU and you sound like someone that’s easy to work with, you’re more likely to get the help you need.