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Mike Michalowicz Answers Your Email Questions!

Question:

Dear Mike,
My Big Idea is a reinvention of something that exists. However it makes the
task much easier. How do I get started? I really appreciate your help.

Ben P.
San Diego, CA

Mike's Answer:

Ben,

Making something easier, different, and/or better is clearly a new invention. Don't down play it as a simple tweak or re-invention.

Patenting the idea is always a consideration. If you feel others will try to quickly duplicate it - then you may want to get it patented right away. Just understand that the cost of patenting is two fold. First you pay for the patent, which will be quite a few thousand bucks. Then the real costs set in - defending a claim. If someone else copies it, you need to sue them. The challenge becomes exponentially more difficult and expensive if you need to sue some one outside the country like China, for example.

Patent or not, you need to get your butt in gear and just go do it. Ideas are worth little, ideas that are converted into a business are worth a lot. Get going and get the product out there! You may even find that your initial concept is not yet perfect and can tweak it as you roll the product out to the market.

Best of luck (and send a sample of your product to Donny, you might just get some TV time)!

- Mike Michalowicz, Obsidian Launch

Question:

My cousin and i are both union carpenters and on our down time we sell micro-fiber cloths,we are also looking into starting up our own business and educating other businesses and people on the harmful chemicals thats in the cleaning solutions that we use at home and at work. The problem is that we have no idea how to get started and who to ask for help. We've looked into government grants but we don't know whats good or whats bad, so please if you or know anybody who can point us into the right direction or just to mentor us through the process that will be a BIG blessing. THANK YOU and see on your show:)

Haloti P
Fairview,Oregon

Mike's Answer:

Haloti,

Thanks for your email. The core answer to starting a business is absolute, unwavering focus. The less you try to do, the more you can do. For example, my company, exclusively partners with sole first time entrepreneurs in their early 20's. This focus has allowed us to master the unique needs and nuances of working hand-in-hand with a young entrepreneur. The result has been phenomenal growth for both us and our partners. But to get there we have had to, and continue to remain focused.

You need to do the same. What is your unique angle in chemicals and cleaning solutions? Who is most interested in the message you have to share? Are there other vendors already servicing your prospects that you can partner up with? Answer these and other questions to gain your focus. Then go out and get the business.

One more note! The fact that you are a service business (education oriented) your start up costs should be very minimal. I would encourage skipping funding and grants (if possible) and build it from your own savings. Service businesses can get income flowing quickly and can be started on minimal investments.

- Mike Michalowicz, Obsidian Launch


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