Frequently Asked Questions

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Questions

  1. How do I patent a design or invention?
  2. How do I write a business plan for an inspirational programme on tv?
  3. how would I go about getting finance to produce a product, what do I need to consider?
  4. In producing a TV programme what should I have in my business plan
  5. We have come up with an idea which involves setting up a web page can you organise some one to help us?
  6. If you have an idea, how do you know that no one else is doing that too?
  7. Would you need a lot of money starting off?
  8. I can't think of a new idea, I don't know how I can think of one?
  9. Is there any restriction on ideas for a business?

Answers

  1. How do I patent a design or invention?

    Category: Finance

    Answered by: Dominic on 2008-02-22

    Designs and inventions are protected in 2 different ways so it is important to know which you are looking at. Design protection is used to protect the look and feel of an object. For example the Ipod is a protected design which means that another mp3 manufacturer cannot copy the look of the product without specific permission from Apple. A patent is slightly different. In registering a patent an inventor makes a deal with the government of a country to show how the invention works. In turn for doing that the government will grant the inventor protection for up to 20 years. This effectively stops anyone using the disclosed know how without the consent of the inventor. It is up to the patent holder to enforce the right as opposed to the government. Both patents and designs are registered on a country by country basis through national patents offices. Information on both can be found on the irish patents office website at : http://www.patentsoffice.ie/en/patents.aspx Typically one would first hire a patent agent to see if the invention was patentable. If yes, then the agent would be asked to draw up the patent. In Ireland the first to file for an invention gets it. One key thing to remember is that in order to patent something it must be new. If you tell people about it in detail or show it to people or explain how it works then you may very well undermine your ability to file a strong patent. I would also advise you to look at possible alternatives to patenting before making a final decision. If the invention may only have a short life or a small market then you may be better off spending your time and effort selling it without protection as you could spend a lot of money seeking protection and then have nothing left to manufacture and market the invention. It is a matter of the smart use of limited resources.

  2. How do I write a business plan for an inspirational programme on tv?

    Category: Finance

    Answered by: Dominic on 2008-02-20

    There are a number of things to consider here. Firstly, is this a once off event or are you in the business of making programmes for TV on an ongoing basis? Project Vs business. There are two markets to be aware of. One the market for programmes as in TV companies and secondly within that space there is the market for your programme. Therefore you will need to not only find a TV company to take on your show but in order to help then make the buying decision you should be able to tell them how and when to use it. Is the show aimed at kids, family, late night viewing. Is it current affairs, entertainment, wildlife, news etc. All of these are important. Know the slots. You will need to be able to identify stations that show programmes of this nature, know when they broadcast them. You will need to know how they buy programmes. When they do this. Are you looking for a commission to make the programme or will you fund it yourself and then try and sell it. What other companies are producing content for this space? Where are they and how are they being successful. In your busines plan be able to demonstrate the following: A description of your product and how it fits in the market for both a TV company and the proposed time slot. Look at your competition. Why should you be chosen over them. Do a SWOT analysis. Look at the market. Know how it works and explain how you will enter that market and be successful. Resources: What resources do you need to make this happen? People, money, equipment, travel etc. Finances: What is needed and how will it be spent. Provide some insight here. Your teacher will be sharing a business plan template with you soon and you can use that to write up your case. There will also be some workshops on plan development. Make sure you attend at least one of them. Keep an eye of the website for news and updates. Good luck!

  3. how would I go about getting finance to produce a product, what do I need to consider?

    Category: Finance

    Answered by: Dominic on 2008-01-21

    The first thing to consider is whether you want to be the manufacturer of the product or not. In most cases it is more feasible to have someone else manufacture the product than doing it yourself. Especially if you only have one product. Therfore what do you need money for? Well, it is likely that you will need to focus on sales & marketing. Commit your resources to ensuring you have demand for your product and that you can deliver on that demand. Invest your time and effort in this sector and you will reap rewards if you are effective.

  4. In producing a TV programme what should I have in my business plan

    Category: Plan

    Answered by: Dominic on 2007-12-14

    Firstly describe the format of the programme. Who will it be aimed at? Who may want to show it? What time slot will it occupy on TV or what channels may be interested in it? What current formats might it compete with? This is the Market research Phase. Look at the production side. What do I need to shoot the programme. What facilities? What skill sets? What will it cost to produce? How will I fund that? On the selling side. How do I see this to TV companies? What avenues exist? How do I price it? What happens next? Where do I go after this. What are the next steps for the business? You teacher will soon be providing you with templates for your business plan which will ask you questions about your business. Above are sample questions that you can begin to work with. Good luck with your business.

  5. We have come up with an idea which involves setting up a web page can you organise some one to help us?

    Category: Finance

    Answered by: Dominic on 2007-12-13

    You have made a good start in looking for some help. We cannot help in this case. As organisers of the programme we have to deal fairly and equally with all participants. Keep looking though, there are a lot of people out there who should be able to assist. Remember for the programme we will be assessing your business plan. It is not required that you have the business up and running.

  6. If you have an idea, how do you know that no one else is doing that too?

    Category: Finance

    Answered by: Dominic on 2007-12-12

    You will not know if someone else has the same idea. From the judges point of view it will not matter. We expect that people will have similiar ideas. What is going to make the difference is how you plan to make that idea a reality. No two people will take the same approach. It is how you plan that will win the competition for you. There is a prize for the most innovative project but even with that we will be looking at how you plan to make it happen.

  7. Would you need a lot of money starting off?

    Category: Finance

    Answered by: Dominic on 2007-12-10

    That is a good question. A lot depends on the business itself. If the business requires special equipment etc. then some up front money would be required. If the business was service based such as a personal trainer or Yoga teacher then very little money would be needed to get going. Good ideas and good people will always attract money so if you have a good idea then it may be possible to find people who will invest in your business. There is also financial aid from groups like the county enterprise board, Enterprise Ireland and Udaras na Gaeltachta. Banks are also there to lend money to a startup business if required.

  8. I can't think of a new idea, I don't know how I can think of one?

    Category: Finance

    Answered by: Breda O' Dwyer on 2007-12-10

    Think about things that annoy you, products that should be available but are not. Ask family and friends if they have any ideas. Ask someone in business if there is anything that would make their life easier. Many entrepreneurs do not come up with the business idea themselves.

  9. Is there any restriction on ideas for a business?

    Category: Finance

    Answered by: Dominic on 2007-12-10

    As long as the business is neither illegal or immoral we have no restrictions. We look forward to seeing some innovative ideas. Remember also that the business ideas do not have to be original. Remember, Padraig O' Ceidigh did not invent air travel, he just found a new market and strategy for operating one.


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