Survive or Thrive. Businesses Should Get SMART
Only the strong survive. We’ve all heard this before, so I don’t need to convince you of this truth. This axiom has carried many determined souls over the finish line of life. And while surviving is perfectly acceptable, most of us want more. We want to thrive. These truths apply to people for sure, but these concepts also apply to businesses too. Most of us want our businesses to thrive, but only SMART businesses can get there.
Being SMART about business.
The concept of thriving hinges on being SMART. SMART is an acronym I use for businesses that can Secure the Means and Approach Risk Timely. Companies that survive manage the day to day, with little planning or regard for the future. Firms that thrive plan for future growth by securing the means of value and competitive advantage while at the same time approach risk head-on and in a timely and meaningful fashion.
SMART businesses are businesses that identify and protect value, especially a company’s intellectual property. Firms that do this best recognize the value of ideas, relationships, designs, and data to their operations. Whether large or small, companies get SMART when the value is protected by patents, trademarks, and copyright protections.
Thriving businesses and industries by the numbers.
Although all companies have some form of intellectual property that could be protected, not all businesses are "IP-intensive." IP-intensive companies are considered to be the computer, chemical, electrical, and pharmaceutical manufacturing industries, among many others. IP-intensive companies directly account for 30 million jobs and indirectly support 45 million jobs, which is about 30 percent of all employment. (Source: Intellectual Property and the US Economy 2016).
Furthermore, IP-intensive workers continue to earn significantly more than those in non-IP-intensive industries to the tune of about 46 percent. (Source: Intellectual Property and the US Economy 2016).
The transformation from surviving to thriving.
Transforming a business from surviving to thriving involves getting SMART, and particularly committing to protect the company’s growth engine for the future- its intellectual property. Protecting a company’s products and brands through patents, trademarks, and copyrights can be one of the most important decisions a business can make to help position it for lasting future growth.
An excellent resource to get started is an online Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) training course administered by the ITA (International Trade Administration). The course is designed to help businesses evaluate, protect, and enforce intellectual property rights. Choose your language and take the free course here. Doing so will put your business well on the path from surviving to thriving in no time.
A version of this article appeared previously in the Business Journal.
Learn more about the author
Angela Grayson, CLP, CIPP/US is the Principal Member of Precipice IP PLLC. Angela is a technology attorney and registered patent attorney helping software, chemical solutions, medical devices, and life science companies protect brands, products, designs, and data. The presentation of these materials does not establish any form of attorney-client relationship with the reader. While every attempt is made to ensure these materials are accurate, Precipice IP disclaims any liability for any errors or omissions which may be contained therein.