(NC) Hard work, dedication and passion are essential for making your business a success, but they will only get you so far. Give yourself every advantage by avoiding these three common pitfalls.

  1. Skipping the research phase. Whether you’re starting up a whole new business or looking to add a new product or service, it’s important to do some legwork to find out if your idea will be successful in the market. You’ll need to flesh out a marketing, intellectual property (IP) and financial plan.
  2. Not using your IP strategically. In today’s knowledge-based economy, it is crucial that you use your intellectual assets — your brand, logo, innovations and unique processes — strategically as you run your business. Treat your intellectual property like the valuable asset that it is. Managing and leveraging your IP assets is essential to the success of your company. If you protect them, they can give your business a competitive advantage over other players in the market, potentially making you a great deal of money.
  3. Doing it all alone. Your business is your baby, so it can be easy to fall into a pattern where you do everything yourself, from taking orders and tracking inventory to making the big decisions. But this can leave you burned out, and without the time or energy to focus on your priorities and the things only you can do. So don’t be afraid to delegate and build up a team that can support you and the growth of your business.

Find more information on intellectual property protection at canada.ca/ip-for-business.