Step 4: Profit!
June 9, 2009 6:22 AM Subscribe
I have a product idea for a regional restaurant franchise that I think would do really well. How do I go about making my dream of untold wealth a reality?
posted by shiu mai baby to Work & Money (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
In all seriousness, I know that, even if everything were to line up perfectly, it wouldn't be untold wealth (maybe a couple of thousand if I'm lucky), but even before I get to that spot, I need some help. Here's the deal (and obviously, I will be as specific as I can while still protecting my precious kernel of an idea):
There's a popular food franchise in this region that sells a product of which I am a fan. I have a really cool idea that would use one of their most popular products, combine it with a common food item, and make a new, even more delicious product. I have made the enhanced product at home, it is terrific; I have served it at parties and people are stunned that the franchise doesn't sell it like this; in short, I feel confident that it would sell really, really well, especially since the enhancement uses a food item that is steadily gaining a ton of popularity in this area. It wouldn't take a major investment from the franchise owners to obtain the equipment to make this product, and it dovetails nicely with the overall product line of the company.
The big problem, though, is I haven't a clue what's involved inmaking this happen. Do I just look up the corporate address, send a letter saying, "Hi Company X, I have a great idea that will bring your franchises more revenue, call me to discuss?" If I do end up lucking into a meeting or presentation with the product development team, how do I protect my idea from being taken without compensation? How do I possibly determine what would be a reasonable compensation if the planets align and Company X decides that my idea is the best thing they've heard in forever? Is this something that one should retain a lawyer for, even if the compensation is only (potentially) a couple of grand?
I have a million more questions, of course, but mainly I'm just looking for a general idea of how these things go, and what early steps I can take to protect myself. YANML, I know; just a basic roadmap of where I should go from here would be very much appreciated.