Economic downturns are an opportunity for agile entrepreneurs and businesses to exploit the market turmoil by introducing new innovation and shifting their business model. One of the best ways to do that is through collaborations and partnerships that add value to existing products or services or create value with new products and technologies to meet rapidly changing customer demand.
Intellectual property is a resilient asset that has lived through all previous recessions and depressions. Research studies confirm that businesses that focus on innovation and IP tend to have higher growth and survival rates than non-IP businesses. When economies go south, tangible assets such as offices, factories, and warehouses decline in value, limiting their use for generating revenue or as a funding source. IP on the other hand, while not totally recession-proof, is a buoyant asset that maintains its value even in tough economic times.
Success in a down economy isn’t just about getting the finances to remain afloat. It requires breaking out of the tangible mindset of “make and sell” and looking for new ways to use your IP. It’s a flexible asset that gives you options. When money is tight, licensing is a strategy that “puts your IP to work” generating revenues, securing funding, launching new products, and more. For example, a unique system or process in business coaching or consulting that others can benefit from using. Or an IP you were unable to get into the market, and instead of letting it sit, you find new applications for it in different industries. Some interesting examples include Bubble Wrap, which was originally invented as wallpaper; Duct Tape, which was originally used to seal WW2 ammunition cases; Olestra, the fat substitute product, which failed in the consumer market and was re-purposed as a cleanser for contaminated soil.
By shifting the make and sell risks to your licensing partner, you can focus on innovating and positioning your business to capitalize on new opportunities in a down economy. Your intellectual property is your most valuable business asset. It’s what drives the economy and your business forward. History has shown that those businesses that focus on the strategic use of their IP during a downturn are the ones to quickly emerge as market leaders when the economy swings into the next profitable market cycle.
Ready to learn how to use your IP in a down economy? Then sign up and view the free online workshop, Licensing Strategies to Survive, and Thrive in a Down Economy. Click here to view this workshop.
Rand Brenner is an IP professional whose passion is helping inventors, startups, and businesses of all sizes use licensing to turn their IP into income-producing products, services, and technologies. His decades of experience run the gamut from medical devices to food technology to consumer products. He’s licensed some of the biggest Hollywood entertainment blockbusters including the Batman Movies (1 and 2), and the number one kid’s action TV show, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Rand speaks about licensing and is a featured speaker at investment conferences, trade shows, colleges, and startup events. His first book, Hidden Wealth: The Money Making Power of Licensing was released in 2019 and is available on Amazon.com. He’s also a published writer with articles appearing in several prestigious trade magazine including The Licensing Journal, Intellectual Property Magazine, and License India. Rand also mentors at the Cal State Fullerton School of Business and Economics and is a judge for their startup business plan competitions.