My daughter recently came up with an idea that could be very profitable but it is relatively simple. The best way for it to work would be licensing it to companies already in the space. The question is how do you share the idea without having them simply running with it without you. I don't know if it would be patentable. It is simply taking something the companies already have that is not being used at certain times of the day and re-purposing it. They would be adding another revenue stream for something they already have. Thoughts?
It is a little difficult with something so vague. I definitely understand and respect your desire to protect a great idea. But sometimes having just an idea isn't enough. Do you have an easy way for them to implement your idea? is there software? or is it just making better use of their time and they just need to be told? If you'd like feel free to email me a couple details and I'd be happy to respond more specifically.
Here's a close example - lets say you knew that Domino's pizza had to be open during part of the day for prep work, but they had little or no revenue during that time. If you knew of a menu item that would bring people in during that time, that used their existing equipment/space, how would you pitch the idea?
I think I would talk to a few people who are in this situation (having unused equipment/space) and just ask them what they do during X hours. Has the franchisor discussed rolling out a breakfast program or other program similar to what your idea is? Are you allowed to lease out your space during 'off-hours' to someone who would want to use your equipment? Even though you're not open during X hours, what's going on that the public doesn't see?
These are all questions that aren't too personal, give you some information, and doesn't fully give them your idea. Repeat this at 3-5 viable options and while it does give you some insight, I believe more importantly it reveals to you the spirit of the business operator and you may find one that you'd be more inclined to dive deeper with.
You mentioned Domino's in your example, but I would lean more toward local/independent ownership to get answers and speed up the process of a potential roll-out without having to go through levels of 'corporate'.
That being said, Dan always points out that ideas aren't worth anything until they're put into practice and shared. We need to get past the idea that any great thought we have might be stolen, spend too much time protecting it, and start talking to people about it. That can be done sparingly and with the appropriate people, but just start.
Best of luck to you for wild success!
All good points. Just trying to approach things smartly.