3 Underhand Techniques Competitors Might Use To Steal Your Ideas

Written by Chloe Harwood

Business owners have to work hard to ensure their latest ideas and products remain under lock and key until they become patented and protected. However, there is no getting away from the fact that some competitors will go above and beyond when it comes to trying to uncover information and replicate the latest innovations. With that in mind, it’s vital that all entrepreneurs educate themselves about some of the underhand techniques those competing companies might use. Hopefully, the information will help readers to stop those sneaky competitors dead in their tracks.

Computer hacking

It might not happen too often, but there are plenty of instances in which a company becomes hacked by a rival firm. Those less than scrupulous people do that in the hope of uncovering secrets and information that could assist them in stealing the lion’s share of the market. Thankfully, most computer teams working for small to medium sized businesses don’t have the same skillset as professional online criminals. So, it’s just a case of protecting the network in the same way people would from random hackers who might try to gain access. Just be sure to invest in:

  • Antivirus programs
  • Digital & physical firewalls
  • Advance cloud storage

Human spying

In some situations, competitors might try to gain the upper-hand by sending human spies to the entrepreneur’s place of business. Those people might pose as new potential clients or something similar. They will gather as much relevant information as possible and then hand it back to their boss upon their return. The secret agent might even wear a microphone or spy camera in the hope of recording conversations and images. Protecting any company from that issue is hard. However, being sure to never give away too much sensitive information, even to potential clients, is a wise first step.

Client theft

Sometimes business owners will try to steal customers in the hope they can get a critical insight into the operation. They will expect the entrepreneur has mentioned something to the individual about their plans for the future. There are lots of ways in which competitors might try to steal clients and customers for that purpose. Most of the time, the company boss will:

  • Offer better prices
  • Provide discounts for the switch
  • Badmouth the brand

The best course of action is to attempt to steal the client back. Make the person aware of the situation, and explain why the competitor wants their business. Nine times out of ten, the customer or client will think they are being used, and so they will return.

Readers should use the information from this article to protect their businesses and ensure competing companies never manage to use underhand tactics. When all’s said and done, it’s sensible to keep any new ideas or concepts as quiet as possible during the early stages. There is no need to tell even some of the most senior employees unless they have a part to play in the project. It’s much better to wait until the lawyers have managed to get patents and trademarks before making any public announcements. Remember that!

About the author

Chloe Harwood