Every business has information that makes it different than its competitors. Your business may not have a secret recipe, but it does have traits that make your business unique in your industry.

If you do not value and protect your secrets, you could lose your edge in your industry. Understanding your business’ secrets is the first step to making sure they have the right protection.

Here’s what you should consider as you decide what secrets you need to protect and how to protect them.

Identifying your secrets

Go back to the early moments when your new business was just an idea. Think about the excitement you had when you discovered something no one else in the industry had thought about.

In many cases, your secrets are in those early moments where you realized what you could add to your business to make it special.

For other business owners, secrets come with experience. As you launched your business, you learned new ways to navigate your industry and different ways to get things done. Even information you learned along the road could be vital to setting your business apart.

Protect your secrets

Once you know what secrets you need to protect, you need to take action. Consider implementing protections, such as:

  • Non-disclosure agreements (NDA)
  • Secure and limit access to your trade secrets
  • Train employees on maintaining trade secrets
  • Adopt employee policies regarding confidentiality and non-disclosure
  • Create an employee handbook for your policies
  • Consider filing patent applications

Often, business owners dismiss their company secrets and do not act. When you do not protect your secrets, it can be difficult to determine what you meant to keep secret.