- New products are best if you plan your timing well. Adoption problems may arise if a new invention becomes the first in its field. It may not be marketable if it is too late. Your product’s success will depend on your ability to know when it is time to strike.
- Research, prototyping, and practicing your elevator pitch are all necessary for the development of your product. Don’t try to do it alone. There are many resources that can help you on your journey.
- You must take precautions to protect your business, ideas, and personal assets. You can distinguish yourself from others by obtaining a trademark for the company name, incorporating your new organization, and patenting your invention.
Although innovation isn’t an easy process it can help you get into business and open doors. Sharing your idea with the world is the first step to turning it into a product. Even electricity was difficult to sell 140 years ago.
In the late 1800s, many prominent scientists decried Thomas Edison. These scientists believed electricity was a fairytale and could not be harnessed on large scale. Now we know this was all nonsense. We live in an ever-lit world. It all began with an idea, a vision, and Edison’s persistence. You can create a new line of products if you have the right mindset and the ability to understand what it takes. This is what you need to know in order to get started and launch your invention.
Challenges of invention
Timing is everything in the world of innovation. You don’t want to wait too long for someone else to capitalize on your idea and take over your niche. If your invention is unique, it might not be available in the marketplace. You will have to fight for your place.
Henry Helgeson was co-founder and CEO of Cayan, now part of TSYS. He faced the same problem with his mobile payment technology company in 2011. This was years before mobile payments were mainstream. He recommends that startups, especially those on the early side of innovation, persevere to stay ahead of their competitors until the market catch up.
Helgeson stated that while industry peers said mobile payments would never happen, we continued to move and gained a three-to-four-year advantage over everyone else. It takes time… you cannot build it up overnight. It’s powerful once you get momentum.
Helgeson says that if your position is on the late end, you should look at your competition to determine if it’s better to move in a different direction with your invention.
He stated that there should always be a sense of urgency in fixing what needs to be done, making the necessary changes, and getting the product back to the market. It’s okay to do it quickly as long as it’s not too late.
Making the public aware of your product is another challenge. Even though your idea is great, without a marketing strategy, nobody will ever hear about it.
Helgeson stated, “In hindsight, we were too focused upon our product and believed it would sell itself.” You need a plan to market it.
Nicole Lininger, a marketing and communications professional, stated that entrepreneurs just starting out may not have the resources to advertise their inventions. However, that does not have to stop them from pursuing their dreams. A high-quality social media marketing plan is a good choice, as it’s cost-effective and can reach a wide audience.
Tips for success
Are you ready to make your product idea a reality? We spoke with experts who offered the following advice to entrepreneurs and inventors.
1. Do not try to do it all alone
The invention process is complex and there are many steps. It can be difficult to keep track of them all. Lininger recommended that you seek professional assistance to ensure that certain aspects of the process are incompetent, experienced hands. Lininger suggested that you seek professional assistance if you are looking to develop your prototype. Rocket Lawyer is a good alternative if you need a qualified and on-demand patent attorney. Anayet Chowdhury co-founder of ArgoPrep, an educational technology company, stated that you should consider a business partnership.
Chowdhury stated, “Find a co-founder who believes in your product or idea and has specific skills that you don’t possess.” Co-founders have a higher chance of success than solopreneurs.
Incubators are a great place for success. They provide resources and support as you go through the process.
IncuHive is the base of Zip Us In founder Kate Bell. She provides jacket expanders to pregnant women. “The business support was exceptional and allowed me to feel confident in my scale-up plans with such an extensive network of experience behind. IncuHive was instrumental in us pitching investors and has provided meeting space as well as an advisory board.
2. Do your research
Lininger stated that inventing a product takes patience, persistence, and a lot of research. Make sure you do your research before you begin. This is particularly important when your idea is being considered for patent protection. Ask yourself: “Would my invention infringe on someone else’s copyright?
Lininger stated, “Do some research on intellectual property and become familiar with the process and the jargon employed in the field including trademark, copyright, and patent.” There are many reliable sites that you can find information from, including the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the World Intellectual Property Organization. Contact a patent lawyer if patent protection is something that interests you.
Visit the U.S. Visit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website to find out if there are any patents for similar items to your invention. An attorney who specializes in patents and IP law can help you answer any questions you may have or make sure your invention is legal to create and sell.
To assess your competition, you should also examine what is out there. Marco Cirillo is the co-founder and chief technology officer of Kibii’s social planning app. He recommends that you research your competition, who your target audience is, and what products are most popular.
Cirillo stated that many business owners and founders will abandon marketing. Before you launch your product, it is important to do research and establish goals. This will ensure that the team is aligned and has a common vision to ensure a successful product launch.
3. Create a prototype
After you have identified your market and established a legal path to take your product to market, it is time for you to create a prototype. You will need to decide whether you want to manufacture your product or license it.
The first means that you will create and sell your product (this also includes paying third parties to make your product). In the latter case, you will sell rights to your product to another company in return for a royalty payment and a license fee.
4. Work on your elevator pitch
Before you even have a product to sell, You’ll need to share it with your friends and professional contacts
Lininger stressed the importance of creating a compelling elevator pitch. This is a short sales speech that includes a hook and a value statement. It also includes statistics and other data. A description of your product’s unique features and a call for action.
5. Test your product
Helgeson warns entrepreneurs that products are not perfect from the first iterations. It’s possible to improve the product over time. The best way to do that is to test your invention with real customers. He advised that you get honest feedback from the test group to validate the idea.
Helgeson stated that validation must be done on a regular basis. If you are trying to do something, and the market says you want something else, then you may be on the wrong track. Get out in the field, talk to people, and be part of industry conversations. It’s impossible to sit in a room and dream up something.
6. Incorporate your company
Incorporating your business creates a separate legal entity that protects your personal assets and from the liabilities of your corporation. It’s also easy to do. It’s easy to do.
These six steps will help you incorporate a business.
- Select a business name: To make it yours, simply choose a name for the business that isn’t already in use. You can trademark your business name by registering it with the USPTO.
- Choose a location: Identify your physical address to serve as your corporate headquarters. A commercial space may be necessary for larger businesses, depending on where you live.
- Choose a corporate entity: One can incorporate a business as a limited liability corporation (LLC), C corporation for larger companies, or S corporation for smaller organizations.
- Get a tax ID number: Any corporation must have an employer identification number (EIN). You can request an EIN from the IRS website.
- Manage your money: To manage your money and to create a barrier between personal and corporate assets, you should set up a business account. For accounting and taxes purposes, corporate bank accounts provide a record of corporate activity.
- For the state to finalize, secure permits and licenses: You may be subject to different regulations depending on the type of business you are in. A person opening a restaurant may require food-handling permits. A state license might be required for an accountant to provide services.
7. Get a secure patent
If you have one of those lightning-in-a-bottle ideas for an invention or service, getting legal protection is a good idea. Patents are what you need — they give you federal protection and the legal right to own a product, idea, or other property, process, or invention of any other kind.
To obtain a patent, you must apply to the USPTO just like a trademark. Although it is simple, you will need to provide documentation about your idea in order to ensure that no one else has already obtained the rights. After everything is validated, your idea becomes yours. However, renewals may be required every few years.
8. Manage your inventory
Distribution of any product can be slow because of changing demands, inaccuracies in inventory records, outdated processes, or limitations in physical storage space. This is exactly why inventory management systems were created.
An inventory management program will allow you to analyze market trends and order enough stock to meet demand. It will also prevent overproduction and stock shortages. A stock management system can help your company save money and increase cash flow, all while increasing customer satisfaction.