Full Steam Ahead: How Any Entrepreneur Can Turn An Invention Into A Product
If you’re like most inventors, you’ve got plenty of ideas buzzing around in your head. You know the way you want the world to look, and you are desperate to make it a reality. But before you start running around telling everybody about your fantastic ideas, you need to protect them.
It doesn’t matter whether you are going to use an idea yourself or license it to others. It’s not worth a penny until you’ve got it covered by the patent office. But getting that approval can be a challenging and expensive process. So how should you go about navigating the process of turning your invention into an actual product?
Research Your Idea
When there are so many millions of people involved in every industry, it’s hard to be original. Somebody somewhere has probably already had an idea very similar to yours. And that could seriously impact your ability to craft your own business. Thus, it’s a really good idea to log on to the government USPTO website and do a quick search of your idea. Try to find out if anybody has had the idea before and whether it’s worth carrying on. Also, make sure that there has been no “prior art” on your particular design. If there is, you still won’t be able to patent your idea.
Make A Prototype
The best way to convince potential investors that your idea is profitable is to first, grab a patent. And second, make a prototype. The official advice is not to file for a patent before you have made a prototype. The reasons for this is that prototype designs often contain mistakes. If you file a patent with design flaws, that opens the door for somebody else to file for a design that works.
Market Your Invention
A number of World Patent Marketing complaints were recently logged against the firm. The reason? Some startups thought that they had great ideas and were not pleased when those ideas were rejected.
Startups with inventions need to come up with a threefold strategy to get their invention out there in the market place. First, they need to figure out how they’ll get the money to build it en masse. Second, they need a partner who will manufacture their invention. Third, they need to look at how they’ll sell it and through which channels. And fourth, they must decide whether to license it to others or go it alone.
Licensing is perhaps the best option for startups. In the early stages of their businesses, they don’t have the capital to set up a full production run themselves. So the best strategy for getting a product out quickly is to use the resources of the more established players. Just remember, licensing a product doesn’t always come with the best returns. Often, your company will receive between two and five percent of the value of sales as a royalty. Even with overheads, therefore, you might get higher returns by setting up your own business venture.