Getting Your Invention to Market Takes Planning and Perseverance
Developing original products or vastly improving existing ones is a tedious process. The hope, of course, is that one of these ideas will be the next big thing and pay off in the marketplace. Inventors spend countless hours thinking and designing, keeping their inventor’s logs, and checking into already approved patents to ensure their idea is truly original. Then, they spend hundreds to thousands of dollars to protect their idea with a patent. But then what? Fewer than 2% of all patented products ever turn a profit. Though there are as many reasons for this as there are failed products, there are some steps you can take to improve the odds that your product will succeed in the marketplace.
Manufacturing and Distribution
As soon as you file your patent application, begin planning your manufacturing and distribution processes. Obviously, you not only have to get your product made in volume, but you also need a way to get it in your customers’ hands. While it is possible to manufacture and distribute your invention yourself, most inventors are less than interested in taking on that chore. Partnering with a business-focused colleague can be an excellent option, especially if the partnership will increase the odds of securing financing for launch. There are also established manufacturing firms that specialize in producing a wide variety of products. Outsourcing your production often makes the most sense, both financially and logistically.
Other options for manufacturing and distributing your invention include going through an invention broker to make those arrangements or selling the rights to your invention outright. In either case, do your homework before pursuing these options. Evaluate any brokers you are considering by checking multiple references, checking with the Better Business Bureau, and searching for anything you can find about them on the internet. They are required to provide you with evidence of their track record for success upon request, so be sure to request it. Also look for brokers who work on contingency…they get paid when your product gets sold. Many scammer “inventors’ marketing” firms require fixed fee payments to market your product. Avoid them, and absolutely do not pay an upfront fixed fee.
There are a few excellent inventors’ websites with discussion boards…a good place to start to investigate specific brokers or firms. If you are planning to sell your patent outright so you can get back to the lab, do your homework to ensure you are getting a fair price and have an experienced attorney negotiate the deal with you. Your patent law attorney should either be able to help or refer you to someone that can.
Whatever route you choose, you need evidence that your product will be viable in the marketplace. It is critical to create at least one working model of your product. Any manufacturer, distributor, broker, or potential customer will want to see how it works and how it looks before they commit. InventHelp reviews Also, be sure you have filed for your patent before you present the product to anyone. Just filing for your patent (whether through a regular or provisional application) provides patent pending protection…enough to make it very unlikely that anyone will steal your idea.
Once you have decided on the right route for manufacturing and distributing your product, the serious marketing work begins. Get your product in front of the actual target customers that will use it. Have them test it under regular and extreme conditions. Ask for honest feedback and consider any changes that will make your invention even more desirable. If any changes are patentable, be sure to modify your application immediately. Don’t count on the opinions of just your friends and family.InventHelp reviews Find as many members of your expected target market as you can and test, test, test.
The marketability of your invention depends on all the standard factors: cost, value, durability, reliability, safety, ease of use, and the direct benefits your customers receive. Your market testing should always be focused on these factors. If your profit margin is too low, or using the product is inconvenient for your customers, it will never make you any money. Use the testing to gather an honest assessment of your product. Don’t be discouraged by negative feedback, but look for easy alterations or other ways to promote that will downplay the criticisms. Don’t give up.