Every product in the market today started as an idea in some individual’s head at some point.
Be it a mobile device, or a software platform, a kitchen gadget, or a smartwatch, majority of items that you purchase came into existence through the process of invention.
The journey from only a concept to a finished product can be long and rigorous one, and it is believed that those are brave enough to travel this road have to face various obstacles and setbacks.
But, if you are armed with ideal information and resources, you can put yourself on the path to bring your invention to the market.
What needs to be done?
Transforming your idea into a reality is actually more complicated than just providing design over to a manufacturer or developer and waiting for ROI to roll in.
Here are some of the basic steps you will require to take before your product hits the shelves:
Before spending your precious time and money on crafting a product, you should have an idea if there are buyers for it.
Look what’s out there and analyze the competition. Until unless you have thought of an altogether new idea, it is highly likely products similar to yours already exist in the market.
Assess the competitors and see to whom they are selling this product. These insights will help you in defining your target market.
You can also think of various ways to stand ahead of your competitors.
It is perhaps one of the most important aspects to be kept in mind while converting your idea into a product.
Be smart and before you start designing the product you thought of, have a look around and see if your design infringes upon someone else’s copyright or intellectual property (IP).
You can check the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website and check any patents on the products like the one you want to launch.
If you still have questions or want to be fully sure if your product is legal to make and sell, it is recommended to consult an attorney who specializes in patents and IP law.
Design a Prototype/Beta Version
Once you have identified your target market and ensured that your legal path is clear, it is time to start bringing your idea to reality.
An ideal prototype can be a basic drawing or diagram or can be as working, & professional product.
This is the point where you decide whether you want your product to be manufactured or licensed.
Having your product manufactured means you design and sell the product by yourself (this also includes paying a third party to design your product).
Getting your product licensed means you will sell another company the right to craft, sell, and use your product. This is done in exchange for a license fee and royalty payments.
In the world of innovation, if you want to be successful, getting you timing right is the key.
Waiting too long to implement an idea might let someone else capitalize on a similar idea and acquired your niche already.
On the other hand, if your invention is the first of its kind, the probability of market being not ready is quite high.
You would have to fight an uphill battle to make an ideal place for your product.
For other startups on the ‘too early’ side of innovation, Henry advised perseverance to stand ahead of the competitors.
Another major issue for inventors is finding out how to get their product in front of public.
This is the aspect that majorly no-one cares for in the beginning. Your idea might be superb, but without a guided marketing plan who will know about it?
Even Henry confessed that initially they were too much focused on the product and thought it will sell by itself.
Since entrepreneurs who are just starting out do not have massive budgets to promote their inventions, hence, most of the startups are doing the same blunder.
Lack of budget should not stand in your way. You can always look up to strong social media marketing plans that are both cost-effective and wide-reaching.
In this section, we are going to discuss some of the dos or advice for aspiring inventors and entrepreneurs.
Give time to research
Crafting a product needs a lot of initial research, patience, and resilience.
Before you even begin the process, ensure to have the time to invest in due-diligence research.
This is especially ideal if you are looking for patent protection for your idea.
Doing research into intellectual property and familiarizing with the process, will provide the entrepreneurs an upper edge they need to start a startup.
Test your product constantly
It is a known fact that no product is crafted perfectly in their first iterations. Almost every entrepreneur had to tweak their products and make some transformations along the way.
The best way to identify those changes is by testing your product with real customers.
Getting honest feedbacks from test groups as a way to validate your idea is a remarkable approach.
This validation process needs to be done on a constant basis.
If you are trying to do something, and the market tells you something else, there is something wrong with your strategy.
It is recommended to be on the field, talk to people, and be a part of industry conversations.
Work on your pitch
Before even finishing your product and start selling it, you should start talking it up to your friends and professional contacts.
A short, to-the-point, sales pitch, which includes a value statement, hook, statistics and allied data, your product’s USP and a call-to-action can really work for you.
Don’t do it alone!
There are multiple steps involved in the invention process and it can be over-exhausting to try and take care of everything by yourself.
It is recommended that inventors/entrepreneurs should seek out professional assistance so that you can be assured that particular aspects of the process are in capable hands.
Happiness is only real when shared.
Have an idea?
Build a team, research the market, take feedbacks, look for the target audience, and prepare a strong pitch.