Taking Your Idea to Market

Even if you have never attended an iFestival or any other innovation convention, you have undoubtedly see the As Seen on TV lengthy ads promoting the inventions of other people.  We all know that great ideas can sell, and can, in turn, make the inventors very wealthy individuals.  However, it is a big leap from idea to profitability. You have to get the product to market before you can start making money and that is going to require serious effort on your behalf.

Research There are many wonderful, inspiring, and truly informative books on the market that can provide you a road map for preparing your idea for the general market.  So, do a bit of research, find a couple of books that really explore making money with an invention, and read them.  Really read them.  It’s not enough to skim or skip through the chapters.  This is the learning phase and it should not be rushed.  After all, the information you gather now will help form the foundation of your business later.

Check Out the Competition Once you have a better understanding of how inventors get their products before the masses, you’ll have to determine how financially viable the business idea is.  That begins with a true understanding of the competition.  If you are, for instance, planning to launch a new pet safety device, then you need to research other companies in the pet technology and pet gps markets.  Determine who has what to offer and how your product will compare to the rest.

Look into Similar Patents Assuming that you determine that you have something to offer that is better than the competition has marketed, you will want to seek a patent for your idea.  To start this process, you should do a lengthy look at www.uspto.gov seeking patents that may be similar to yours.  There you will also find information for filing for your own patent.

Develop a Prototype and Business Plan You will need a prototype that will clearly demonstrate what your invention is capable of.  Ideally, you want a prototype that is as close as possible to the finished product that you had envisioned.  Additionally, you should draft a business plan that discusses the competition research you completed, your expected start-up financial needs, and your projected profitability.

Seek Funding With that in hand, you can begin seeking investors or financial assistance from lending institutions.  You may want to consider an angel investor or venture capitalist with business experience.  In addition to the funding, these individuals may be willing to help guide you on the path to success.  This may be a good time to visit an innovation seminar or the iFestival to see how others are marketing their innovations.