For those that dream of being a famous inventor and have the ideas to support the goal, it can be challenging to figure out how to make the connection between invention and business. You’ve got this great idea, now how do you sell it?
There are a few things to consider from both the perspective of inventing and business as its own entity. Here are the most important steps you must take if you want to turn your invention into a business.
Take time to learn about business processes
For those with a grand idea who don’t have in-depth knowledge about how businesses operate, taking the time to learn about running a business is essential. Everything from understanding profit and loss to the various business structures will help create a foundation on which to build an action plan. Once you have a better idea of how a business runs, you can start to look at how product sales and new inventions tie into those practices and register your business.
Use online resources to get you started, such as the Inventors Guide from https://idea4invention.com/. This will help you start to put the pieces of the puzzle together so that you can move forward the right way and maximize your chances for success.
Scribe and organize your idea
If you haven’t taken the time to write down your idea, get a new notebook and do so at once. Write the basic idea and use this notebook as a tool for capturing your thoughts and expanding the idea into a plan. Not only will this help keep everything organized (which will help tremendously as the process goes on) but it can also serve a legal purpose.
You may have heard of the “Poor Man’s Patent” or a way to secure proof that an idea or manuscript was yours before someone else’s. In this process, you send yourself a sealed envelope with the idea as a registered letter and leave it unopened. That way it’s dated and sealed should a legal issue arise. Unfortunately, this won’t hold up in court and ultimately wastes time.
By having an inscription about the contents of the book inscribed inside and signed and dated by a witness, it starts to build a paper trail that can be used to help support proof of ownership. Just be sure to talk about the seriousness of signing with your witness. Should an issue arise, they may have to appear in court to support you.
Conduct supporting research
To turn your idea into a business, you need to have research that supports the necessity of your project. In addition to researching the patenting process and ensuring that there are no patents of a similar nature already issued, you also need to look at manufacturing options and, more importantly, your potential customers. Who would buy this product? What competition is in the market? What price point seems reasonable? What value will your invention add to their lives?
You’ll require this supporting evidence to attract investors to help support the development of your invention. Also, it’s better to find out now if there’s no market for your invention rather than a few months down the road when you’ve invested ample time and money into development.
Create a prototype
When you think you’ve created a design (in your notebook) that will translate well to a finished product, it’s time to build a prototype. Consider working with a small-batch manufacturer to bring your prototype to life. This should closely replicate what you want to be on store shelves, as you’ll be testing the design to make final adjustments before applying for a patent. You may end up having to revisit the design and create a few prototypes before you’re ready to set it in stone with a patent and take it for market testing.
Once a final prototype is created and tested, it’s time to go to investors and work with manufacturers to turn your idea into a reality. Always refer to legal counsel and industry experts for guidance while turning your invention into a business.