Although innovation is a difficult process, it may help you break into the commercial world and open opportunities. Sharing your concept with the world is the first step towards developing it into a product. But 140 years ago, even electricity was a controversial topic.
Thomas Edison was criticized by several eminent scientists in the late 1800s. These scientists said that harnessing electricity on a large scale was impossible and that it was a fantasy. We now understand it to be a lot of nonsense and live in a world that is always lighted up, but it all began with an idea, a dream, and Edison’s determination. You may be the inventor of a whole new line of items if you have the correct attitude and a grasp of what it takes to develop anything new. What you need to know about starting and marketing your innovation is provided here.
The challenges of inventing
Timing is everything when it comes to innovative success. If you take too long, another person will use a similar concept to make money and snare your market. However, if it’s the first of its type, the market may not be ready, and you’ll have to fight an uphill struggle to find a market for it.
This problem was encountered in 2011 by Henry Helgeson, co-founder of Cayan (now a division of TSYS), with his mobile payments technology business, years before mobile payments were widely used. He advises tenacity to stay ahead of your rivals as the market catches up for other firms that are too early in the innovation cycle.
Peers in our sector “thought mobile payments would never materialize, but we continued working and had a three- to four-year lead on everyone,” said Helgeson. It doesn’t happen immediately; it takes time to develop. However, once you get going, it’s quite potent.
Helgeson claims that if you fall on the latter end of the spectrum, you should consider your rivals and determine if you should stick with your plan or change it for your idea.
He emphasized that there should always be a feeling of urgency to repair what is necessary, make the necessary adjustment, and [get the product] back on the market. It’s OK as long as you act fast.
Making the public aware of your goods is a significant task as well. No matter how fantastic your concept is, without a marketing strategy, no one will ever hear about it.
In retrospect, Helgeson stated, “We were too focused on our product and imagined it would sell itself. To [promote it], you need a strategy.
Nicole Lininger, a marketing and communications specialist, said in an interview with Business News Daily that many startup business owners lack a sizable advertising budget to sell their ideas. However, she continued, this should not be a barrier. She suggested getting off to a great start with a comprehensive, cost-efficient social media marketing strategy.
Tips for success
Ready to turn your product idea into a reality? The experts we spoke to offer the following advice for aspiring inventors and entrepreneurs.
1. Don’t go it alone.
It might be hard to handle every stage individually given how many there are in the creation process. Lininger advocated getting expert help so you could be confident that certain parts of the procedure were in skilled, knowledgeable hands. For instance, if you’re wanting to develop your prototype, you may want to search for a manufacturer, or if you need a competent, on-demand patent attorney, you might want to look for Rocket Lawyer. The co-founder of educational technology startup ArgoPrep, Anayet Chowdhury, advised you to think about finding a business partner.
Find a co-founder who shares your passion for your concept or product and who has a set of abilities that you lack, said Chowdhury. “Compared to solopreneurs, companies with co-founders are [more likely] to succeed.”
As you go through the process, incubators may also be a terrific location to achieve success since they provide your assistance, tools, and resources.
IncuHive serves as the foundation for Kate Bell’s company, Zip Us In, which offers jacket expanders to expectant women. “The business assistance has been excellent, and having such a large network of expertise behind me has allowed me to be confidence in my scale-up ambitions. IncuHive helped us make our case to potential investors and offered a meeting room and advisory board.
2. Do your research.
According to Lininger, creating a new product requires extensive preliminary research, perseverance, and fortitude. Make time for your research before you get started. This is particularly crucial if you want to protect your invention with a patent. Would my design violate the copyright or intellectual property (IP) of someone else?
Research intellectual property and get acquainted with the procedure and industry lingo, such as patent, copyright, and trademark, according to Lininger. There are several trustworthy websites that you may study from, including the World Trade Organization, the World Intellectual Property Organization, and the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Contact a patent attorney if you are interested in obtaining patent protection.
Investigate any patents on products comparable to the one you intend to produce by visiting the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website. Consult a lawyer with experience in patent and intellectual property law if you have any concerns or want to be sure it’s okay for you to produce and market your innovation.
As you assess your competitors, you should also consider what is already available. The co-founder and CTO of the social planning software Kibii, Marco Cirillo, advises doing market research to find out who your rivals are, what your target market loves and dislikes about existing goods, and if your product is distinctive enough to stand out. Learn how to conduct a competitive analysis in the associated article.
According to Cirillo, “many founders and company owners will leave marketing as an afterthought.” Before you even launch your product, you need to do research and define goals in order to achieve the best return. This will make it easier for everyone to remain on the same page and share a shared vision, helping you to launch a successful product.
3. Develop a prototype.
It’s time to build a prototype after you’ve identified your market and guaranteed a clear legal route. You must choose whether to have your product produced or licenced at this time.
The former indicates that you will produce and market your own goods (this includes paying a third party to manufacture your product). In the latter case, you would offer another business the right to create, use, and market your goods in return for a licencing fee and royalty payments.
4. Work on your elevator pitch.
You’ll need to promote it to your friends and business connections even before you have a finalised product to sell. Lininger stressed the need of creating a strong elevator pitch, which is a succinct sales speech that contains a hook, a value statement, statistics and other facts, an explanation of the special features of your product, and a call to action. See our advice on crafting the ideal elevator pitch for more details on this subject.
5. Test your product.
Helgeson cautions business owners that their first incarnations of their items won’t be flawless. You’ll need to make adjustments to the product along the road, and the best method to determine those adjustments is to keep testing your idea with actual customers. He suggested getting direct input from test groups to help you confirm your concept.
Helgeson said that “the validation process has to happen on a frequent basis.” “You can be headed in the wrong direction if you’re attempting to achieve something and the market tells you [they want] something different. Be active in the field by meeting people and participating in discussions about your industry. You can’t attempt to dream up anything when you’re alone in a room.
6. Incorporate your business.
By forming a distinct legal organization for your company, you may shield your personal assets from any obligations incurred by the corporation. Even better, doing it is simple.
To incorporate your firm, do the following six steps:
Choose a business name.
To claim a name as your own, just make sure it’s available for use. Make sure there isn’t a trademark for your company name already registered with the USPTO before proceeding.
Pick a location.
Determine the actual location that will serve as your company address. Depending on your area, you may need to reserve a commercial location for a bigger firm. Find out how to choose the ideal location for your company.
Decide on a corporate entity.
A firm may be formed as an S corporation for small enterprises, a C corporation for bigger businesses, or a limited liability company (LLC). How to Choose the Best Legal Structure for Your Business [Read related post]
Obtain a tax ID number.
Any company must have an employment identification number (EIN), which is a requirement of the IRS. On the IRS website, you may submit an EIN application.
Manage the money.
Create a financial separation between your personal and company assets by opening a business bank account. For tax and accounting reasons, corporate bank accounts can provide a transparent record of business activities.
Secure permits and licenses for state finalization.
You could be governed by several regulatory laws depending on the sort of company you operate. For instance, a person opening a restaurant would want permissions for handling food, but an accountant could require a state license to practice.
7. Secure a patent.
Getting legal protection is a smart idea if you have one of those ideas for an item or business that comes to you like lightning in a bottle. To provide you a legal right with government protection to effectively own a certain product, concept, procedure, or other form of innovation is what patents are for.
To get a patent, you must submit an application with the USPTO, just as with a trademark. Although the procedure is rather straightforward, it does need extensive documentation of your concept to ensure that no one else has previously acquired the rights. That concept is yours after everything has been verified, although it may need to be renewed sometimes.
8. Manage your inventory.
Any product’s distribution is sluggishly burdened by shifting consumer expectations, faulty inventory data, antiquated procedures, or even physical storage space constraints. Inventory management systems were created for just that reason.
By analyzing current market patterns, you may produce enough goods or purchase enough stock to meet demand while avoiding overproduction and overstock issues. A good inventory management system may increase customer satisfaction while saving your business money and streamlining cash flow. In this article about inventory management software, you may select the most appropriate one for you.