10 Steps to Bring a Product to Market
Step 1 – Idea Conception and Evaluation
Congratulations! You have come up with an idea for a great new product. But how do you know if it is worth pursuing? In this step, you will do a quick check to see if you should develop your idea.
Preliminary Patent Search
You can do a preliminary patent search on your own for free. Patent attorneys charge hundreds of dollars for this service, and if you do continue to develop your idea you will eventually want a professional patent search. But for now, you only want to see if your idea is worth pursuing and you can use free search engines like Google Patent Search or the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Database.
Search for patents similar to your idea. Ideally, you won’t find any patent remotely similar to your idea, but you may find a patent very similar to your idea. This does not necessarily mean you can’t pursue your idea; it does mean you probably can’t get a very strong patent.
Evaluate If Your Product is Worth Pursuing
There are basically four things you need to weigh to determine if your product is worth pursuing.
- Is your idea feasible to create based upon your abilities?
Most, if not all, inventors get some kind of marketing or technical help from professionals, but your product still needs to be reasonably within your grasp. Don’t let this intimidate you too much, but if you believe that you can do most of the work associated with your invention then you are in good shape. Just remember that even though most inventors do get help, you still need to do most of the work by yourself.
- Can it be produced profitably?
You will not be able to know your exact costs, but consider the materials you want to use, the complexity of construction and the type of packaging you will need. If you think your costs will be pretty high and you will be competing with relatively low-cost products, your idea will probably not be worth pursuing. There are exceptions to this rule, like if your product is significantly better than competition or you are targeting high-end stores and consumers, but usually this rule holds true.
- Is there significant competition?
A product is always easier to introduce if there is either very little or no competition. More competition generally means lower profits and tougher sales.
- Does your product make people say, “Wow”?
If people are amazed when they hear about your product, then you should pursue your idea. I call this the “wow” factor and this can make up for deficiencies in any of the three areas above. This is perhaps the most important part of evaluating your idea because the “wow” factor is often the biggest contributor to inventors’ success.
Some inventor stories you might want to check out Rob Albert – Serial Inventor, Randice-Lisa Altschul Toy Inventor and Vijay Malik – Multiple Inventions Just enter the inventors name in the search box on OneStopInventioShop,net to get the article