When bringing a product to market, every inventor has a very important decision to make: start a company to introduce the product themselves or team up with a big player already in the market. Both approaches work, but depending on your invention, skills and goals, one approach might work might much better than the other. In this article we will discuss when it is better to team up with a bigger company. Read the rest of this entry »
Inventors frequently have multiple ideas. The question is which one to pursue. Other inventors feel like they are creative and can solve many problems and wonder which ones to attack. Even in winning categories there are some products that are better than others. Recognizing winning categories and then the wining products in that category will greatly help you succeed. This article will help you recognize which ideas have the best chance of success. Read the rest of this entry »
The first three steps in evaluating a new product are: Step 1, evaluating product features and the reasons people will buy; Step 2, determining how the product will be manufactured; and Step 3, whether or not the product has, or can receive, adequate intellectual property protection while not infringing on other patents. Inventors and people in the know for new products tend to be in sync for these three steps in evaluating a product, although inventors tend to put patents as the most important step, while most new product experts put that lower on the list, but never the less the first three steps are very similar.
The next key evaluation step for people in the industry, and one that is often overlooked by inventors, is to answer the question: “Can the product make money?” And hopefully lots of money. Inventors tend to feel if the product is right it will make money. New product experts know this is not the case. Pricing and perceived value versus manufacturing costs is the key issue for the experts. The purpose of this article is to give inventors a better understanding of the money issues involved with a new product that determine whether or not the inventor will make money on each product sold. The goal is to assist inventors in evaluating the perceived value of the product to the end user, understanding how much they will receive from the sale of each product based on their chosen distribution channel, and then to understand if they will make money when they compare that amount to their manufacturing costs. Read the rest of this entry »
Everyone wants to make great flyers, logos, websites, business cards and letterhead. Many entrepreneurs, inventors and small business people want to design these things themselves, but once they get started they often realize it is harder than they thought to create professional looking designs because there are little-known guiding principles to make easy-to-read and attractive materials.
Creating these images and layouts, which is called graphic design, has infinite possibilities and solutions, so that means there is plenty of opportunity for mistakes. I know I’ve made plenty throughout my studies and career—they’ve morphed me into a wiser designer. I put this list together to help expose many issues I often see with people’s work.
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Nearly all inventors need extra funding to bring their product to market. But where do you find this funding? Who can invest? Are there other ways to get financial help besides through investments? There are lots of ways to find money to develop and launch your product. Read the rest of this entry »
Don Debelak is now a registered Patent Agent. Check out his new patent website here: http://patentsbydondebelak.com/
Inventors are often too quick to want to apply for a patent. As a registered patent agent I can profit from their haste. But I feel inventors need to have some understanding of the real value of their potential patent claims as they are often not nearly as strong as people they are perceived. Inventors need to understand the strengths of claims to decide if a patent is even worth investing in. If inventors want to stop competition, but can’t get a strong patent, then maybe they should concentrating on developing a market presence before completion can enter the market. My goal for this newsletter is to give you insight into the written word of the patent claim so you can better analyze the information you receive from your patent agent or attorney. Read the rest of this entry »
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is the computer to computer exchange of business documents. For many businesses it has replaced the mailing and faxing of paper documents like purchase orders and invoices. EDI is entirely electronic and paperless, so it’s faster, more accurate, and requires less labor time. Read the rest of this entry »
Many inventors often hesitate entering into the expensive invention market because they are worried that their product is already out on the market or that there may be obstacles that they will run into. With a little effort on your part, you can investigate on a preliminary basis whether or not your product will succeed, and while it is not a one night project you should be able to complete the project in 30 days. I think every inventor should do this to ascertain whether or not the product has a chance at success before spending a lot of money. Read the rest of this entry »
Once inventors have a product ready to sell, they need to decide how to market the product. They might choose to sell the product themselves, which generates the most profit per sale, but the main drawback is that sales might get off to a slow start or never get started at all. Another option is to land a marketing partner–another company already selling into the target market—which has the potential for very fast sales growth, but the main drawback is they will need to give 20 to 25% of their sales volume to the marketing partner to cover sales and marketing costs. At first glance the 20 to 25% seems high, but in reality most consumer products companies spend approximately 20% to cover sales and marketing costs. Selling through a marketing partner may not be viable if you have small margins, but it is often the best course for fast sales growth for inventors with high margin products, where the product’s wholesale sales price is at least twice the product’s manufacturing costs. This article covers how to find a strong marketing partner to sell your product.