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.
Many inventors that fall by the wayside have great ideas but they fail to gain the trust of the people they need to help them. One major factor in why they lose that trust is that they don’t show they have enough business savvy for others to trust them to deliver. This is not because the inventor’s intentions are bad, but because they don’t show they have the experience to understand the task in front of them or to execute the tasks once they understand what to do. But that doesn’t mean inventors are doomed, it just means that they need to take a little bit of time to bring themselves up to speed on the market and the process of introducing a product so they look like a winner. You will make a much better presentation if you follow these steps before going out to talk to people in the market. Read the rest of this entry »
Flyers and brochures are the most common form of advertising and can be pretty cost effective considering how much face-to-face time they get with your potential customers. They’re great educational tools. Although they’re not typically sales pieces, they whet someone’s thirst for more information on your product or company. The main objective is a call to action. You want to drive people to visit a website or to call a number to order your products. Keeping your branding in mind while using the same design principles that go into designing all advertising materials (color, typography, composition, photo/ illustration use and the overall style/ concept) will develop your flyers and brochures to proclaim your products as unique, important, breakthrough and interesting. The following basic steps will make sure you don’t forget anything. Read the rest of this entry »
Reprinted from: uspto.gov/inventors/independent/eye/201204/tool.jsp. Note to inventors: the Inventor’s Eye is posted on the USPTO web site every other month. Go to this site to see past issues. uspto.gov/inventors/independent/index.jsp
Intellectual property (IP) is the creation of the human mind. It can include unique technological innovations, works of art, brand and concept names, symbols, logos, design and other ideas made real and tangible by creative individuals. Yet many businesses and individuals may not realize that they regularly create and use valuable IP assets in their workplace—assets which they need to protect and keep from being exploited or appropriated by competitors. To better serve the independent inventor and small business communities, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have released a free online tool that will allow creators of intellectual property to recognize when they have an asset that can give them a competitive edge in the marketplace and when they should seek IP protection. Read the rest of this entry »