How to Sell Your Product through Convenience Stores

Article also includes:

  • Description of various organizations typically found in an inventor’s distribution channel.
  • Explanation of how to find a distribution channel for your product.

Many inventors have small novelty products where they want their products sold to convenience stores. This has been a difficult market for inventors because the distributors are typically rack jobbers who actually own the merchandise and buy at 40 to 45% of retail. The distributors can be hard to find as they don’t have a Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) dedicated to them, and most operate on the office supplies distributor SIC code. (For more information on SIC codes go to http://www.siccode.com/about.php.) [Read more...]

Old Product Areas Ripe for Invention

Inventors often look at big new ideas with big needs but sometimes you can find a way to create a product idea in an old category and have some success.  I live in Minnesota and some years ago I started seeing many people with the new style of ear muffs that wrap around the back of the head, the 180s, www.180s.com. They look great. Most people don’t realize this high style line was originally put out by a couple of inventors. You don’t need a high tech product, or even a product that is hard to make. Hopefully this story will inspire you to get out with your idea and see if you can make it. [Read more...]

Provisional Patents – An Additional Advantage

Provisional patents have the advantage of being low cost but they have another additional advantage that make them a plus for inventors.

Requirements per the US Patent Office

The provisional application must be made in the name(s) of all of the inventor(s). It can be filed up to 12 months following the date of first sale, offer for sale, public use, or publication of the invention, whichever occurs first. (These pre-filing disclosures, although protected in the United States, may preclude patenting in foreign countries.) [Read more...]

Raise Initial Funds with an Investor Presentation

Often inventors need to raise some early investments to help pay for prototypes, patents or other items to help get the project off the ground. You have three goals: one, avoid trying to write a 40 to 50 page business plan, two, to show you are serious about taking your product to market, and finally, you need to show your idea has a real chance to succeed. [Read more...]

How to Have Easy Sales, Gel Factors, Part 2

As anyone who has studied inventions knows, inventor success isn’t always a case of having the best product or the best strategy.  Often the difference between a successful inventor and an unsuccessful one is that one inventor chose a market that has outstanding characteristics, or what Don likes to call them, outstanding GEL Factors, (Great Customers, Easy Sales and Long Life) and the other one didn’t.  If you idea doesn’t approach a market with excellent GEL factors you will have trouble introducing your idea and should consider a different idea or market.  To learn more about GEL factors look into Don’s book Business Models Made Easy, (Entrepreneur Press, 2006). [Read more...]

Who Will Be Great Customers? GEL Factors, Part 1

What makes some inventors succeed while others fail?  Success isn’t always a case of having the best product or the best strategy; often the difference between a successful inventor and an unsuccessful one is that one inventor chose a market that has outstanding characteristics, or what Don likes to call them, outstanding GEL Factors, (Great customers, Easy sales and Long life), while the other did not. If your idea isn’t targeted for a market with excellent GEL factors, you will have trouble introducing your idea and should consider trying a different idea or market.  To learn more about GEL factors look into Don’s book Business Models Made Easy, (Entrepreneur Press, 2006).
[Read more...]

How to Set Up a Sales Rep Network

Setting up a sales rep network is one of the most cost effective ways to start selling regionally, nationally or internationally. Expect sales reps to take a 10-12% commission, but for inventors starting out selling their product, this is much cheaper and more effective than trying to hire, train and motivate his or her own sales employees. [Read more...]

Should I Introduce My Product On My Own or Partner With a Bigger Company?

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 more...]

Finding the Best Opportunities and Ideas for Inventing

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 more...]