When you introduce your product, you want to generate quick sales because building a history of sales, even just in one or two outlets, helps you convince other sales outlets to carry your product. But once you start selling, you need to commit yourself to continually growing your sales. Stores, catalogs, reps and distributors look for hot, up-and-coming products, and if your sales are always growing, you will have a much easier time expanding your sales network. If your sales stagnate, people will think your product has reached its peak. [Read more…]
You don’t need to go with your hat in your hand when working on an inside contact, they actually gain as much as you do when they present the project, in fact it is a win-win situation for them. If they bring the project to the company and the company successfully introduces the product, the inside contact looks like a real go-getter that is helping the company advance. If the project doesn’t go through, they still look like a go-getter, an image that will help them at some point in their career. The following steps will usually get you an inside contact with a potential partner company. [Read more…]
Identifying the right target market can often be the difference between success and failure for new products. The right market will be more willing to accept, and ready to pay more for, the right product, and the wrong market will be slower to accept your product and will require more marketing efforts, cutting down on your profits. So choose your target market carefully. There are many factors that determine the right target market, and this newsletter will cover three important factors: market size, pricing and your ability to meet the right contacts. [Read more…]
1: Identify the Right Target Market
Identifying the right target market can often be the difference between success and failure for new products. The right market will be more willing to accept, and ready to pay more for, the right product, and the wrong market will be slower to accept your product and will require more marketing efforts, cutting down on your profits. So choose your target market carefully. There are many factors that determine the right target market, and this chapter will cover two important factors: market size and pricing. [Read more…]
So you’ve got a new product and know just who to market it to. Here’s what to do next.
What’s a pair of thrill-seeking snowboarders to do when there’s no snow on the ground and no clouds in sight? If you’re Jason Lee and Patrick McConnell, you invent the MountainBoard. With a deck similar to a snowboard, all-terrain wheels, and a suspension system that can be used to go down a single trail or track on a mountain, the MountainBoard hit the market in 1996 and the company, MBS of Colorado Springs, Colorado, is still going strong. [Read more…]
Where is the next million-dollar idea hiding, just waiting to be discovered? In many cases, it could be right under your nose–at your place of work, or perhaps as part of your favorite hobby. Inventors who work ideas gathered from jobs or activities they’re familiar with are most likely to find success, for a variety of reasons. For one thing, the inventor really understands what target customers want because he or she is also part of the group. Second, because the inventor is already familiar with the products currently on the market, he or she can usually introduce a product that doesn’t have much competition. And finally, when selling the product to customers, potential buyers perceive the inventor not as a salesperson, but rather as “one of us.” It’s a powerful situation that doesn’t necessarily guarantee success, but it’s definitely as good as it gets. [Read more…]
Inventors often need to consider partnership, sometimes for funding the invention, other times to get the expertise required to have a partner who can make the prototype, and often just so the partners can offer each other emotional support. But a lot can go wrong with a partnership as people promise to do certain thing and then fail to perform. I feel it useful to prepare a simple Memorandum of Understanding when you are considering a partnership of some sort just so each party can be clear on what the other party is doing. Here is a sample of what an agreement would look like. Each agreement you prepare will have differences but they should have certain key elements including who is investing what amount of money, what the duties of each party are, how much time people are committing to the project and some sort of performance guarantee. [Read more…]
Licensing, selling through the Internet, selling to big box retailers and a few other options are the ways most inventors and entrepreneurs dream of selling their products, but there are many other ways to sell your product. In this article we will discuss an often overlooked option for inventors: starting a service business.
If you walk through any mall today you will see dozens of carts and kiosks, and you will see that number skyrocket as the Christmas season approaches. The market looks big and it is: $12.7 billion in the US alone. It is clearly a market that shouldn’t be ignored. [Read more…]
Home Shopping Networks, including QVC and Home Shopping Network, are often ideal spots for inventors starting to sell their product. Shopping networks like to sell products that aren’t available widely in stores, they take smaller quantities than major retailers, but still large enough quantities to justify investments in tooling and packaging, and selling on shopping networks is a much better option to build market momentum than trying to line up a large number of smaller retailers. The shopping networks create enough demand that some companies only sell to the shopping networks, and it is possible to be carried on the networks for years, but they won’t sell enough for you to become a substantial company. Your best choice of action is to sell through the shopping networks to build momentum, and then use the success in those markets to generate a wider distribution network. [Read more…]