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 »
Summer is coming and now is the time to considering selling your product at some of the many events that will occur in almost every state in the country.
Read the rest of this entry »
Unless you plan on manufacturing your product yourself, or plan on licensing your product, you will need to find a quality manufacturer to handle production of your product. So whether you are contract manufacturing, private-label selling, or forming partnerships, you will need to find someone who can cheaply and effectively make your product. Of all the inquiries I get from inventors, finding a manufacturer is probably the inquiry I get first. Read the rest of this entry »
Nearly every inventor has problems with money shortages. Even the best planned product introduction, using all of the low-cost methods available, can be very expensive, especially when it comes to prototypes and patents. Most inventors need to raise money sooner or later in their product introduction, but raising money can be very difficult. In this series we will teach you that by laying out a good plan for raising money in advance can be the ticket to getting the big investments you may need to bring your product to market. Read the rest of this entry »
I recently got this email and thought that some of our readers would be interested. I’m not endorsing this show, just passing on information and make sure you read all the contracts carefully. That said, these shows give some people big breaks. Here is the letter: Read the rest of this entry »
I have often mentioned that inventors do well to have reps invest in the company in return for ownership, and even possibly stock for the efforts in promoting your invention, either for sale by you as an independent company, or by licensing your idea. It allows you to have the best possible partner for starting up, and the reps typically can significantly add to your chances of success. The concept is great when both parties work well together but this concept is full of pitfalls. What if the rep stops working – he or she will still own the stock and you might need to take on other partners. What if you need to sell more stock, will the reps share of the business, say 10%, stay the same? If it does, your percentage of ownership will go down. Read the rest of this entry »
Often inventors run into stiff resistance while trying to license their idea because they can’t prove the product will sell. Selling the product in the market can be an expensive proposition: you need to have an inventory, a marketing campaign and you need to build up a distribution network. But you can also prove that your product will sell for a lot less money by starting a service business, or by getting a service business to carry your product and sell it successfully. This approach works especially well for products that are either are too complicated to explain, or too complicated for most people to use. As an example, let’s say you invent a machine that gets rid of pests in backyards and keeps them out. Consumers would have no reason to purchase one of these machines if they cost more than a few hundred dollars. If the product does its job, it may only need to be used once every five years and making a large purchase for a product you use only once in five years doesn’t make a lot of sense. Instead, if there was a company that owned the machine and provided a service once every five years, that makes much more sense. There are other opportunities to sell products like these, like selling to other service businesses. So what kinds of products are well suited for service businesses? Read the rest of this entry »