Inventor Entrepreneur Track
Nothing happens until someone sells something. My dad used to tell me this all the time and when you think about it for a moment you will see just how important and factual it really is. When I was heavily involved in the sport optics business, we had various employees to handle warehouse duties, accounts receivable and payable, bookkeeping, marketing, and other important jobs.
Here is a common scenario - people call me and tell me exactly who would be the perfect person to purchase their products. How do they know? They ask their closest friends and family members regardless of age, income level, or preferences such as color, shape, or size. Wrong! This is not the best way to know find out who is the appropriate person to purchase a product you have created. What is the correct way?
I just came back from Savannah after leading a workshop for inventors. The workshop was about how to get yourself and your products prepared to sell to major retailers. It is always good to see that so many people wish to seek out how to do this correctly and so it always makes for a fun workshop!
After all of the hard work you have done to develop your product, file patents, and properly package your product among many other things, it is time to decide what price you should charge retailers and how much consumers should pay for your product. How do you do that? Well, for starters, you need to decide what the retail price point will be. Start by going to a local retailer that would sell your type of product and see what the competition is charging. You will want to be in the neighborhood so that you will be competitive.
How Long Does It Really Take To Develop Your Ideas?
When people first approach me, they usually have a great idea in mind but have not done much more than a basic patent search or created some rough drawings of their product idea. That is a great start indeed and most people who think of ideas never actually act on those thoughts so they are ahead of the game. However, many inventors think that at this point the hard work has been completed and the rest of the road will be rather simple. The truth is that the work has just begun!
I was reading a very interesting article in a retail journal over the weekend and something caught my attention. The article mentioned that most retailers, while claiming that they proudly offer lots of “green” products, do not actually properly promote or even stock such products. Now, I want to start by saying that I am a big fan of companies that produce products that show concern for our environment – especially since I have three children and do worry about their future.
One of the best ways to get in front of lots of people with your new product is to exhibit at trade shows. Since I have exhibited at more trade shows than I can remember (certainly as many as 100!), I have found this can be one of the most efficient ways to show your product to so many people in just a few days. Below are some tips and thoughts I have about some of the “rules” you need to follow and what you need to know to have a great show:
The short answer is – not really for many products. There are times when applying a patent makes sense and there are many instances when it simply does not. Since money is almost always a factor when bringing a product to life, here are a few things you need to consider: