Ideas can be amazing, well-rounded, false-logic, and simply pie-in-the-sky. But some ideas have a lot of merit. Unfortunately, an idea cannot be patented or profited from without a lot of development and work. If you’ve got a great idea, it’s no good to anyone just sitting in your head. You need to ease it out, refine the details, and launch what it is that you’re so passionate about. And without that passion, it will simply fade to nothing.
Start with a blank piece of paper. Describe your product idea as if you’re selling it on an Amazon page. Now detail what it will be used for. What is the customer’s problem that your product will solve? Of course, this will open a can of worms as you start to refine your product offering. Keep it simple. One unique selling point is all you need to competitively position your offering.
The next thing you need to do is research – lots of it! What products already exist that can help solve this same customer problem? These are your competitors. You also need to check for patents and other copyrights that might affect the legitimacy of your offering. Your product must be completely unique and not infringe the rights of anyone else.
Now find out a bit more about your target customer. This could go a long way to refining the design of your product. If it’s for children, there will be a lot more legislation and regulation to which you must comply. If it’s for seniors, there may be more requirements for simple and easy to handle operating interfaces.
Finally, you’re ready to design your prototype. Sketch it and use computer aided design to draw up the product. Once you have this, you need to find manufacturers that specialize in areas like custom metal fabrication and short-run production to help you. There will be costs to cover by this point so now is a good time to find some investment.
Not only should you have a working prototype, but you should have a well-researched and detailed business plan. This will go a long way to attracting the right investors to take your product all the way to launch. The marketing of your product alone could cost tens of thousands, so it’s important you find a good fund quickly. Presenting your product and your business plan is essential. You’ll need a great visual display as well as a great speech.
Be prepared to answer all those awkward questions that can crop up. Why should the investor offer you the money? How will you personally take the business to success? Aren’t your competitors just going to steal your idea and do it better? If it’s such a good idea why hasn’t anyone else done it before? Make sure you’ve got a prepared answer for everything that might crop up. Be prepared to tackle the weaknesses of your design and idea too.
The launch of your product may be months away, but that doesn’t mean you can sit back and wait. Every task now is another step toward your first sale. Drive it forward!