Hobbyist and seamstress Diane created a unique invention called Seams Sew Fast. With the help of a marketing and product development company, her product has been sold in thousands of stores across the country. Making Diane’s dream come true and now she is enjoying an exciting life as a successful inventor. Here are the 10 steps that she used with the product development company to take her sewing hobby craft product to market.
#1 – Signing of a confidentiality / Non-disclosure agreement
If your invention is not patent pending or has not received a patent it is always a good idea to have a confidentiality / Non-disclosure agreement. Decide how much information you can make public or divulge with the product development company that you decide to work with.
#2 – Send your product concept to the product development and marketing company
You should choose the right product development company for your invention idea. Make the choice by the connections that they have with big manufacturing companies or big box retail stores. Foe example, if your idea is a household item, then choose a company that has experience developing and promoting household products. You wouldn’t want to choose a company that does not have experience in the related market of your invention.
#3 – Review of product, advising of possible changes
Listen to the product development company’s advice, and make recommended changes. What you should listen for are changes and suggestions that would help you place your invention within a retailers existing brand family. For example, the product development company may suggest changing or adding a feature that would complement an existing brand’s look and style.
#4 – Review of production and marketing possibilities
This maybe where you’ll have to rely on the product development companies advice the most, which is if you don’t already know the marketing possibilities. The marketing possibilities include who the customer, or end user lives. Also, how much the customer is willing to pay and where the customer shops.
#5 – Investigate intellectual property protections
It is best to conduct market research before applying for provisional patents or full blown patents. Patents can be very expensive and time consuming, make sure you know what your final product will be and who will buy your invention before applying for a patent.
#6 – Fabrication of mock-up sample
Create a model or prototype of the invention. A working prototype of an invention is the best way to work out any problems or functions of the idea. Most problems will surface while creating the prototype and save a lot of money before the invention goes into full manufacturing production.
#7 – Showing of products to key account buyers
Chose and meet with potential buyers, such as manufacturing companies and big box retail stores. Show off the invention in person as much as possible.
#8 – Gauge overall interest in product invention
Depending of the feedback and willingness to buy from the account buyers chose the appropriate manufacturing capacity. If the account buyers only want to try a small test purchase first, it may be necessary to start manufacturing small before investing in expensive setup fees.
#9 – Decline / proceed with production, or negotiate royalty payments
After gauging the overall interest in the invention make a decision to manufacture the product yourself or license the invention to a retailer or manufacturing company. If you choose to manufacture the invention yourself you may need start-up capital or investment funding. If you decide that the start-up costs are too high consider licensing the invention and negotiating royalty payments.
#10 – Product launch
Your invention is designed, manufactured, packaged, and ready for sale.