So, you had a groundbreaking idea the other night and you think the world could benefit from it. Maybe you’ve found a way to revolutionize the toaster, developed a service that you’re the nation is desperately in need of, or are about change the way the world enjoy their favorite TV shows.
Whatever it is, there are steps you’ll need to take in order to turn this idea into living, breathing product that turns a profit. From patenting to rapid prototyping services, here’s how to turn your ideas into a steady stream of income.
Step One: Write It Down, Now
Don’t wait to jot down every last detail of your idea until later. The number one mistake that individuals make is not writing an idea down when it comes to mind. You can easily forget important details, no matter how minor, as time passes.
Stop everything you’re doing, grab a piece of paper or open a word document, and write everything down. Include its design, possible uses, how it could be market, and a few variations on the design. You’ll need all of it to not only create the product, but also to prove it is your idea.
Step Two: Check Trademarks and Copyrights
Believe it or not, thousands of people come up with incredible ideas that someone else has already thought of. Double Check whether your idea is original by searching though the US Patent and Trademark Office database.
You could also go one step further by searching online for any similar ideas or sketches. If they already exist, chances are you won’t be able to patent them.
Step Three: Identify Your Market
Half of selling a product is in the identification of your market or niche. Who exactly will benefit from the idea you’ve come up with? Once you’ve answered that question, you can reach out to this demographic and ask them questions about how your product could enhance their lives.
Don’t be afraid to make changes that will make your product more adaptable to their lifestyles. Fitting the need of the market is essential to your success.
Step Four: Creating the Prototype
Now that you’ve gathered additional ideas and refined your sketches, it’s time to make sure your invention will work. It is recommended to use rapid prototyping to develop a working model of your product, which will then allow you to make any necessary tweaks to its design for increased functionality.
Make sure you’re 100% happy with what you’ve built before filing for a patent. Take your time and ensure that the prototype is perfect.
Step Five: Acquiring the Patent
You will need to choose between a utility patent and a design patent before getting started with this step. Utility is for any new machine or process, while design is for anything that counts as a new design. Seek legal advice at this stage in your journey to ensure that everything is kosher with the law in the event that someone tries to steal your idea.
Step Six: Build Your Business Plan
Now that the patent is finished, it’s time to head into full production. Well, almost. Most inventors don’t have the funds to create a fully functioning business off the bat. That’s where investors come in.
You will need to demonstrate that your product comes with a solid business plan, one that will make you and the investor profit. Describe your market in detail, what your product can do for customers, and how you plan to get it out to the masses. Without a business plan, your patented design will end up collecting dust on a shelf.