Completing the Checklist
There is little you can do in addition to the six steps that you have already completed. Now it is time for you to manage the relationships that you have, and watch your hard work payoff.
Here is a recap of the previous weeks that have brought us to completing the checklist.
Without protection for your intellectual property, anyone can potentially steal your idea. This makes it extremely difficult to sell your idea, or to expect to receive any money for it. I highly recommend starting with a provisional patent. They are inexpensive compared to a full patent, and they protect you for a year while you are doing market research.
The results of your research will let you know if you want to continue to move forward and spend the money for a full patent.
By protecting your intellectual property, you were enabled to move forward with the idea.
For many people, a visual component is necessary for understanding the description of the product. Some people have a wild imagination and may picture something completely different, while other people may not be able to picture it all.
For prototyping, we follow a five step model:
By creating a prototype and drawings, people can visualize your product and how they would use it.
While at times it is easy to become wrapped up in all of the information that the internet can offer, do not neglect your local library. The information that you find online may cost money, and is probably available for free at your local library.
Here are some search engines that I would recommend using, other than our beloved Google.
- The Thomas Register
The Thomas Register is a great tool for specified searches on manufacturers and suppliers.
Hoovers offers a searchable database of companies, executives, and expert advice.
IndustrySearch is a great resource if you are looking to do market research on the tech or manufacturing sectors.
Researching the market, industry, competition and end user in-depth, will provide people with information to become more interested in potentially partnering with you.
First impressions are extremely important. Psychologists say first impressions have a primacy effect. The primacy effect in essence is the base for all impressions moving forward. So, if you make a bad first impression, all future opinions will be influenced by the first negative impression.
It is extremely important to make sure that you are presenting your product and yourself in the best possible manner, in order to seal a deal. The presentation should include all of the detailed information that you found in your research.
For more information regarding hands-on Pitchbook services provided by Idea Buyer, please contact: Lindsey@IdeaBuyer.com.
One critical step in the invention process is obtaining manufacturing quotes. As an inventor, you must know the cost of making your product tangible, and ready to be sold. The manufacturing cost will play a role in many of your financial projections, and also when potential partners are considering offering you a deal.
The best way to obtain manufacturing quotes is to work with a prototyping company that regularly works with inventors and has experience working with products in your given industry.
Trade shows can be extremely beneficial when trying to create contacts within your industry. Always make sure that you have business cards with you, in case you meet someone interested in your product. It will serve as a reminder, and provide them with your contact information. The card should have your name, the name of your product, telephone number, email address, and if applicable, a website address where people can find more information. Remember to make sure that the contact information is appropriate and professional.
Take notes on the conversations you have. After you meet someone that you have exchanged business cards with, wait until you are away from the person, and write on the back of the business card key information that you learned about him/ her. Key things to remember:
- The companies you discussed.
- Investors and manufacturers mentioned.
- Possible friends he/ she said might be interested or may know someone that can help.
- Where they are from.
- How long they are in town for. (If they are staying longer, you may be able to set up a meeting while you both are still there.)
- Children, spouse, or other personal information mentioned.
This information will help you to remember them and also to allow them to remember you when you contact them.
Week Seven: Seeing YOUR Product on Store Shelves and Collecting Royalties
With all of the work that you have done protecting your IP, creating a prototype and drawings, doing market research, creating presentation materials, getting manufacturing quotes, and creating company contacts, I am sure that you are ready to take a deep breath and relax. Well it’s ALMOST time for that.
By creating your presentation materials out of all of the work that you have done, it is time to present, if you haven’t already. Call upon the contacts that you have made, and ask them to take a look at your materials. DON’T GIVE UP! If one company says that they are not interested, it doesn’t mean that another company won’t be.
When a company is ready to buy or license your patent, you will create an agreement explaining the terms of selling or licensing your intellectual property. These terms should be well thought out, well negotiated, and reviewed by your lawyer before signing.
Signing does not necessarily mean all of the work is over. You should be continuing to manage the relationship with the buyer or licensee of your intellectual property, to make sure that the agreement is being fulfilled.
Other than managing the usage of your intellectual property, all you really need to do now is watch the mail for your royalty check!
About the author of this article:
Lindsey Yeauger is the Director of Communications for Idea Buyer LLC, a new product development company that owns and operates IdeaBuyer.com- The Online Marketplace for Intellectual Property. The site gives inventors the opportunity to showcase their intellectual property to consumer product companies, entrepreneurs, retailers, and manufacturers. You can email her at Lindsey@IdeaBuyer.com.