Now What? – Phase Three
Do you feel like you have worked so hard to move your invention along, and now you are just stuck? Do you just need some guidance as to where to go from here?
This newsletter series will help you to understand the normal progression of the invention process, while helping you figure out where you are and what you need to do in order to move forward.
The steps are going to be broken down into four phases:
- Phase One: Research
Phase Two: Development & Realization
Phase Three: Presentation Material
Phase Four: Pitching to Companies
Each week our newsletter will cover another phase in this process, explaining each step and what should be completed before you move on to the next step. Last week’s newsletter covered development and realization of your product. This week will explain creating professional material and generating interest in your patent.
Time and/or money spent on each step will also be explained, so you know what to expect. In some cases, you may be able to do things on your own, but you should expect it to take more time because you are saving money. When paying for services, you are paying other people to do them for you, so your time spent should be significantly decreased.
Phase Two: Steps 8-9
Step Eight: Creation of Professional Presentation
Time: 40-60 Hours
It doesn’t matter how great your product is, a professional presentation of the product is necessary. The following documents are not recommendations; they are a must if you are looking to license or sell your product. Preparing the documents in advance will keep you from losing credibility through either explaining that you don’t have material to send or by saying “oh sure” and throwing something together at the last minute. The materials need to be well written, factually based, and organized in a logical manner.
The following documents should express your products value, your professionalism, and your credibility.
- Pitch Letter
- How you came up with the invention.
- How successful you think it will be.
- What your friend Joe thinks about your product.
- Anything regarding money. (How much you have spent so far, how much you think it is worth, how much you are asking for it.)
- A full explanation of the product and its history.
- Your reason for contacting the company.
- Your product’s name and purpose.
- Your contact information.
- Credibility factors
A pitch letter is intended to help you make contact with someone. It should be short and to the point. This is simply an introduction to you and your product. You are trying to find out if the company has any interest, and essentially lure them in to ask for more information about your product.
Exclude information such as:
Include information such as:
- Briefing Document
- Remind the person of when they heard from you, or when they asked for more information.
- Explain your objective. What are you looking to do with your patent? Leave out specific numbers at this point.
- Include only pertinent details.
- Briefly explain your product’s history. Where is your product currently? Are you already in production? Are you currently selling? How are you selling it? How many units have you sold in the past year?
- Your contact information should be included.
A briefing document is exactly what it sounds likeâ€¦ a brief explanation of your product. It should be no longer than a page, and should be sent to someone asking for more information about your product after receiving the pitch letter, or hearing about your product.
- Product Profile
- Include product description, benefits, features, and design.
- Target Audience
- From your market research, explain the ideal person who would purchase your product.
- This will be a direct write-up from your market research.
- Manufacturing Quotes & Drawings
- After working with an engineer, you should know how much it will cost to manufacture your product, and also have manufacturing ready drawings to show interested parties.
- Contact Information
- Phone number, Mailing Address, Email, Website
- Product Profile
The majority of this information will be found in your market research. In the Pitchbook, you will take information that you learned through market research and explain how it affects the potential success of your product.
- A PowerPoint presentation will be extremely valuable to have on hand. Most business people prefer to start conversations via email, and you want to have material in a digital format that is ready to be sent. The presentation should be a maximum of 15 slides. Use bullet point sentences to express the information in your Pitchbook.
- Press Release
- A press release is written with the intention of getting an editor at a publication to write a story based on your press release. In order to get your story published, it needs to be professional, and in the exact way that the publication wants to receive it. If published, the final story is a great way to show potential investors, buyer, and licensors that the public is interested in your product.
Contact the publication and find out how they prefer to receive your press release.
- Having a website for people to use as a reference is not a requirement, but it should be a goal. Through having a website, if someone looses your material or doesn’t have it available, they are always able to access information about your product.
Step Nine: Create Business Proposal
Time: 20-40 Hours
A business proposal is essential to securing a sales or licensing agreement. It is unwise and unrealistic to expect a company or individual to come up with an offer when you are contacting them. For example, would you try to put your house on the market with no asking price and simply ask potential buyers to make you an offer? Most likely, you would not. Doing so would only prolong the process and would turn many potential buyers away. People like to validate a price, they do not care to come up with one. It is easier to qualify a price than to establish one.
Take the time to create a proper business proposal. The proposal should include each of the following elements:
- Licensing Stipulations (Exclusivity, Non-Exclusivity, Term, Renewal)
- Royalty % and basis you are proposing
- Down Payment Request
Your business proposal should be based on your market research and justifiable given the products profit margins, potential sales, and any comparable deals.
Next week’s newsletter will cover contacting companies and signing a deal.
For more information about phase three, please feel free to email me at: Lindsey@IdeaBuyer.com
Recommended Service Providers and Resources for Phase Three:
- IdeaBuyer.com – Patent Promotion to Companies
Recommended Service Providers and Resources for Phase Two:
- ** We now offer discount patent, prototyping, and engineering services to our members. Contact us at 832-683-1527 for more information.
- Patent Help Now Articles: “Choosing a Patent Attorney”
Recommended Service Providers and Resources for Phase One:
- Patent Help Now Articles – “Searching for Issued Patents”
Lindsey Yeauger is the Product Marketing Director 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.