In 2019, 333,530 patents were issued in the U.S, a record-high.
We’re a nation of innovators from producing unique ideas to bringing them to market. Perhaps you have an invention idea you’re unsure how to turn it into a product you can sell.
Sound familiar? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Here are the seven key steps.
- Document Your Idea
The first step on how to create an invention is to document your idea. You must have evidence that you came up with the idea so outline what it is, how it works, and how you’ll produce it.
Detail this in an inventor’s journal. This must hold up in court and should be a bound notebook with consecutively numbered pages that no one can remove or reinsert. You can find these journals in local bookshops or grab an ordinary notebook and number each page.
Then ask a witness to sign the documentation. Find someone trustworthy as they must verify that they saw you enter the information in the journal so you’re the rightful owner of the product. Although one witness is great, two are better.
- Research Your Idea
The second step on how to turn an idea into a product is to make sure it hasn’t already been created. Visit the U.S Patent and Trademark Office’s site to browse existing patents and see whether there’s a gap in the market you can fill.
If there’s a similar product, check whether you’re infringing on their idea before continuing with the invention. Even if a patent hasn’t been filed, if any artwork or illustrations are like yours, then you won’t be able to patent it. To help, hire an intellectual property attorney so you don’t end up in legal trouble.
- Make a Prototype
A prototype is a model of your invention, a real-life product constructed thanks to your inventor’s journal. Prototypes demonstrate the design of your invention so lenders and licensees can grasp your idea easier.
Your prototype likely has flaws but this stage lets you make amendments or add a more effective feature. It’s important to note that if you discover a problem with your design after submitting a patent then you’ll risk losing the patent rights to someone else.
The first step of the prototype phase is drawing the product so sketch out your ideas from your inventor’s journal. Then create a mockup from the most relevant material so you can construct a 3D model of your design.
Once satisfied, build a full-working model of your idea. If it’s too expensive to build, then use an animated virtual prototype.
- Get Feedback
An important part of how to make a product is asking people to try out your invention (known as beta testers). Listen to their feedback as they’ll suggest ways to improve your product and see if there’s a market for it.
Plus, the right beta testers may help you find an investor.
- File for a Patent
You know how to invent something so now it’s time to file a patent. You can choose a ‘Utility Patent’ if it’s a machine or a process, but if you’ve created an innovative product, you must apply for a ‘Design Patent’. These forms are simple but consult with a patent attorney before sending it off.
- Create a Business Plan
Once you’ve learned how to create a product, you must create a business plan. It should help you identify the quickest way to capitalize on your invention.
- What product have I built?
- Who is my target audience?
- What is my promise to my customers?
- How will I achieve my objective?
Once you have everything on paper, you’ll know the best way to market your product. And if your invention is expensive to produce, find investors willing to pay for large-scale manufacturing to bring your invention to life. Instead of hunting down private investors, you could also crowdfund on sites like Fundable so everyone can pitch in together.
- Market Your Invention
Now you’ve got your fully functional product ready to sell. Congrats!
The last stage is to create an iron-clad marketing strategy so you can reach your target audience. Decide whether you want to manufacture the product yourself or give a company the license to sell your product.
A drawback of letting another business sell is you only receive a maximum of 5% of royalties, problematic when you’ve done all the heavy lifting. But on this route, you can earn more because you don’t have to pay for overhead costs or maintain a successful business.
Either way, promote your product via social media so you can reach thousands of prospective clients without spending a fortune. Find the most relevant social media channel for you and start a marketing campaign to engage with customers.
Always refer to analytics to see which posts have the most impressions so you can tweak your campaign. And don’t rule out traditional forms of marketing like TV ads or press releases as it lets you raise brand awareness and answer questions people may have about your product.
That’s How to Turn an Invention Idea Into a Product
Now you know how to turn an invention idea into a product.
Before you start, research the market and check whether there are any similar products otherwise you may be in legal trouble. Detail the product’s information in an inventor’s journal, get witnesses to sign it, then mock up a prototype to compel investors.
Once you’ve got a patent, find new and creative ways to engage with prospects, and raise awareness about your product. Good luck!
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