From the time of the cavemen who made the first wheel to the days of Edison’s electrical innovations, the world has always been- and continues to be- a machine that’s never stopped moving.
We’ve all had ‘aha’ moments arise amidst shower steam or while stuck at a stoplight on our way to work. Most people don’t go further than this ‘aha’ stage, but what if you want to? How can you create something that leaves a mark on the world?
Here, we’re going to talk about how you can bring an easy invention idea to life and begin selling it to your target audience. Read on if you have an amazing idea that you want people to know about, become interested in, and use to improve their lives!
Do Your Research
Before you can begin sketching out your invention or trying to bring it into the world, it’s important to get organized and research the market that you’ll be selling your invention in. Read on for some information on how to get started!
Organize Your Thoughts
Before you get started with your invention, you’ll need to organize your ideas and thoughts. You can’t just dive headlong into creating an invention without thinking about it at length first.
Jot down all the ideas that you have into a Word document or onto a piece of paper. This will allow you to visualize your ideas better. Plus, taking the time to write things down will force you to think a bit about what you plan to do.
A part of organizing your thoughts is looking into business and how it works. You’ll want to research how you can turn a product into a business and actually get sales. Once you do this, you’ll have a much clearer idea of whether or not your idea is actually patent-worthy.
Look Into Your Market
After you learn about business and decide that your idea is indeed a good one, you’re going to need to get some more specific insight into the market that you’ll be working with.
Consider your invention and the people that will most likely be using it. Does your target audience consist of a certain age group, gender demographic, or those in a specific profession? Who will be your main competitors for the attention of your target audience?
You’re going to want to do a little market research as to how other companies that sell similar items to your invention are conducting business. One way that you can do this is by using SurveyMonkey and other related technologies to conduct surveys online and see who is most interested in your products.
You also will want to use pages like Google Analytics to see what trends your competitors-to-be are having on their websites. This can help you identify what’s working for them and what isn’t.
Patenting and Trademarking
Now that you know how your market works, it’s time to research patenting and trademarking.
You may be wondering, what is the difference between these concepts?
Patenting is a grant that the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) grants to inventors so that they can monopolize the rights to it.
When you get a patent, you are legally declaring the idea for your invention to be your intellectual property. This means that no one can steal it. It also means that you can manufacture, distribute, sell, use, import, and export your invention.
Make sure that, before designing your invention, you look through the USPTO website and make sure that no one has patented an idea that’s too similar to yours. You don’t want to be sued for infringing on someone else’s rights.
Trademarking is similar to patenting in that you need to register with the USPTO. Big surprise, right?
Seriously, though, a trademark pretty much a patent that exists not for the invention itself, but for the brand that you create. Your logo, name, and slogan all need to be trademarked before use so that you can tie them back to yourself and your invention. If you don’t register them with the USPTO, anyone can steal your brand.
Create a Prototype
Now that you know all about the market you’re working in and the patenting laws that you’ll need to follow, it’s time to get to the fun part: building a prototype of your invention! Read on to learn how you can bring the very first version of your brain-child into the world and get started improving people’s lives with it.
Sketch Out a Rough Design
Before you start making an actual prototype of your invention, it’s a good idea to sketch out what you want it to look like.
Even if you aren’t a good artist, you can draw a rudimentary framework of the invention to show what parts you need for it. You can also more easily visualize where different parts need to be if you draw it on paper.
Make Something at Home
After that, you can begin to bring your invention to life!
Gather the parts that you’ll need to create it. If your invention is something simple enough that you can put it together at home with household tools and objects, awesome! Do that. You’ll be able to see exactly what it looks like and how it operates once you take this step.
But what if your invention can’t be fully created at home? What if the tools that you need are inaccessible to you?
Look at the sketch you’ve made and gather the parts that you’re capable of getting. Then, get similarly-shaped placeholders made from metal or plastic and put them where you think that they should be in your invention. This will serve as an example for the professionals who do have the tools to assemble your invention.
Take Things to the Pros
There are a ton of professionals out there whose sole job is to create prototypes for the inventions that others come up with. If you need tools or parts that you can’t find around the house, companies like Imagineering will be able to build a prototype for your invention (usually within 24 hours!)
Take the time to read on the subject of contract manufacturing before heading out and asking professionals to assemble your prototype. This will equip you with an understanding of what’s going to happen when you sign with these manufacturers.
Perform Functionality Tests
Once you have a prototype for your invention, you’ll need to perform some functionality tests on it. Make sure that it works correctly and does the things that it’s intended to.
If it does, great! You’re ready to move onto the next steps. If not, tweak and refine the design until it’s perfect.
Market Your Creation
Your invention now exists in the world- pretty cool, right? Now it’s time to get the word out there and begin selling it to others. Read on for some tips on how you can effectively market your awesome innovation!
Build a Brand
After you have something to sell (yay!), you’re going to need to build a brand from the ground up. This means coming up with a catchy brand name and slogan that are relevant to your site.
Most importantly, you’ll need to establish a logo. Here are a few tips:
- Use a minimalist style to be as memorable as possible
- Your logo should only be a maximum of two colors
- One of these colors should probably be blue (it’s consumer’s favorite color)
- Use organic and interesting shapes
- Make sure that your logo is relevant to your brand
Get a Patent
We talked earlier about getting patenting services for your invention and buying a trademark for your brand. This is the time that these steps need to be completed.
You can’t begin to sell a product without a patent, and you can’t begin to build a brand without a trademark or copyright on your imagery, logo, name, and slogan. Doing either of these things could place you in the position to be sued by people who want to steal your invention or take a chunk of your profits.
File your patent application and then register for a trademark with the USPTO. It’s not terribly expensive and gets your information in quickly so that you can begin to sell.
Web Marketing and Social Media
Once you have a brand, patent, and trademark, it’s time to begin marketing online to draw in your target audience.
One of the most important things to do is to use videos on your official website and social media page. 73% of consumers are more likely to invest in a product after seeing a video on it. Whether you choose to go with an explainer video or an animation, this is key to marketing effectively.
You also need to make sure that navigation is an easy process. People need to be able to get around your website easily or they’ll get frustrated and leave.
In addition to having an official website, you’ll want to make pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This is the best way to reach a wider audience and make your product as successful as it can be.
Make Your Easy Invention Idea a Reality
Bringing your invention into the world is a long process, but it’s well worth the effort.
Now that you know the most basic steps to bring your easy invention idea to life, it’s time to get more information that can benefit your business startup. Check out the ‘startups’ and ‘entrepreneurs’ tabs on our home page for some specific information on how you can ensure that your newly-made invention sells successfully.
Go get ’em, tiger!