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Product development

From Prototype to Profit: How to Turn Your Ideas into Products

by Wendy Dessler, from Outreachmama, on Apr 30
Do you have an idea for an invention? Is your idea so sexy and unique that you think it could end up making you a small fortune? Or is it so practical that people will practically be tripping over themselves to buy it?
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Well, discovering if your idea is good enough to become a viable product is possible when you take the right steps. Since we’d like you to achieve your dreams, we’re going to show you the steps to turn your idea into the next big thing.

Sound good? Let’s move on to the first step and go from there.

1. Research Your Product Idea

Believe it or not, somebody may have already come up with your idea or invention. If the idea is as good as you say it is, it’s quite possible that somebody has either created it or patented it.

So here’s what you should do…

Start out by searching for your idea or product online. Run a Google search or use your personal favorite search engine to see if you come across it or anything similar. If not, this is a good first step, but you need to take things further by visiting the US Patent and Trademark Office website.

At this stage of the game, if it seems like no one’s come up with your idea, you could also begin performing minor market research. Use the Internet to see if anyone is looking for your product or something similar, and if it looks like there’s a demand, then you certainly have a good idea on your hands.

2. Creating a Business Plan

Now that you’ve determined the validity of your idea, it’s time to create a business plan to give you the best chance of bringing your product to life. If you have no clue about how to create a business plan, you can always search for tips online. There are many wonderful resources on the Internet to help you get started, so use them to your advantage.

Or better yet, check with the SBA aka the US Small Business Administration website. They have a wide range of information on financing, business plans, and other startup related issues.

3. File a Patent

You can have the greatest idea in the world, but you’ll lose the rights to produce your product if somebody files a patent on it first. In fact, the new system gives the original patent owner 20 years exclusivity as long as they file the patent first or publicly disclose the idea before anyone else.

So, if your idea is really all that it’s cracked up to be, you definitely want to patent it as soon as possible. Because if you wait too long and somebody else beats you to the patent office, you are going to lose out big time and you’ll have to wait 20 years before you can create and sell a product based on this idea.

4. Design a Prototype

Image via Pixabay

At this stage of the game, prototyping is your main priority. To truly get the ball rolling on your latest product or invention, you need to work on creating a viable prototype.

In some cases, you’ll have no trouble creating a prototype yourself as long as you possess the skills and ability. In other instances, you will need to discover the right company to follow your designs and create the prototype according to your specifications.

If you’re having a tough time finding a company to help you design your prototype, you should look to see if there’s an inventors club in your community. They will be able to point you in the right direction. If not look online at websites like Entrepreneur or Startup Nation and they’ll help you discover the best companies to design your product based on your particular blueprints.

No matter what, when you pick a company to help you with the prototype, make sure they sign a no compete contract and a nondisclosure agreement. This way your product and/or IP will be fully protected.

5. Getting Feedback

Before you can completely roll out your product to the marketplace, you’ll benefit tremendously from putting a system in place to determine the viability and effectiveness of your product. The best way is to line up a group of beta testers for each phase of the product development cycle.

The beta testers will be able to provide feedback at each stage of the product iteration and help you make improvements. By designing your product this way, you’ll have a better, more engaging product overall that your target audience will absolutely want to own.

6. Getting Investors

At this point in the process, you have an effective prototype that people want to buy. Now you have to sell your polished prototype to potential investors to generate enough money to have a successful launch. You can attempt to bring in private investors by contacting Angel investors or hedge funds. On the other hand, you could always raise money through crowdfunding on sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Plumfund.

7. Launch Your Product

Now that you’ve gotten all of your ducks in a row, it’s time to bring all of the pieces together and launch your product. If you ran a crowdfunding campaign, make sure you give all of your backers’ access to the product and other stretch goals that you promised. Next, start heavily promoting your new product on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

At the end of the day, the more buzz you generate around your product launch, the more sales you’ll make. And if your product becomes a smashing success, you’ll be on the road to riches in no time flat.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the steps to turn your idea into an invention aren’t that difficult to grasp. But you have to be willing to work hard, put forth a massive effort, and plan accordingly with the intention of achieving success. So take time to learn and follow the steps we’ve laid out for you today, and you should have no trouble turning your idea into an amazing product that everyone loves.


Read other interesting articles:

👉 26 common mistakes of startups

👉 Top 7 Startup Challenges

👉 5 best articles on Business Plans, Sales and Growth of your startup


 

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