Six mistakes inventors make

So you think you have an idea, great. But are you one of many that fall into the below six categories of mistakes inventors make.

If you are, then be careful, you might get knocked down quickly and this can cost you dearly.

Mistake 1 – Expecting unrealistic results

Don’t think that you will make a million dollars straight away, its highly unlikely.

All new products take time to develop. For example it takes a minimum of 6 months for the design and manufacture processes before you even progress to marketing and sales. If you employ a good team, this time can be reduced slightly, but can be very costly.

Remember your product will more than likely need to be designed, prototyped and then manufactured. These processes take time and generally there is not much you can do to speed up this process.

Mistake 2 – Haven’t done your Market research

The very important Market Research step.

Ensure your idea is a good one and more importantly, its useful. Get advice and suggestions wherever and however you can. I suggested earlier in the book to ask advice off close friends and family only. However, if you have a patent already then feel free to ask strangers and conduct mass market research.

If your idea generates positive feedback, that’s great. If it doesn’t, don’t try and argue or deny the facts. Generally, it is not recommended to pursue an idea that gets negative comments by everyone, its a clear sign of a dead end unless you come up with a solution to fix the issues raised.

Think seriously about having a prototype to show people during this market research stage, it may become clearer what you are trying to do and the issues you want to solve.

It takes a strong person to accept negative feedback, but work on these and improve your idea by turning the negative feedback into positive advice.

Mistake 3 – Thinking everyone wants your product

Think again.

Your idea might offer a solution to a select few who would buy your product to fix that problem. To other people, your product may not be necessary and they could prefer to “do it the old way” or “do without it” saving them money.

For your product to be a viable product on the market, it needs to attract the people who can benefit from the product. Don’t charge too much if you are reaching for the mass market, but if your product deserves the higher sale price, then it needs to be good quality and last a long time.

You could try and attract the impulse buyers who sit around and watch shopping channels, but to make enough money and extend the life of the product, you need to focus on selling to a bigger, wider audience.

Mistake 4 – Use an Invention Promotion Company

Some are good but the majority are bad.

If you ever search the internet regarding this topic you will see hundreds of websites warning you against invention promotion companies. Their aim is to take your money and then pretend to work on your idea. Most of the time they aren’t.

Even if your idea is a bad one they will still take your money and sit back and smile while they empty your pockets.

Take your time if you are going down this route and remember to get everything on paper and sign as a contract. My advice would be to add clauses in based on sales figures.

If the company claims they can make you a million dollars be sure to set timescales. If they don’t do it in that time frame add a clause that allows your to remove your product from them.

I have had first hand experience with dealing with companies like these and try my best educate people where I can.

These invention promotion companies take advantage of vulnerable people who have no idea what to do with their ideas. Most of the time its a con and you will loose everything. For your product to make it to the shops as a commercial product you need to enlist the trust of a reputable company who can perform every step of the product as below:

  • Patent
  • Design
  • Prototype
  • Manufacturing
  • Marketing
  • Sales

If the promotion company fails in one of these then your product will not be successful.

You need to remember these companies don’t do anything for free. Even if your idea was the best idea since sliced bread but there was no more money left in the pot then you idea will sit untouched. These companies will drain you and your bank account so be careful.

An alternative way to get something for nothing is to give away shares of your company to perform individual tasks that you need. If you give away shares that means that the company will benefit later on based on sales. If the company asked you for both money and shares then walk away.

To tell a good company from a bad company is difficult but all you need to be aware of is that companies need money to stay in business, if they are taking shares in your company but no upfront money then how can they afford to stay in business. Most of the time this scenario results in the company having shares and doing nothing to with it. This restriction is possibly for personal benefit and restricting you doing anything further. This will result in a dead product.

Usually companies may ask for a retainer up front as well as shares (similar to a deposit). This is money that they need to keep their head above the water whilst doing the work but is returnable once you start making sales. You can see that this is a good solution and that the company now has a interest in getting the product closer to market, also pushing you to get selling to get your money back.

Nothing in this life is free so understand all avenues and get contracts written and signed by both parties.

Mistake 5 – Spend all your money on a patent

YAY i have a patent.

Means nothing if you can’t afford to do the design on it.

Most people get a provisional patent which gives them 12 months to do the hard work and get the product through the design and manufacturing stage and test the market with sales.

More often than not if you have done your research anyone can lodged for a provisional application but is there any point if you don’t have money to progress further.

If your idea proves to be a winner and everyone loves it then go ahead and patent all you want, but make sure you are going to be proactive in the 12 months you have. After the 12 months you need to make a decision or whether you want to pay more money on patents or give up the idea altogether.

Mistake 6 – Lacking business sense

Yes it does happen.
Read as much as you can in this website/ebook and try and follow it as close as you can. My experience will lead you to a successful product in the quickest time.

Getting a product designed, manufactured and sold is very hard so don’t be foolish to think it is going to be a walk in the park, its not.

I have met many people who feel they know everything about everything, unfortunately they don’t. These people tend to waste a lot of money, time and effort in failure.

You reading this straight away puts you in the category of the people who are sensible enough to find the correct ways to progress your idea so you do have a little sense, we are just going to build on that.

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