Six Mistakes Inventors Make

So you think you have an idea? Great!
But first, stop and think: Are you one of many that fall into the six categories of mistakes that inventors make?

If you are, then proceed with caution as you might get knocked down quickly, a tragedy that comes at a high cost.

Mistake 1 – Expecting Unrealistic Results

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

All new products take time to develop. For example, it takes a minimum of 6 months to complete the design and manufacturing processes before progressing to marketing and sale. If you employ a good team, this time can be slightly reduced; however, it can also be very costly.

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

Mistake 2 – You Haven’t Done Your Market Research

Market research is vital to success even before you begin the process. Ensure that your idea is a good one and, more importantly, that it is useful. Get advice and suggestions wherever and however you can. Earlier, I suggested that you limit asking only close friends and family. However, if you already have a patent, 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 argue or deny the facts. Generally, it is not recommended to pursue an idea that gets negative comments by the majority as it is 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 stage of market research, it may become clearer what you are trying to do and the issues you want to solve with something tangible in hand.

It takes a strong person to accept negative feedback. Utilize both positive and negative feedback to 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 particular problem. To others, your product may not be necessary and, as a result, they prefer to do it the “old way” out of habit or to save money.

For your product to be viable on the market, it needs to attract people who can benefit from its use. Consider your price point and don’t charge too much if you are reaching for the mass market; however, if your product deserves a higher sales price, then ensure that it is durable and of high quality.

You can try to attract impulse buyers who watch the shopping network but to make enough money and to extend the product’s lifespan, focus on selling to a bigger, wider audience.

Mistake 4 – Use an Invention Promotion Company

Some invention promotion companies are in fact good; the majority is, in fact, bad.

If you 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 are not working on your behalf. Even if your idea is bad, they will still work to empty your pockets while offering false promises.

Take your time if you have opted for this route and remember to get everything in writing to ensure all parties are aware of the expectations. I also recommend adding clauses to the contract based on sales figures. If the company claims that 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 you to remove your product from their services.

I have had first hand experience dealing with similar companies and try my best to 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, these companies are run by a scam artist who will take everything and leave you with an empty promise. For your product succeed as a retail product, 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.

Remember that 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, your 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 completed. If you give away shares, this means that the company will benefit later on based on sales. However, if a company asks for both money and shares, walk away from the deal.

It is difficult at times to distinguish between a good and bad company; be aware that all companies need money to stay in business. If a company asks for shares but no 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 in return, potentially for personal benefit to restrict you from proceeding, all of which results in a dead product.

Companies usually 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 generating sales. You can see that this is a good solution and that the company now has an interest in getting the product closer to market, simultaneously pushing you to generating sales to get your money back.

Nothing in this life is free so be cautious and understand all avenues of the process; get contracts written and signed by both parties.

Mistake 5 – Spend All Your Money on a Patent

How exciting! I have a patent!

This means nothing if you can’t afford the design on it.

Most people get a provisional patent which gives them one year to do the hard work: to get the product through the design and manufacturing stages and test the market with sales.

More often than not, if you have done your research, anyone can lobby 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, go ahead and patent, but make sure that you are going to be proactive in the following year. After 12 months, you have to make a decision as to 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 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. It’s not.

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

The fact that you are reading this straight away puts you in the category of the people who are sensible enough to find the correct way to progress your idea.

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