3 Steps to Bringing Your Invention to Market
So you finally have a great idea that is going to launch your company and make it a success.
Now what? Filing for a patent and creating a prototype is just the beginning.
Finding someone who wants to carry and sell your product is going to be your biggest challenge.
Here are three tips on how to bring your product to the marketplace.
Do your research
For Todd Ruehs, starting a successful business was as simple as a roll of the dice. Ruehs and several childhood friends were on a summer camping trip when they began discussing ideas for potential businesses. Realizing that marketing an existing product better was easier than thinking of a new idea, they decided to reinvent a very old game. Their company was born, and a little more than 90 days later, Diception, their take on the 16th century game "Liars Dice," hit the marketplace.
"Probably the hardest part about getting it out there, is really what is done before we ever launched the game," said Ruehs, co-founder of Four Clowns Game and Toy, Inc.. "The hardest part is knowing what will be a hot button for the retailer. We did our homework and realized that for the retailer, space is a premium, price is a must and it has to have a unique hook to it."
Diception eventually made it to No. 4 on Amazon's best-selling game list. The game is also sold at 100 retailers around the country.
Learn from the "nos"
Another important lesson to learn about bringing your product to market is to learn from your disappointments.
Jill Quillin, inventor of Lipstix Remix made a business out of her simple idea to save money on cosmetics. Quillin wanted to save the remaining lipstick stuck in the bottom of old containers and turn it into a fresh tube of lipstick. Quillin's idea was to make a mold that would allow customers to reform old lipstick after it had been melted down in the microwave. Quillin began by selling the products at a local mall, but eventually it was Quillin's appearance on the ABC series "Shark Tank" that helped to popularize the product.
"The most discouraging point is when people tell you no," said Quillin whose company is called Divine Innovations. "Big people tell you no and that affects you as a small business owner. I can't tell you how many nos I have had. When someone tells you no I think the biggest thing you can do is ask 'why'? If you are so fortunate to have them tell you why, then all that is going to do is make you stronger."
Take a chance
Bonnie Bruderer had spent more than 17 years working in the field of personal development before taking the leap into starting her own business. With all her previous experience working for motivational speaker Tony Robbins and others, Bruderer started a company called V.I.S.S. International, which uses the home party sales model to market kits for making vision boards, which are customized bulletin boards that you create to help visualize and realize your dreams.
Bruderer said you don't need to wait until your product is perfect before you start developing a marketing plan .
"Just take some action and start moving in the direction of your goal," she said.
The key to marketing your product successfully is making sure you're targeting the right market.
"Everything in business is message-to-market match," said Bruderer. "You can have the greatest idea, launch it out there and it is totally different than what the market wants. Taking that criticism and feedback can be the hardest thing in the world, but you really have to listen to that feedback in order to perfect a product that is going to be well-received long term."
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