You have an idea for the next iPhone, virtual reality machine, or maybe even a new kind of T.V. Maybe you’ve invented a piece of software that promises to revolutionize the way we surf the web, do personal budgeting, or how we interact with our environment. Whatever your invention, you need marketing. Why? Because great ideas aren’t worth much unless other people know about them.
Research the industry closely related to your new invention. Odds are that there are existing challenges, trends, competitors, and gaps in the marketplace. Identify any potential problems that might arise due to patents, trademarks, or copyright protection before you get steeped in developing your own idea
You don’t want to work on something for six months only to find out that someone else already beat you to the punch and has secured a patent on his invention. Once the coast is clear, and you’ve got a mock up of your product, get the thing trademarked, patented, and protected in any and every other way imaginable. This will secure your place in the market.
Create a Budget
Budgeting isn’t all that fun but, on the other hand, you can’t get much done without one. Come up with a plan for how much money you intend to spend on various prototypes, further research, development, and marketing. You might need to borrow money – include an estimate of this figure too.
Include all start-up costs involved in turning your idea into a salable item. Basically, what will it take to get your product from prototype to store shelves? That’s what you need to know in monetary terms.
Identify A Target Market
Not everyone is a good fit for your product. Create a profile of your ideal customer. Is it a teenager? Is it a middle-aged woman? Is it a senior-aged man? Is your product for parents? Single people? Business people? Homemakers? Children?
Once you’ve identified who you want to sell your idea to, figure out what their other demographic information is. In other words, what age range will you sell your invention to? What income level is your target prospect? Where do they live? Do they rent or own their own home? Where do they shop? Where do they eat? What kind of lifestyle do they live? What do they read? What do they listen to (i.e. music)?
Approach Financing Prospects
Make a decision as to whom you want to approach with your idea. If you’re still in the beginning phases, and you only have a prototype, you’ll be approaching investors and banks. Angel investors are probably more inclined to invest in your idea than a bank, so gear your sales pitch to that type of audience. Having a well presentable website such as the site for example, will give your business idea a professional feel and make any potential financiers more responsive and secure in their decisions.
Fortunately, angel investor networks aren’t too difficult to come by. You’ll probably need to be incorporated before anyone is willing to do business with you. Why? Because angel investors typically want a share of the profits or a stake in the business – sometimes both.
If your product is ready for prime time, approach stores that cater to your target market with your invention. It’s really a numbers game. You just have to keep meeting with executives until you find someone willing to carry your new product.