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We love innovation. We see new products and inventions nearly every day. But inventors all claim to have the next greatest thing. Inventors tend to see their inventions as their children. Marketers see inventions as opportunities. Remember that in order for any invention to achieve high volume sales, it needs to be treated like a viable business. Emotional decisions don’t often help the product or your checkbook. Don’t spend money on inventions because you want to succeed. Invest in opportunities because they are prudent. Here are a few things that inventors should be aware of.

Is it already out there?

Too often inventors get frustrated when they pitch an idea and come to discover that the idea, or something nearly identical, is already out there. They often find that the idea is already patented. Practice patients before you pitch. Do a little research to find out if you really are the first to come up with the idea. The by-product will be a good understanding of what else is out there. Here are a few places you can search for products:

US Patent and Trademark Office – www.USPTO.gov
Global sourcing sites like Alibaba - http://www.alibaba.com/
Google – www.google.com
YouTube – www.YouTube.com

It is amazing what you can find in a simple Google search however today people post new products on YouTube hoping to find sales and distribution.

Will it sell?

Is your product really a good idea? Ask yourself these questions to help determine this:

What is the problem that the product solves?
Does it save time, money or make life more fun?
What does this product promise to the user?
Will people other than you want and use it?
What is the main reason that people will want or need it?
Will the purchase price justify the benefit?
Where will people keep it when not in use?
Can it be manufactured for 1/5th of its selling price?
What claims can you make?
Can a third party validate the claims?

It is important to understand that for a product to be viable; it has to be something that people recognize will positively impact their life, can be manufactured and sold within the industry guidelines of sales and distribution and has claims that can be validated by a third party.

What’s next?

Evaluate commercial potential of your product of get a professional evaluation. Know the market, know the opportunity and know when to move on to the next idea. It is also important to stay within your area of expertise. If you are a good inventor but have never run a business, don’t try to do it alone unless you have money you are willing to lose. Align yourself with a license partner, distributor or marketing company that has the expertise the product needs to succeed.



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