Once you’ve come up with an idea for an invention, you need to start thinking about the bigger picture and your final aims. What it ultimately comes down to is this one question: are you going to be able to sell it? You need to be manufacturing products which will gain interest from retailers and consumers. Don’t leave it too late to think about this essential part of the process. It needs to be at the forefront of your mind from the very beginning.
Market research is key in ascertaining whether you have a product which appeals to your target audience. Identify groups of people who would form your customer base and invite them to market research sessions to gauge interest. You may be able to offer an incentive to attract them – it doesn’t have to be anything big and may be exactly what you need to entice people in.
Networking is another important step. It’s critical with both consumers and retailers and you’ll start to make contacts in all the right places. Attend networking events, arrange meetings and events with existing contacts and use social media to connect you with the right people. This will generate interest in your product and you can gain feedback from the early stages about whether it’s saleable.
Think about the order in which you’re going to carry out your processes. As an inventor you’re likely very keen to get your design into production as soon as you can. This may not be best for the product’s commercial future though. Consider carrying out your market research and speaking to your retail contacts first. You could have prototypes produced to discuss with them and use the feedback you gain in the production of your finalised design.