Tame it, Name it & Frame it
If you begin the inventor journey and apply for a patent, I would strongly advise you to turn your idea into a finished product and make some sales within the first 12 months, unless of course you have money to burn or are prepared to give away chunks of your business for equity. Why? it’s simple, you only have one year after applying for your patent before you choose the countries you want to extend your patent protection into and that could mean you paying out several thousands of pounds more!
Sell or licence your idea?
Yes, you could decide to sell your patent outright, or license your idea instead of starting a business or adopting a business mindset, but the fact remains, no one will rent or buy an idea in your head, unless you have time to find someone you can convince, who might see the potential you see, and the odds of that happening are slim to zero. I have created and strictly implemented 3 simple steps that I truly feel will boost your confidence, add credibility and turn you into an entrepreneur with the professional edge required to accelerate your chances of becoming one of the few that monetise.
Firstly you must start to “shed your inventor skin” and swap it for a business dress code and attitude to match.
The more business minded you become the more value you add to your idea, and the better chance you have of securing your first customers, or that elusive investor, it’s as simple as that.
When I made this shift in mindset I finally realised that there was no better person to evolve my idea into a saleable product than me, and it resulted in me beating the patent clock as I profited from getting sales that paid my patent fees within a 12-month cycle. Here’s those 3 steps…
Tame the beast you have created and take away the” bells and whistles” that complicate matters and take up your precious time. You may only need to settle on a first phase version of your solution that is unique enough to compete in the market, one key feature that works well might be better than adding 4 more that function less than adequately.
And don’t forget, your customers feedback will help you create the upgraded Deluxe version when the time is right. Polish the rough edges and buff up your product, and match this with the way you present yourself too- you and your invention are starting to form a formidable partnership!
The baby you are nurturing and beginning to love even more needs its own identity. One day it will probably need to survive without you being there, so as well as giving it a name, give it a character and define its worth (features & benefits.)
Inventors often fall into a trap of thinking that potential customers or investors can somehow work out exactly what their star performer does – get those thoughts out onto a product sheet and produce a “simple to understand” instructional leaflet, including set up steps with images.
Put yourself in the shoes of your customer, what would they need to know in order to understand the unique qualities of your creation?
Just like a precious picture needs a frame, your product needs the same! – so frame your work of art with the best packaging you can muster (put time into being inventive with the presentation). I am a great believer in the Ronseal’s advertising slogan for their paint “It does what it says on the tin.”
Going to the effort of refining every aspect of your product, within a time frame of 3 months into your patent pending status will add perceived value and increase the chances of you using the remaining 9 months to make sales. The more sales you acquire the more confidence you gain to charge the premium rates you deserve.
The unfinished tired looking Tri-Creaser I started out with sold for £359, and the more evolved and polished version I tamed, named and framed sold for £1,050, and the manufacturing costs were comparable. Ditch the casual wear for a decent business look, sharpen your image to match your product, and your confidence will soar.
Now pitch it
Those three steps will bring together everything you need to gain the renewed energy and self-belief that is so crucial to you pitching your product. Love the way you tamed and polished your product, be proud of the name you gave it and rehearse the benefits you placed on the brochure.
Sit your framed product on the front seat of your car if you can, and if you are anything like me you will practice your pitch whilst on the way to your first few customers.
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