July 28, 2016 11:17 am

Pursuing an invention idea encompasses many different industries and disciplines, including product development, industrial design, manufacturing, marketing, advertising, project managing, and business, just to name a few. Of all of these disciplines, business is certainly one of the biggest parts of the invention industry. When trying to create a new product, an inventor must treat their endeavor as a business and be familiar with common strategies, tactics, and standards. Check out these business tips.

1. Immerse yourself
Like any new business venture, you need to research and educate yourself before spending your time and money. Immerse yourself in the invention industry by researching online, visiting a local library, and talking with professionals. Although you don’t need to be an expert in the invention industry, knowing some basic facts and best practices will help you. Familiarize yourself with the steps in the invention process, economics surrounding the industry, and other trades, policies, and decisions that affect inventing. Subscribe to newsletters and follow industry experts on social media to stay up to date on recent happenings.

2. Do market research

You may have already done research to see if your idea is unique, but it doesn’t hurt to double check. There may be products that are similar to your idea, but that is okay as long as your invention idea is different in some ways, such as a different target market or helpful modification. If you’ve determined you have a distinctive idea, research the market a little further. What does the market space look like? Could you take advantage of market trends? What kind of media coverage is your market getting? What companies are the big players right now? Answering these questions can help you to develop your business strategy later on down the road.

3. Create a budget

Creating and sticking to a budget is very important in any business. Although a large business may have accountants or a finance department, you probably have to be your own accountant. Figure out how much money you are comfortable with spending per month on your invention idea. This amount may vary from month to month, but when building your base budget, use an average. Keep in mind your total amount, then write down your monthly expenditures for your invention. With the leftover room in the budget, consider your goals for your invention and see how they fit in with your budget. You may not be able to afford to build a prototype, seek out a patent lawyer, invite potential investors to lunch, and order new business cards in the same month, but you can prioritize those items and plan them for the future.

4. Consider protecting your idea

You may want to contact a patent attorney and inquire about protecting your idea with a patent. There are various kinds of patents, and an attorney can guide you in the right direction for your individual needs. You may also want to discuss things like copyright and trademarks while meeting with a patent attorney. If you discuss your idea with anyone, ensure that you have them sign a confidentiality agreement (also known as a non-disclosure agreement) to protect both you and your invention.

5. Develop your brand

Brand development is an essential part of any business. Your invention needs to have its own consistent identity so your customers, past, present, and future, can associate your invention with its logo, colors, messaging, and core values. Everything you say and do involving your invention helps to develop its brand, including packaging, website copy, social media, logo design, and your pitch. Strategize how you want your invention and brand to be represented, write down a solidified plan, and use it consistently.

Treating your invention idea like a business is a great way to help you strategize and plan for the future. Immerse yourself in the industry, do market research on your product, create a budget, consider protecting your idea, and develop your brand to utilize traditional business methods and approaches for your invention.

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