August 11, 2017 11:42 am

The path to becoming a successful inventor is not straight, nor paved, nor easily traveled. Creating an invention is a long and difficult process and it certainly isn’t the same for any two inventors. But, anyone who has completed this journey will tell you despite the ups and downs it is definitely worth it. Even though each inventor faces different difficulties throughout their experience, knowledgeable inventors and InventHelp specialists can pinpoint common mistakes and educate you on them so you don’t make the same mistakes other people have learned from. Inventors – avoid these six common mistakes when pursuing your invention idea.

Not developing a plan

When you make the decision to move full-steam ahead with your invention idea, you may get overly excited and just decide to act, completing items on a to-do list you haven’t even written down. But, the first thing you need to do is develop a plan. Moving forward without direction will have you unclear and confused about your objectives. Write down a plan with goals, strategies, and tactics, keeping in mind your budget and timeframe. You may need to have separate sections for different aspects of your plan – building a prototype and creating a marketing strategy will likely have different timeframes and action items. You may benefit from keeping your invention plan organized in a binder so you can easily access all your documents.

Telling everyone your idea

Yes, you’re excited. And yes, getting others’ input can sometimes be a good way to improve your product. And yes, humble-bragging about your invention at networking events feels good. But no, you should not disclose your idea to everyone you meet, especially in detail. Seek out advice from a patent attorney before disclosing details about your invention to anyone. It’s probably okay to talk about the general idea for your product – such as “my invention helps people in the kitchen” or “my invention solves a problem that many farmers have” – but explaining how your invention works leaves you vulnerable to have your intellectual property stolen. Get in contact with a patent attorney just to play it safe.

Thinking you’re going to get rich

Even the most viral ideas don’t make money overnight. Inventors incur many different costs – securing a patent, creating a professional prototype, registering a business, getting the product manufactured are just a few examples. It takes time and a lot of elbow grease to make money, if you even end up profiting at all. Only a small percentage of inventions see commercial success. When you pursue your invention idea, you’re in it for the long haul. We’re not talking weeks or months, we’re talking YEARS in some instances. The invention industry is not for those who want to get rich, but for those who believe in their innovations and have the time, dedication, and perseverance to stick with their idea, regardless of the outcome.

Not consulting an expert

Bringing an invention idea to market involves so many different disciplines: business, law, marketing, product design, graphic design, licensing, web design, public relations, social media, advertising – the list goes on and on. Even if you’re well-versed in some of these subjects (or you’re a quick learner!), you’re going to need to consult an expert at some point. No man is an island. You likely cannot manage all aspects of your invention by yourself. So, you should seek out the advice of an expert to make sure you are heading in the right direction. Seek out a patent attorney, visit your local small business association, or meet with a graphic designer to ensure that you’re doing everything in a professional manner. No one expects you to be an expert in every aspect of the invention industry and there’s no harm in asking for a little help!

Creating a product there’s no demand for

You may have been told before there are no bad ideas. While that is somewhat true, there’s also another side to it: if there’s no market demand for a product, it’s not going to sell. There needs to be a group of buyers who will use your product in their everyday lives. Does your product solve a problem? Does your product fit into a certain niche? What kind of person would be interested in buying your product? These are important questions to ask yourself to determine if there’s a market for your product. You can also research similar products through the internet or by visiting stores in which they sell. Take note of how the product is branded, the price point, and how they point out important features and benefits.

Making sure everything is perfect before moving forward

It’s definitely important to have a plan in place before jumping into your invention idea. However, you can’t plan for months on end without taking action. There’s no time like the present to get started with your idea. If you wait, someone may have an idea similar to yours and start the invention process before you’re able to. So, get started! Make yourself a to-do list with some things you can do early on in the invention process, such as doing research, securing social media profiles and urls, and creating a rough prototype. Not everything needs to be perfect before you get started with your invention idea. There’s a delicate balance of preparedness and having a go-getter attitude. Find that balance and get some work done!

When you’re getting started with your invention idea, the road ahead can be murky. Follow this advice and avoid these six common mistakes and you’ll be off to a great start on your invention journey!

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