7 Steps to Turning Your Idea or Invention Into Cash

Goofy cat photographs, pet rocks and a “gas-passing” app: All are easy — and dare we are saying dumb? — concepts that reportedly made their creators tens of millions.

Do you have got a superb concept? Nice! However that’s simply step one on the trail to riches. When you’ve acquired an innovation percolating in your head, it’s good to act now earlier than another person does.

Observe these steps to show your concept into actuality:

1. Do your analysis

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Earlier than you spend time or cash in your invention or concept, make sure that it hasn’t already been created.

Web searches are at all times an excellent place to start out, however don’t cease there. Go to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Workplace’s web site and seek for current patents.

Additionally, do some market analysis to find out whether or not there’s really demand to your product or concept. Earlier than you begin sharing your plans with too many strangers, see step No. three beneath.

2. Develop a marketing strategy

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The second step is to create a marketing strategy. Even when your concept isn’t totally fashioned but, understand how a lot cash you may afford to spend and what the method of growing and advertising your concept seems to be like.

When you’re not sure the place to start out, prepare an appointment with SCORE, a nonprofit group by way of which enterprise individuals volunteer to mentor and advise small companies and startups.

Another choice is to contact your native workplace of the U.S. Small Enterprise Administration, or SBA, to see what providers it gives. The SBA’s web site gives a wealth of details about enterprise plans, financing and different points related to startups.

three. File for a patent if relevant

PatentANDRANIK HAKOBYAN / Shutterstock.com

The regulation concerning patents modified dramatically a number of years again.

Previous to the 2011 passage of the America Invents Act, the primary particular person to invent a product retained unique rights to promote or license it for 20 years — a “first-to-invent” system. Nonetheless, the federal regulation switched the U.S. patent system to a first-to-file system. It not issues who got here up with an concept first. As an alternative, the 20-year exclusivity rests with the one that first publicly discloses the thought or first recordsdata for the patent.

TechCrunch printed an excellent article on the regulation and the way numerous eventualities play out. For additional steering, try “7 Easy Steps to a Patent for Your Massive Thought.”

However once more, earlier than you begin having too many personal conversations about your huge concept, ensure you have taken the suitable steps to guard it from thieves.

four. Make a prototype

PrototypePOPKOV ALEKSANDR / Shutterstock.com

At this level, it’s time to show your concept into actuality. It’s good to construct a prototype.

Relying in your invention, you could possibly assemble the prototype your self or chances are you’ll have to get some assist. You will discover recommendations for making prototypes from Entrepreneur journal and StartupNation. As well as, there could also be a close-by inventors membership the place you may join with others who can counsel native sources.

No matter how you discover assist, chances are you’ll wish to think about using a nondisclosure or no-compete contract, particularly in case your concept isn’t patentable.

5. Get suggestions from beta testers

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When you’re pleased with the prototype, discover some individuals keen to strive it out (known as beta testers, a phrase that got here from the second section of software program growth testing). Suggestions from beta testers can’t solely result in services or products enhancements, but it surely additionally could assist when it’s time to seek out buyers.

As you close to the top of the beta testing section, strive promoting prototypes to higher gauge buyer demand.

6. Discover buyers

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By now, you need to have a refined prototype and hopefully some early gross sales to bolster the case that your concept is worthwhile.

The subsequent step is to seek out some deep pockets keen to pay for large-scale manufacturing or deployment of your plans.

Finding personal buyers generally is a problem. Moderately than discovering one or two individuals capable of make investments massive sums of money, take into account the crowdfunding route with web sites like Crowdfunder and Fundable. You can too go to the Angel Capital Affiliation’s web site for extra data on discovering angel buyers.

Nonetheless, in the long run, it is perhaps as much as your financial savings account — and perhaps some shut household and buddies — to get your concept off the bottom.

7. Make tens of millions — hopefully

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Ah, time to benefit from the fruits of your labor. Promote that grand concept to an current enterprise for tens of millions, or reside the great life utilizing the proceeds from the quadrillion gross sales you make within the first yr.

In actuality, the percentages of anybody changing into wealthy from an concept are small. Nonetheless, some individuals make it huge, so why not you?

Do you have got expertise attempting to get a giant concept off the bottom? Share with us in feedback beneath or on our Fb web page.

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