Innovation

4 Steps To Take Before You Turn Your Idea Into a Product

Have you been dreaming of becoming an entrepreneur for a while? You have numerous ideas yet you don’t quite know how to get started and turn your idea into a product?

In March 2020 there were 800 000 companies in the US that were less than 1 year old, according to Statista. So if others can do it, why can’t you? With a great idea, a can-do attitude, and commitment, you can achieve anything.

In this article, you will find information on how to take the first steps to make your dream a reality, to draft up a viable business plan, and create a sustainable product out of it.

Source:pexels

Chasing a dream

Most likely you have come up with an idea that will solve one problem or another. And this is the very core of every product and service – you are not just providing a solution, you are solving a problem.

And this is exactly how success stories begin. Let’s take AirBnB’s journey to success for an example:

  1. The problem: Not being able to pay rent in San Francisco.
  2. The opportunity: Big design conference held in the city, hotel rooms being booked out months in advance.
  3. The solution: Offering a place in their apartment for overnight stay and earning a few extra bucks.

Just like that, an idea for a multi billion company started to take shape. And the rest is history.

The road of problem solving via innovation

Once one problem is solved with a new and innovative idea, it can create a fertile ground for new ideas to grow.

E-commerce used to be expensive and inconvenient. Then Amazon came and changed our attitude towards e-commerce and today, there’s hardly anyone who hasn’t made an online purchase at least once.

When e-commerce became a new trend, it made merchants face many new problems that required solutions. In fact, as everything is becoming digitised then no matter which business you are in, the following aspects that came up with e-commerce will be relevant for your business too:

  • How to ensure people find the information they need and make a purchase? What is required for providing a great customer service online? Click here to find out about providing good customer service without ever meeting your customers.
  • How will products be delivered to customers? Should your products/services be available overseas?
  • How to stay in personal contact with customers?

As you can see, the road of innovation can be endless. Where one solution is offered, another problem or question arises. There’s always a way to streamline the process and perhaps you are the one who has got the solution for it.

But of course, an idea by itself will not be fruitful. Polishing your product or service and getting it ready to be out on the market, requires a lot of creative thinking and persistent efforts over a long period of time.

So without further ado, let’s get started and turn your idea into a product.

Source:pexels

1.   Understand the demand

Inspiration can strike because we have been faced with a problem and feel that our idea could change the world. No matter how great the idea is, conducting thorough research is necessary to understand who your competitors are and where you would fit in the market.

It’s quite likely that someone is already providing a similar solution. This, however, doesn’t eliminate you from the game.

In the world of innovation, success is defined by getting the timing right. Seeing that other people are thinking along the same lines should give you reassurance that this is the perfect time for taking your product from concept to market.

  • Who are your competitors who they are targeting?
  • Are they successful? Why or why not?
  • How does your product differ from theirs? What additional value does it bring?

However, if you cannot find anything similar to your invention, it might indicate that the market is not yet ready for it. This doesn’t mean that your product is inevitably on the road to failure, you will just have to take into account that it might take more effort to get your product out there.

  • What current demand is there for your idea?
  • If your innovation is a product, who will buy it?
  • If your innovation is a service, who will use it?

One of the simplest ways to answer all these questions and figure out what it will take to get your product out there is to perform a SWOT analysis. This way you will clearly see what are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats associated with launching your idea.

Source:pexels

2.   Research the market

So naturally, the next step is to figure out if your product has a market. Will people be willing to pay for your product or service?

Some steps you can take to understand if your idea is what people are looking for:

  • Consult your family and friends. However, keep in mind that their opinion might be biased because they want the best for you. They might not even be the right target group for your product, yet it will still be good to know what they’re thinking.
  • Have informal interviews with stores and customers. You could try conducting a survey to further understand the need for your product/service.
  • Talk to people with expertise in your product market. Find out what are the newest innovations in the area and what struggles you might face.

Even in the early steps of product invention, marketing should always be in the back of your mind. Without having a marketing plan that can be executed, the public will never be aware of your product.

Thinking of marketing along the way will help you save a lot of time and headache in the future.

Source:pexels

3.   Don’t try to go solo

You might have come up with something extraordinary and are afraid to share it with anyone. What if someone steals your idea? This you can avoid by filing a patent. But trying to achieve everything on your will be a struggle.

Even if you are a multi-tasker, having someone else on board with a different set of skills than you will give you an advantage. So find someone who is passionate about turning your idea into a product.

Benefits of having a business partner:

  • Opportunity for brainstorming. Sharing ideas and perfecting together will have more results.
  • Possibility to work on multiple things at once. Even doing market research will be more thorough with a second view on everything.
  • Motivational support. Everyone feels like giving up at some point. Having someone by your side won’t let you give in to that feeling so easily.
  • Financial support. Starting a business will have its costs and it’s always good to have a little backup.

You should also consider joining an accelerator or incubator to get your idea forward. You will get valuable information on funding, start building an entrepreneur network, have a mentor and receive many more benefits.

Source:pexels

4.   Write a business plan

Drafting up your business plan will take you through each step of starting and running a business as well as help you attract investors. You can think of a business plan as a useful way for considering all the key elements necessary for getting your business off the ground.

According to SBA.gov, a business plan should include:

  1. Executive summary. An overview of what your business is and why it will be successful.
  2. Company description. Detailed description of what you do and what problems your business solves.
  3. Market analysis. Outline what other businesses are doing and what are their strengths and weaknesses. How can you outperform them?
  4. Organization and management. Show the team behind your business and everyone’s unique experience that contributes to your venture.
  5. Service or product line. Describe in detail what service or product your company offers and how it benefits your customer.
  6. Marketing and sales. Show how you will be able to attract and retain customers and nudge them to make a purchase.
  7. Funding request. This is important when you are looking for investors and funding. Cover how much funding is needed over the next 5 years and what it will be used for.
  8. Financial projections. Convince the reader that your business is stable and sustainable. Explain your projections and make sure they align with your funding request.

Once you have completed your business plan you are a one big step closer to turning your idea into a product.

A summary: taking a product from concept to market

These 4 steps covered in this article are only the very beginning that will help your idea to take shape in the form of a real life product. Building a sustainable business is a long road with no guarantee for success.

The best you can do is to adapt your idea on the go and see what works and what doesn’t. And don’t forget to remind yourself from time to time:

  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
  • Mistakes are part of the process
  • Just dive in and keep going
  • Fail often and fail early

It’s all a learning point and with persistence you will gain invaluable experience that one day will bring your idea to life.

7 Reasons Why Long-Term Investments Are Worth it

The unpredictability of life is increasingly present. When we say unpredictability we mean specifically the unfamiliarity with what may follow tomorrow. Proof of this is the global pandemic that caught us unprepared in the comfort zone thinking that everything would be fine forever. But we learned from her that we should be ready for everything, and to be ready for everything can only be if you make investments. We should do it often for ourselves, investing in our appearance, our knowledge, and our image and appearance in front of the general public, but we should also invest in the workplace with our knowledge or in the business if we own or manage it.

Source:nerdynaut.com

To invest means to worry about the future. When investments are made in companies, especially it means that the path to success and successful operation of the company is paved. Directly it would mean better equipment, better working conditions, better standards for employee protection, better products, excellent relations with the rest of the associates, and the most important thing is to create a perfect image of the company. This is achieved only by making changes and adding innovations in the company and in no other way. That is why we need to take care of that.

We are sure you are already wondering why it is so important to invest backed up by details and concrete examples. You will no longer need dilemmas why we bring you the most important reasons why efforts should be made to improve the situation in companies by investing on long terms.

Source:stockbasket.com
  1. This is how you will build an image in front of the customers – the companies with their work do not always leave an impression on their customers. But when things would change in the market performance or if something would change in a positive way within the company and would be invested then it would certainly be noticed by customers. The positive image is built only through sound foundations, ie through investment and timely transmission of news that will result in recognition among users. To have an image means to be in the focus of the public, try to be that too.
  2. You will be an example of a successful company – when success is present in the company then it is noticed inside it, but it is also noticed by people who are neither employees nor in any cooperation. This is generally obvious because positive changes are the easiest to see, and if you want to make successful changes in the right way, visit this site and learn more about it. When someone is successful, it means that he is a great example for others, and so others will start trying to become like you, to function as you, and to have a satisfied clientele. When you are an example of someone, you are undoubtedly among the best, and perhaps the best in the category in which you serve as a company.
  3. Success in the company will be inevitable – when internal changes are made and when the focus is more on the operation of the company, success is inevitable. It is especially unavoidable when it comes to investing in the long run which is very important. It is important to have satisfied employees, to be known in society as environmentally responsible, to be an example to all, to be recognized by the successful collaborations that are shared between people, and many other things because they and only they lead to a successful performance of the company.
  4. The financial results will be good enough – when long-term investments are made, it reflects on the financial results that the company achieves. The improvement will not be seen immediately but will be visible overtime on the results themselves. Sales will grow, services will be in demand more and more, and interest in collaborating with your company will increase enormously. You will be recognizable enough, even better than the recognition that is gained through the promotional activities that are undertaken. You will be a great example for those who have problems, you will show them how to get out of problems and be successful.
  5. Your company will be the dream job for every employee – thanks to the gradual and constant investment in the company you will become the most desirable job for every employee. The reasons are many: excellent working conditions, occupational safety, new equipment, safe workplace, good salary, and many other reasons that will be found out without you making any effort. At every call for filling vacancies you will be required, ie a large number of workers will come to apply for your published job postings.
  6. Everyone will want to work with you – when you see that someone is successful, then everyone would like to work with that entity. The reasons are clear – great conditions, great results, and great recommendations coming from all sides. Any cooperation with such a partner means success for the other party and improvement of the conditions on that side as well. Therefore, expect to receive a large number of offers for collaborations that you will need to consider in detail, and some of them you should not miss because they will bring you a benefit.
  7. You will have the best working conditions – continuity in investments can bring you a job that is perfect for you – you will have the best working conditions. This is something that every company is looking for but does not know the right recipe. You will have the right recipe and with that, you will afford the good that will only bring you success. Continuity in investment is the main thing that moves things. It is the engine of the company and without them, the company can only be statically standing in one place, with the same results, people, and associates, and progress does not come that way.
Source:ied.eu

Do not be guided by intuition, be guided by plans, and where you want to see yourself in the years to come. Follow the successful ways to progress and join the best.

3 Reasons Why It Is So Hard To Invent Something Good

Why does it feel like there hasn’t been anything good invented in a really long time? Is that really the case? Are the Da Vinci’s and Tesla’s part of the past? Is everything we need already invented? To answer these questions is not easy. However, we as people tend to oversimplify the word ‘invention’.

What is an invention? Is it something ground-breaking and life-changing or is it simply something new and unknown? Whatever the case may be, it’s obvious that the new inventions are nowhere to be found – at least the good ones. But, why is that? Are we out of brilliant minds that think outside the box and are not afraid to step into the unknown and search for new things?

Well, that’s hardly the case. There will always be innovative minds. Innovation breeds inventions. However, there are some obstacles along the way. Let’s talk about them.

Source:thetimes.co.uk

1. Fear Of The Unknown

The dominant and thus the strongest fear of all is that the fear of unknown. By nature, we are programed to love certainty. We feel comfortable when we can guess the outcome. The thing is, the innovation by its nature is characterised by uncertainty. When it comes to innovation, this uncertainty is typically divided into two.

Known unknowns – something that we all know we don’t know. There are risks involved in such situations, but they’ll be calculated and managed with risk management, and that reduces the uncertainty and provides us with quite strong feeling of certainty.

The tricky ones are unknown unknowns – which are those we don’t know that we don’t know. The thing is, you cannot deal with these through risk management, they can only be managed by experimenting and learning. Preparing yourself or anyone else for the unforeseeable is difficult, some would argue even impossible. You’re asked to take a leap and try something without any clue as to what the final result or the outcome might be. You don’t know what’s waiting on the other side.

The fear of the unknown is what creates problems when you have to deal with the uncertainty. And innovating is exploring the unknown, the uncertain. Something unexpected might happen, which could mean you’re onto something new and on the verge of the invention. The thing is, without overcoming the fear of the unknown, we can never cross over and see what’s on the other side and it’s hard to innovate if you aren’t willing to look at what’s on the other side. It all comes down to this – innovating means conquering your fear of the unknown and opening yourself to something new.

Fear Of Failure

The vast majority of us are terrified of making mistakes. We’re taught from a young age that failing is shameful and painful – and that sticks with us for a long time. However, failure is an inevitable a part of invention process. However, that doesn’t mean that failing over and over again will ultimately and certainly lead to new inventions. That is by no means true. However, trying over and over again, in spite of failing, means you’re persistent and willing to learn. Learning from failure is the best way to learn. However, it’s not necessary to fail. Sometimes you can avoid mistakes and failures. Sometimes all you need to do is read more and avoid a few of them. You will find more details on Invent Help, a company that can assist you with your invention and help you overcome certain obstacles.

Source:biggerpockets.com

Fear of failure keeps us from peeking over into the unknown. And as we’ve mentioned earlier, we need to take that step in order to invent. Sometimes the fear is so strong, it paralyses us. It’s normal to experience fear of failure – it can even be helpful sometimes. Unfortunately, as we’ve said, we’re taught from young age, in school, at home – failure isn’t a positive thing.

As we were growing up, we were rewarded for good grades and good behaviour. Failing caused opposite of that. That made us believe that we always have to win, that failure isn’t an option. But, if that’s the motto all of us are living by – how can we ever expect to take a leap? You cannot invent from a comfortable space.

The good thing is – we’ve learned to fear the failure. We can just as easily forget it.

3. Fear Of Risk-Taking

Source:biggerpockets.com

Most people aren’t willing to take a risk and would much rather stick with what they know. It’s understandable to choose the option of predictable outcome, it’s natural. Why would we need something new, if the old one is good enough? We like to play it safe. It’s comforting. If nothing else, knowing the outcome makes us feel in control. If you wish to invent and innovate – you have to forget about being comfortable and predictable. You have to take a risk, be creative and prepared to fail.

Risk-taking is not for everyone. That’s why there are not a lot of inventors and life-changers between us. Not everyone can be what Elon Musk is today, or what Tesla was back in the day. Why is that? It’s probably because we’re not willing to risk it. There is absolutely no chance of creating anything new or innovative if you’re not willing to risk it.

Overcoming risks isn’t easy, but it’s possible. You just have to understand what risk means. If we think about what risk essentially means – it’s something that it’s potentially damaging. In the modern day, this could mean losing money, respect or reputation. Many aren’t willing to risk these three things, which ultimately means there aren’t any new, revolutionary things.

So, what does this all mean? Have we seen the last of inventions? Of course not. Innovation is not an easy process. Inventing is even harder. However, all it takes is someone fearless and creative to create something new. Is it going to be easy? No. It never was. We’re just looking in the past and it seems like it was easy back then because ‘nothing was invented’. That sure seems like it, from today’s perspective. But, they couldn’t have known what the future holds. Most of them also thought the same thing. But a few of brave individuals took a leap of faith and tried to create something new for a better tomorrow.

How to Patent an Idea for Invention

You’ve designed something exceptional, an idea that could change the world for the better (or at least part of it) and you’ve come to the most important part – you want to make it officially yours and patent it. You’re full of sketches and drawings. And sure that your product could be commercially exploited, you could successfully self-employ and soon develop the right production over time. However, you also don’t want it to come into someone else’s hands and for someone else to shamelessly get rich based on your anguish and hours of work.

So, whenever we have a great idea for innovation in any field, the same questions arise: How to do it? How to patent a product? How to know if it’s already registered? In this article, we will explain the basic notions you should know to protect your ideas and make that dream come true.

Source:pinterest

What should you know about this?

A patent is a title that recognizes the right to exclusively exploit an invention, preventing others from manufacturing, selling or using it without the owner’s consent. In return, what is legally protected is made available to the public for general knowledge?

In this sense, we need to understand that they’re the only valid means to prove ownership of an idea or concept of industrial application. These are property titles and as such allow the inventor to conduct negotiations based on the total or partial session of the exploitation rights of the idea. In order to achieve this, your innovation needs to meet three requirements:

  • To be totally new in the world.
  • To be inventive (not based on any obviousness).
  • Not to be abstract: to have an industrial application and be able to be carried out.

Legally protecting an idea entails undergoing a legal procedure regulated by strict and generally immovable deadlines, as they recall from the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). That’s why it’s more than advisable to hire a lawyer or an industrial property consultant with experience in these areas. From the PTO they also recommend studying the application procedure in detail and requesting it in a strategic way, at the time and for the reasons that best suit their exploitation plans.

Source:discoverbigfish.com

Decide what and how we want to protect

The first thing we have to do is define well what we want to protect, with what image and under what brand or name. Also, to make sure that there’s really nothing like that in the world.

Then, we’ll present our application at the PTO, accompanied by other documents such as the applicant’s data, a description of the idea with their respective plans, novelty claims (according to the PTO, the most important aspect) and a summary of everything.

Clarify the ownership from the beginning

It’s our responsibility or the responsibility of the team we work with (as well as the institutions involved in the development), to define this. It needs to be known who is going to be the holders since it can be registered by several people.

When the person or institutions involved in a development don’t clarify this situation from the beginning, the confusion generated might legally complicate later, and even stop the protection process. So, always think about this.

Think about documentation

The documentation needed to apply for a patent may seem simple at first glance. A descriptive memory’s simply required where it’s all explained. Claims where the desired protection is specifically established, drawings, a request with the information of the owner and the inventors… The problem is that poor writing of the report or claims strongly affects the protection granted.

An example of bad writing: one that defines the invention too concretely so that a third party with a small modification no longer infringes it. The problem’s even greater when one reads the law and discovers that the initially submitted documentation can’t be easily corrected without losing the application date. Given the difficulty of the subject and the importance of good protection for the business, there are professionals in drafting and processing. These professionals are industrial property agents or patent agents. It’s also possible to hire a company like Invent Help whose representatives will be more than happy to shape your ideas with you and help you go through the process.

Presentation and pre-examination

When all the documentation is there, a presentation date or priority date is granted to the application. After that, a form examination will be carried out to verify that the papers are okay. From there we have a whole year to submit protection applications in other countries if we see that our idea can have commercial success outside of our state. At some point in it we’ll receive a search report of possible ideas similar to ours. The PTO, after reviewing the formal requirements required, will conduct an international search. Its aim is detecting the most similar examples of ideas that may affect the novelty, inventive activity and industrial application of the thing we want to patent. Made by an experienced examiner, this report usually includes a patentability opinion that will eventually be forwarded to the patent applicant.

Grant of the patent

Source:androidauthority.com

In the end, the PTO issues an application receipt – the document that establishes the starting point of the rights. From the date of application, the invention can already be disclosed without risk to affect the process. In practice, once the patent is filed, the person or company that has developed the invention begins to present the invention to potential customers, suppliers or investors. If the examiners decide to grant it, upon payment of all fees, the decision is published in the Official Bulletin of Industrial Property, and the legal protection will be effective from the same day of the date of publication.

And about other countries…

These, like the other industrial property registers, are territorial in nature and therefore only offer protection in those countries where they’re registered. The law establishes a period of 12 months, expandable to 30 months, from the date of application of the first patent to apply for the same thing in other countries. If the applicant doesn’t take advantage of this period, he can no longer request protection for the same invention in other countries.

We hope that this guide and steps helped you become even more motivated to show your best to the world and make something that will change it. Don’t hesitate anymore – now you have all you need to do it – make it happen!