One of the biggest obstacles for aspiring inventors is, surprisingly, not ineffective money management, but ineffective time management.
Often, crucial amounts of time are spent on pursuits that are premature, or wasted on procrastination. When building the foundation of a product’s brand, or even just preparing it for a licensing pitch, it’s important to make a list of priorities and set weekly goals.
Understanding the needs of your product—its flaws, and where the brand needs strengthening—is as important as a solid sales rollout. Without a full comprehension of your weaknesses, it’s impossible to devote the necessary time/resources to the appropriate areas to strengthen your product. There are a few key points-of-focus we always stress for inventors.
First, significant time needs to be spent ensuring that the product design is functional and marketable, and that the name is appropriate. Redesigns after the product is already launched can cause massive delays in progress, and changing a product name too late poses issues with reserving website domain names, as well as Facebook handles. It’s important to have these things squared away before moving forward. Another goal worth setting concerns the build-out of media, including pictures, videos, etc. Retailers and especially licensees don’t just want to see an idea; they want to envision how the brand will look once it comes to fruition. The more you can do to paint that picture for them, the more likely they will be to take a risk on your idea. That includes taking multiple pictures of the product’s unique benefits, as well as videos demonstrating the product in use. To pitch the idea prior to building out a solid foundation of educational media is a waste of your time and the retailer/licensee’s time, and it’s a mistake we see all too often.
However good your product might be, if a consumer or interested company can’t clearly and quickly figure out what it does, why it’s unique, and what problem it solves, you’ve just wasted a contact. In the same vein, ensuring aesthetic congruency across your media platforms is essential before taking your product public. If consumers who find your Facebook page can’t easily learn about the product, and figure out where to buy it, you’ve lost those consumers. If your Facebook, website, YouTube, blog, and packaging don’t all have the same aesthetic feel, prospective consumers and retailers will be confused and turned off. You wouldn’t run a marathon before training months in advance, and you shouldn’t launch a product without spending the time to build a strong foundation.
It may seem daunting, but setting weekly goals for yourself can go a long way. Taking the process step by step, and reminding yourself that these steps will ultimately pay off, can really keep your enthusiasm high. And remember—inventing is supposed to be fun! So get creative, get motivated, and get to work!