With the new year underway, everyone is making resolutions and trying to keep them. For inventors, resolutions often involve finally taking steps toward making their product ideas a reality, but there’s always a problem: what’s the first step? How to make a prototype? Do I need a patent? How do I connect with retailers? Is licensing a better route? Having worked with thousands of inventors, we know first-hand how these questions can bog down any entrepreneur and discourage them before they even get started. The way we help our clients overcome seemingly insurmountable tasks is by assigning homework each week which, if completed on time, acts as helpful stepping stones. Incrementally, inventors chip away at their ultimate goal of building a brand or creating a solid licensing pitch, and it’s not nearly as overwhelming as it at first seems.
Before a product can be pitched to retailers or licensees, the inventor must first make sure there is enough supporting materials (pictures, videos, and other media) to make a strong case for the product’s benefits. They must also build/polish their website and social media presence, so their brand messaging is consistent across all platforms. They might also want to reach out to bloggers for product reviews, to generate a buzz around their product and generate an audience. All of this alone is enough work, without even considering packaging mockups, logo design, social media content creation, and the myriad of other things that need to be attended to. The best way to manage the heap of responsibility is to take it week by week. Make a schedule. Assign yourself certain tasks each week, and make sure you stick to it. For example, a one month plan might look like this:
Week 1: Comb through pics/videos, with presentation in mind. See what’s missing. Fill in gaps.
Week 2: Reserve web/social handles. Curate testimonials from wherever product is selling.
Week 3: Create an online footprint, plugging pictures, videos, etc. into online platforms. Conduct market research on similar products, and focus on highlighting how yours is better.
Week 4: Reach out to bloggers for product reviews. Start researching retailers/licensees who might be a good fit.
Obviously these steps are going to be different for every inventor, depending on where you are in the process. However, this template for managing your progress can be applied at any stage. Especially as the new year begins, this could be the perfect time to start implementing strategies to make sure 2017 is the year your invention idea finally comes to fruition.