It’s often said that necessity is the mother of all inventions. This holds especially true when you’re inventing a product that can help women, as only 16% of patents filed include women in their inventor teams. However, regardless of which gender presentation your invention might help, the process of turning your brilliant idea into a usable product can prove daunting.
If you’re wondering how to turn an idea into a product, our basic guide will take you through every step of the process.
First, Have a Product Idea
This might seem like a silly and obvious first step, but before you start bringing an idea to market, you need to have a proper idea. This is the easiest step to psych yourself out of, as most of us think that all the good ideas in the world are already taken.
That thought haunts creatives and inventors alike. However, please remember that even if an idea has already seen some success, you may yet be able to bring some further nuance to it. There are many patented, copyrighted recipes for fried chicken used in restaurants across the country, all of which taste delicious to different audiences.
Second, Consider the Viability of the Idea
However, while it’s important to have an innovative product idea and the courage to act upon it, you should take some time to consider its viability. If the product idea you have is too complicated or cost-inefficient for mass production, that can hamper your ability to get investors on board. This also applies if your product ideas appeal to an audience that’s too niche.
Third, Research and Refine
Once you have your idea in mind, and you’re certain that it’s viable for a wider market, it’s time to research and refine. This includes figuring out the target audience for your product and seeing if your idea resonates with them. You need to know the age, gender, and income level of those you wish to reach.
You should also know how to reach them, be it through email, text marketing, mail marketing, or commercials. Not all marketing methods will resonate with all possible consumers. You also need to know when they usually purchase their goods, be it seasonally or annually.
Once you’ve conducted your market research, it’s time to refine your concept. In refinement, you can better assure that your product ideas will reach your target market, which will make it easier to get headway from investors. Certain companies like Sundberg-Ferar can help you plan, research, and prototype your product idea.
These refinements can include adjustments to the product concept itself, the product’s packaging, its name, and how you intend to distribute it. Make sure that you make all the refinements you can before you move into the next step.
Fourth, Start Prototyping
Once you’ve refined your product idea to an absolute science, it’s time to start prototyping it. Prototyping is by far the most satisfying part of the entire venture, as this is where you can start putting your idea to paper and building models.
Once you have the prototype in hand, you can start presenting it to potential teams of investors. The prototype does not necessarily have to use the same materials, especially if those materials are hard to find. Nor does it need to resemble the final, completed product. The only thing the prototype needs is to approximate its appearance and show what you have in mind.
When the prototyping phase is complete, it’s time to get your patent secured.
Fifth, Secure Your Patent
Your patent is, in essence, proof that you came up with the concept. When you ask how to turn an idea into a product, this is the piece of the puzzle most people struggle with the most.
Many inventors rush into the process, and their creative zeal comes back to haunt them in the end. That haunting can come in the form of high fees, long wait times, and a host of other setbacks that could have been avoided with the right approach.
Hasty inventors rush to file a non-provisional patent or the “real patent” before they have the sketches, fees, and tools ready for it. If you manage to get your application approved, then you’ll receive an official patent.
There is, however, a safer and less expensive way to handle the patenting process. You can pay $100 and file for a provisional patent, which doesn’t have the same stringent requirements. This lets you put “patent pending” on your packaging and locks in a date for your patent application.
If you manage your time well, you’ll know whether it’s worth pursuing a full patent before your year-long waiting period comes to an end.
Sixth, Choose Your Product Development Track
Once you have a provisional or non-provisional patent, it’s time to start taking your product to market. There are several potential tracks or paths you can take.
One track keeps you at the center of product development and research. You then outsource manufacturing and marketing efforts to those with the money and experience to handle them. They will receive a greater share of the profits, but you can still leave with cash in your pocket.
The second track involves selling your patent or licensing it to other businesses. This is the most hands-off approach but has the most limited earning potential.
The third, and most risky of the tracks involves starting a business of your own. This grants you the highest earning potential and the greatest creative control. However, it requires the most money up-front. It also requires hiring the right staff.
Let’s Review How to Turn an Idea Into a Product, Step by Step
Wondering how to turn an idea into a product? First, you need to have a viable product idea that you can research and refine. Then, you need to prototype your product and secure your patent. Once that’s done, you can decide the track you want to take to release your product to market.
Are you looking for more insight that you can use to turn ideas into products? Check out our blog for more helpful and informative articles like this one.