Do you know how much it is going to cost to manufacture your invention? You’ll be confronted with this issue sooner rather than later. Don’t erroneously think that you’ll sell your licensee on the potential of your invention – that a company will be so excited to produce your invention, they’ll “make it work” later. The cost of manufacturing is a very real and very decisive component to your invention.
For example, the failure of one of my largest and most lucrative inventions, Spinformation, was an inability to lower manufacturing costs. If an invention is too expensive to make, it doesn’t matter how great the product is or how many people might buy it. It simply won’t be manufactured. And that’s incredibly frustrating.
You can’t resolve the cost of manufacturing your product later in the process. All the work you put in on your sales sheet, your pitch, and your company search will be for not. So figure out what it’s going to cost now! Am I asking you to discover the exact price it will be to manufacture your invention? No. But the closer the ballpark figure you know, the better.
There are two paths I recommend. You’ll need drawings of your invention for your sales sheet. If you can create an inexpensive prototype and photograph it, great. If you can draw a professional detailed looking sketch yourself, that’s great too. But if need be, hire a local college art student to do so. Use these drawings to submit to a contract manufacturer (who produces products similar to yours). Ask to speak to someone in sales and explain that you’re starting a new business, or working a specific client. Can they quote the price to manufacture the product? You may have found a potential licensee.
Of course, if you take this step, it is necessary to have filed a provisional patent application for protection. This is applications costs only $110 and can be done yourself.
I also recommend checking out the website “MFG.com”. The site connects buyers and suppliers of all types of manufacturing, including machining, fabrication, molding, casting, extrusions, forging, and contract manufacturing. Buyers benefit by receiving the parts they need more efficiently and suppliers benefit from gaining new clients. It’s definitely worth investigating, and might work for you.
Stephen Key is a successful award-winning inventor who has licensed
over 20 products in the past 25 years. Along with business partner
Andrew Krauss, Stephen runs inventRight, a company dedicated to educating inventors about selling their ideas and the skills needed to succeed. You can ask questions and get advice on the inventRight forum, check out the resource center, and listen to the weekly radio show on inventing.