There are two ways to bring your product to the marketplace: licensing and manufacturing. I focus a lot of my blogs on licensing, but some inventors choose to bring their inventions to fruition themselves. I created my own company, HotPicks, to sell my guitar picks. Manufacturing your own invention is demanding, and if you choose to do, I want you to have the best information possible beforehand. That’s why I chose to interview product coach Matt Yubas, who specializes in launching inventions.
Yubas began his career in a familiar state – as a disgruntled inventor. He was the product manager for numerous companies before starting his own. Yubas learned about the process the very best way: through trial and error of his own.
The most important thing Yubas stressed was creating a product launch plan. You wouldn’t begin pouring concrete for a house you intended to build without creating blueprints first, right?
“You need to imagine what you want to build. The day your product is completed and ready for customer purchase is your launch day. What are all of the tasks that must be completed beforehand? For example, you’ve got to create a finished product, packaging, brochure, documentation, press release, website, e-commerce, etc. After you’ve identified all of these areas, break each into pieces.”
I can say from personal experience that manufacturing your own invention is a huge undertaking. I was constantly hit with things I didn’t even know to prepare for. And one of those was cost.
Manufacturing your own invention demands upfront costs. My product (guitar picks) cost several pennies, and still required nearly a quarter of a million dollars of capital. When creating your product launch plan, you must consider this financial aspect. Establish a budget. But Yubas and I both agree: without funding, manufacturing your own invention is nearly impossible. If you don’t have funding, you may need to reconsider your chosen path.
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.