Inspiration has hit you. A moment of genius has surprised you. You have a killer idea for an invention. So… what now?
Get it down on paper
The worst thing that could happen to you is that you forget your brilliant idea. You shouldn’t underestimate the brain’s ability to simply forget things. Even when they’re important things or amazing ideas. Start writing notes and sketching out your ideas. This isn’t just so that it can help you remember. Getting things down on paper can help you see things a lot more clearly. It can help you work on any flaws that may be inherent in the idea.
Make sure it doesn’t exist already
You’re probably not going to get very far if the invention already exists. Get it clear in your head exactly what it is your invention does. Then search online for these features. Hopefully, you’ll find that no such product exists. (Yet!)
Protect your idea
So the idea is on your brain and also on paper. But is it safe? Absolutely not! In order to protect your idea, you need to do so legally. Remember: it’s possible that anyone in the world could happen upon the same idea as you! It’s all a matter of who stakes a claim in the right to make and sell it. Patents are what cover inventions.
Make a prototype
For many inventors, this is where things get a bit tricky. After all, in your brain you can make your idea as technically complex as you like. But in the prototype stage, you actually have to, y’know, get it working! Thankfully, there are ways to start this process virtually. It doesn’t require an engineering degree or anything like that. Start on the prototype as soon as possible. And remember to get some expert help if you need it!
You need to make sure that people are actually going to buy what you’re making! That way, you can get some of that sweet (and much needed) investment cash. Look into a crowdfunding platform like Kickstarter. This allows you to gauge interest and raise funds at the same time!
Look into mass production
If you’ve got money and sufficient interest, then you should look into making as many of these as demand requires. Of course, that might not be something that you’ll find so easy to do. The resources you need to make thousands of the same item will probably outweigh what you’ve got lying around at home. This is why you need to looking into professional manufacturers. The materials that make up a large part of your invention should be taken into account at this stage. For example, if your product uses a lot of rubber, than you’ll want to look into custom rubber manufacturing.
Should you start your own company?
So, here’s a tough question. Do you sell your invention as a sole trader working with distributors? Should you partner up with a company who is interested? Or simply sell it off to them? Or should you start up your own company? The latter may help you maximize profit and parlay your invention’s success.