IgniteHQ tells you what it takes, step-by-step, to grow your invention into a full scale business.
It started with an idea. Now you’re ready to take the manifestation of your “aha” moment from the shadows into something from which the world can gain value. Beyond that, you want your invention to be accessible to the masses. You, my friend, desire to grow your invention into a full scale business. This is a logical progression for many inventors but it’s a process that’s usually unfamiliar to most.
Let’s assume that your invention is something many people want and need. Even with this in your favor, growing your
invention into a full scale business is no ordinary feat. Developing a business requires a totally different set of skills from the creative and imaginative skills you possess as an inventor. This article will get you started in the right direction for growing your invention into a thriving business.
Protect Your Property
The first step for growing your invention into a full scale business is making sure you own the intellectual property for your invention. You must follow the process for patenting your invention with strict detail. Here are the basic steps for obtaining a patent. Engage a patent attorney if this is too much for you to handle by yourself:
1. Document the idea and the timeline for its development in an inventor’s journal and have it signed by a witness. This
helps establish a timestamp for your invention.
2. Conduct an initial patent search to see if your idea/invention is already patented. Conduct market research at this
3. Make a prototype of your invention.
4. File for the patent if steps 13 go smoothly.
5. It’s time to produce. Get that baby into the market and promoted!
Bonus step: Obtain trademarks for your invention for future branding and marketing purposes.
License or Self Produce
The first post patent decision relates to your business/production model. Producing your product yourself will likely require significant capital and possibly your own facilities. Licensing your patented invention takes production off your hands, which could be great for getting your production into the market expediently. Of course, licensing requires licensing agreements that outline exclusivity rights, fees, and more.
Write a Business Plan
We know you want to get your invention mass produced and onto retail shelves as soon as possible, but you can’t skip this step. We put the licensing versus self-production step before this one because it’s easier to develop a focused plan and go-to-market strategy if you have your desired business model in mind. Include your market research in your business plan and include a 135year growth projection in your business plan. Trying to foresee any further than five years involves too much guesswork around uncertain future conditions. Remember, a business plan is a living document that you will reference and update periodically even after you enter the market.
Execute on Team, Funds, and Production
Every great product has a great team behind it. A talented team with a protected and vetted product prototype creates a
perfect storm for funding. Be sure to have quality people in positions related to finances, products, operations, sales, and marketing/communications especially after funding is secured.
Establish your mission, vision, values and brand standards with your core team and make sure everyone is on the same
page before you go into production. A hip product without a consensus on standards is just something cool that can blow
away with the wind. Growing your invention into a full scale business requires a product and brand that can withstand bumps in the road.
Lastly, for this section, market your product. A great product won’t sell unless you let the world know about it through
marketing that connects intellectually and emotionally with your target customer. Influencer marketing campaigns are great for giving new ideas some momentum when entering the market because of the heavy focus on establishing social proof.
Establish a Collective Growth Mindset
A business not concerned with growth (whether fast or slow-and-steady) is a business that’s destined to fail. It’s important to establish a collective growth mindset that doesn’t exist only in departmental silos. You must ensure that everyone in your core group, which contains leadership from each department, is bought in.
That’s it! Now go get it. The hard (fun) work begins after you enter the market.
Do you think you’ll benefit from being a member of a community of fellow inventors? Discussing ideas and business
experiences with other inventors and seasoned mentors is a great way to help you grow your invention into a full scale
business. We provide such a community. IgniteHQ, in partnership with Kennesaw State University and supported by Cobb County, is North Georgia’s entrepreneurial headquarters dedicated to helping inventors and problem solvers ignite transformative solutions on a global scale. Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of becoming a member of