I come across many entrepreneurs with great ideas but they are not sure how to proceed further and bring their idea into existence. Some entrepreneurs spend years working on an idea trying to make it perfect and then couple of months to patent it. After patenting, many entrepreneurs don't have a clear idea what to do next. They have a burning desire to work towards their idea but they have many hurdles in front of them, where to find the money, how to make it look and work perfectly, how to market and then be able to finally make some money.
Entrepreneurs need to understand "Speed to Market". Just as it sounds, "Speed to Market" is the ability of the product to reach the intended market in the shortest span of time as possible. In today's fast changing world there are many people who come up with ideas but just as important it is to have the right idea, it is also a requirement to understand the complete process of how a product should reach the market.
As an entrepreneur who needs to get started but has no idea how to go work towards your dreams then here are seven important and necessary steps to expedite your idea through development:
1. Before you invest huge amount of time and money, the first and the most important step in any idea development is to research about your idea and find out if there is anything existing in the market similar to your idea. What are these ideas patented for, note all the details and check if your idea is not coinciding with the existing patented idea. If not then you are good to proceed with the next step.
2. The next step is to make a good team of investors, experienced patent lawyer, design firm, manufacturer, marketing firm, and distributor. This will expedite your product to market time. If it is difficult for you to find all the resources at the same time, then you should concentrate on investors and a good design firm.
3. The investor can be your family, friends, angle investors who provides capital for your invention or you can apply for government grant. Government grand take around three to four months to start your project. During this period you can get your product designed, and later you can apply for the second grand to manufacturing your product.
4. Then find a good patent lawyer who can do patent search and file a patent pending for your idea/ invention. A Provisional Patent will immediately put the label of 'Patent Pending' on your product, therefore protecting it against competitors who may try to file for the same patent. Filing a provisional patent also gives an you time to fine-tune your product to meet the requirements of customers and the market.
5. Once you have patent pending then you should approach to an experienced design firm who can design the product based on your patented idea. It's always better to find a design firm that can provide all design services under one roof. The design firm should be capable of product design, prototype, graphic design & packaging design.
6. The next important step is how you market your product. The PR firm will be able guide you how and where you should advertise your product for the maximum consumer and company's attention.
7. The last and most important step is to find a well connected distributor who can place your products in the right place and at the right time.
These steps will guide you in the right direction and will help you get your idea in the market before your competitor / friend does.
Nisha Sawhney,the founder of SnS Design, Inc., one of New York's leading product design firms. SnS Design specializes in the development of home appliances, consumer electronics, furniture and life style products. http://www.snsdesign.com