An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Inventing.

Invention is about making new items, or finding new ways of making items. Innovation involves bringing this new idea to the market, that is, turning an invention into a product or services.

1. Brainstorm ideas. The first step in coming up with a truly unique and useful product or services is to brainstorm ideas. Consider your area of expertise – what are you most interested in and know the most about? In order to invent something from start to finish, you will need to stay within your realm of knowledge. Otherwise, you may have a great idea but no understanding of how to implement it.

2. Decide on an idea. Once you’ve spent some time considering all possible options, choose your best idea for an invention. Now you’ll have to spend time considering the details of the project. Draw a few sketches of what you imagine your invention will look like, and then consider some important questions, like;
• What could you add to improve this product? What about your invention is so special that people will feel compelled to bring it into their lives? Why is your invention so great?
• Think about changes that might need to be made. What parts of your invention are superfluous or unnecessary? Is there any way to make it more efficient or cheaper to produce?
• Consider all aspects of your invention including all the required parts, and important details about how it works or what it will do. Keep these answers and ideas in your journal so you can refer back to them.

3. Research your invention. When you feel confident in your invention and have made any useful alterations, research it to make sure your idea is truly unique. If another product like yours has already been patented, then you won’t be able to mass-produce your invention or receive your own patent. Search online for products that match the description of your invention. If you have a name for your product created already, search this too to make sure that it is not already being used.

4. Promoting and marketing your product. Now that you have a ready-for-sale product or services, it’s time to promote, market and distribute it. Many of the rules that apply to existing products or services also apply to promoting, marketing and distributing new products or services. However, new products or services have some additional wrinkles, for instance, your promotion will probably consist of a larger amount of customer education, since you will be offering them something they have never seen before. Your marketing may have to be broader than the initial efforts you’ve used in the past because, odds are, you’ll be a little unsure about the actual market out there. Finally, you may need to test some completely new distribution channels until you find the right place to sell your product.

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