Written By: Laura O’Donnell

New inventions are running a bit rampant these days. It can be really exhausting keeping up with all the technical changes made to our smart phones, cable services, computers, etc. The largest of the providers continue to update, complicate and otherwise inundate the market with things we don’t need – mostly without our consent or input about what we like and really need.

Honestly, we’d be happier without all the updates and new system requirements primarily used to ‘hold on’ to us or compete with other providers. That said, when a new and truly innovative big idea hits the streets, we are ecstatic – and will stand in long lines to be among the first users. There’s an obvious monumental difference between these two scenarios.

So, how can you tell if you have a zero or a hero? Have you done your due diligence to see if the product is actually marketable? Do you have what it takes to make it functional and appealing for your target customer? Outsourcing your manufacturing to an overseas company may be appealing, but without the right connections and oversight it could be a disaster-in-waiting.

An entrepreneur has the curiosity to scratch the surface and find out what makes someone or something tick. They are risk takers, and passionate believers in their own capabilities. Some are even brilliant administrators and many are great poolers of talent. When you combine these qualities with the spirit and steady hand of an inventor, it’s the best of both worlds – creatively speaking.

But there’s a lot more to the big picture.

Very few inventors go to market without working and/or capital partners in place. Handling everything from finances to human resources – on top of the creative aspects – is difficult at best. Having another person to collaborate with, to fill in the gaps in your own knowledge, and add inspiration when you’re running low, can mean the difference between success and failure in the long run.

Reaching out to strategic experts is your next smart action to take; they’ll make sure we don’t forget any steps. Here are some people you should consider bringing into your network.

The Design Engineer

Developing your vision into a functional and visually appealing product takes expertise and experience in the field. Someone who has the talent in mechanical and electrical engineering; who can incorporate the essence of your ideas, while relying on practical methods in form and function.

Once a prototype model is created, it’s time to involve the next member of this process.

The Target Market

Using a specific focus group of potential consumers can give you invaluable input. They will be able to see and hold or touch the prototype of your new product, and observe and hear your advertising and brand messaging. Watch their reactions, and listen carefully. This is where you adjust the product and services to what your customer needs and expects.

Most importantly, would these consumers buy your product if it were available?

The Regulatory Agencies

You may not welcome their attention, but in the end they do matter. From making certain nobody else steals your idea (copyrights and patents) to arming you with the necessary documents (licenses and certifications) that give you credibility and validity in the marketplace. If you partner with a company familiar with the compliance requirements of your industry, it will be just one more piece to the complex puzzle of taking your product from concept to consumers.

Next, production comes into play, and as the most expensive member in the group its importance cannot be overstated.

The Manufacturer

Deciding upon a location for the production of your items is crucial to get right. If it’s not close enough to your headquarters, it’s imperative to have someone onsite (on a consistent basis). Preserving the integrity of a product with your name on it is a huge deal, because quality control and supply chain management are two factors that can make or break you. Receiving orders you can’t fill is a supplier’s worst nightmare, so capability to handle increasing numbers is something not to be missed when spelling out your requirements.

Having to comb through dozens of professional backgrounds, recommendations and then hoping they can work in tandem is ‘no mean feat.’ So, when you find one company with the whole village under one roof (so to speak) it’s a lucky day!

About Laura:
Laura O’Donnell writes smart content on behalf of the product development gurus at Pivot International. As an avid writer and learner, she loves to use her skills for engaging others in important topics in creative and effective ways. When she is not working, she loves meeting new people, traveling, and bringing her Pinterest dreams to life. Find her on LinkedIn.

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