Do you have an invention but don’t know how to make it earn money for you? Continue reading this article to see how you can turn that invention idea into a million-dollar product even without money.
What You Should Do With an Invention Idea But No Money
“I have an invention idea but no money,” what should I do to turn it into a product and make money? Well, for starters, every big product started as an invention idea in someone’s mind.
But, the steps taken after having that idea, determine if it will turn into a successful product or not.
Just having an invention idea is not enough. Before that idea can become a product and start earning you money, there are numerous things in between that you must accomplish. The idea is just a start.
Again, it gets even worse when you even don’t have the money to turn your invention into a product. So, what should you do in this scenario?
Personal Capital is a tool I have been using to manage all my accounts and transactions. If you want to keep your finances in check and positively impact your financial future, try this free app and see a difference.
This will be certainly a necessity, especially if you make it big with your invention.
How to Make Money with Inventions
Well, before you start telling everyone about your idea, or going from office to office searching for funding, there are some crucial things you must do.
These will help ensure that you can make money from your invention.
Document Your Invention Idea
As earlier said, having an idea is not enough. First, you must be able to prove that the invention idea is yours and that you are the first person that came up with it.
This will protect you against anyone else taking up your invention and claiming it to be theirs.
For this reason, the first step will include writing down every single detail about your invention. This includes everything from how the idea came up, how it will work, and how you intend to produce and market the product.
Documentation is the initial stage in patenting your invention and protecting it against being stolen. I know you’ve most likely heard about a strategy called the “poor man’s patent,” which includes sealing the documented, dating and sealing it, and mailing it to yourself.
This might not be the best idea to prove ownership.
Instead, you should take an inventor’s journal and write down your invention, and have a witness sign it. The journal acts as your bible during the entire process of patenting.
The journal can be any notebook with consecutively numbered pages that cannot be detached or reinserted.
Research the Idea to Ensure it Will be a Success
The next step will be to research your invention idea more. This will include researching the idea both from a business and a legal point of view. You must first do thorough market research to establish whether the market will embrace your product or not.
You must be in a position to offer the market what it requires, and at the right time. If you offer the product too early or even too late, both will be detrimental.
For the purpose of patenting in particular, you must conduct these two types of research.
Initial Patent Search
One thing you should know is that your invention idea might already be in the market. For this reason, you must do thorough research to ensure that it doesn’t exist. You can undertake a basic search on www.uspto.gov to ascertain that your invention is the first of its kind.
Also, you ought to perform another non-patent search referred to as a “prior art” search. This helps to determine whether there is any design or artwork that is similar to your invention idea.
If there is any, then you cannot patent your idea, whether there was a prior filling of another patent or not.
Try to determine what people think or feel about your new invention. For you to make money with the invention, people must like and buy your product. And, research shows that almost 95% of all patented ideas fail to generate income for the inventor.
Preliminary research of the market response in relation to your product is a vital step that you shouldn’t skip. You must know how well or poorly the market will receive your product. This way, you avoid wasting your time and money on something that is doomed to fail.
After you are sure that a market exists, ensure that it’s possible to manufacture the product at a cost that won’t necessitate a high retail price.
Creating a Prototype
After you are through with the first two steps, it is now time to create a prototype. This is the process of bringing to life everything you documented about the invention. A prototype is like an exact example of how your final product will be like.
The prototype is meant to give people a touch of what the final product is all about. It helps people understand your vision more and see if the product will work in the market. For the inventors, a prototype also helps them to identify any changes they would want to make in the design or features of the final product.
Without the prototype, this would be difficult, and you will not be able to include the changes after you patent the idea. In case you fail to make those adjustments, there is a possibility of someone doing so and patenting the new product.
If you don’t know how to go about creating a prototype, you can read various books about the same available, even online.
Filing for a Patent
Once you have a functioning prototype, and you are sure that you’ve made all necessary adjustments, you can now file to patent your invention idea. For the patents, there are two types, namely:
- A utility patent, and
- Design patent
A utility patent is designed to cater to “new processes and machines,” while a design patent caters to “manufacturing new, non-obvious designs.”
One thing to note is that, although you might personally complete the paperwork, it’s highly advisable to seek the services of a qualified patent professional to have a look at it first.
This will help ensure that everything is okay and prevent any loophole for competitors to take advantage.
The following steps will help you in identifying the best, qualified patent expert.
- Have everything in order. Ensure that you have the inventor’s journal, notes, and the prototype.
- Confirm that the experts are duly listed with the “U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.”
- Enquire about their technical background. For example, if you have an electronic invention idea, seek an expert who has a background in electrical engineering.
- Make sure to discuss their charges before starting the process. Discussing with smaller firms are better if you don’t have money as they are a bit cheaper.
All these will help ensure that you get a qualified professional and at an affordable fee. You can make money through your invention in various ways, such as:
- Sell your idea to companies that buy ideas
- Sell your patented idea to companies that buy patents
- Make the idea into a product and do all that is necessary to market your brand
See Related: How to Make Money Writing Slogans
Marketing the Invention
Since now you are sure the invention is yours and have the rights, you can then start the marketing process. This stage is where now money starts being quite necessary. And, since you don’t have the required money, sometimes this spells out a dead end for some inventors.
But, this shouldn’t be the case as there is still some hope.
First, create a proper business plan which lays out your detailed marketing plan. Then, it’s now time to look for finances. Don’t let your empty wallet derail your vision.
Finding the Money
What choices do you have? Should you consider invention investors? Or what are the other available options?
Well, here are some incredible options that you might pursue:
Finding an Investor
Since you have the patented invention idea, but lack the money to market and produce it, an invention investor can come in handy. However, you should know that this won’t be an easy task. You will need to prepare well for pitching, as well as presenting your product.
Also, with these investors, you will have to part with a piece of your invention or company for you to get the financing you need. This means if an invention investor finances your invention, they will own part of your company and share your profits.
Apart from seeking help form invention investors, you can also try inventor financing. This option will, however, depend on various factors, including your credit score. If all the factors favor you, you can easily get funding and start your marketing and production.
If you decide to go with this option, ensure that you check out government programs that might offer cheaper rates and favorable terms. An example of a government program is the small business loans.
Some inventions will also do well without requiring financial backing. For these ones, the inventors use the profits they get from the first production, to increase consequent productions. They inject back the profits into the business to ensure more growth.
See Related: What is Pay Per Minute Chat Software?
Loans from Friends and Family
If you don’t want to seek financing using the first two options, you can still approach family members and friends for the same. Family members or friends who would wish to invest in your company can do so, or simply loan you the money to repay later.
Seeking help from close friends and family members can be a good way to start manufacturing your product. All you need is to be sure that your product will be a hit and convince them they will make some money out of it. Also, you can pool funds from friends and promise them some share of your company’s profits.
See Related: How to Invest in a Company
Another viable option for you would be to look for an angel investor. This is a person either among your family members or friends who can back up your invention. An angel investor can either offer one-time seed capital to kick-start your company or give ongoing financial support during the early stages of the business until it picks.
Nonetheless, if you were stuck on how to get an invention idea off the ground, an angel investor can help give you a boost. What you should know is that the angel investor will require a share of ownership in your company for the investment capital he provides.
Search for Grants
Yet another option for a person with an invention but lacks money is looking for grants. Various private and governmental organizations offer grants to new inventors.
If you don’t know what to do with an invention idea because of lack of finances, the federal government can be of great help.
They are most likely the best source of financial grants to help kick-start your business. As for the private entities, they tend to have an interest in the invention, only if it’s beneficial to society.
So, before you give up or sell your invention at the least price, first make sure you have checked with both private and public funders.
See Related: Alternative Investments 101
Almost everyone has an invention in mind. The only difference in those who make it big with their inventions and those who don’t are in what they do with their invention idea.
Lack of money should not be a hindrance to your product, making it big in the market. If you can do all the steps mentioned above, you can easily turn your idea into a million-dollar product.
- Pocketsmith Review: An App to Save Money Efficiently
- 5 Mobile Home Equity Loan Options
- How to Make Money: Achieve Financial Freedom With Side Hustles