The life of an entrepreneur can be very difficult. You can work day and night on a great startup idea, only to have it fail by the next year. In fact, according to research, 90% of start up business ideas fail in the first year of creation.
This reality can be very frustrating, especially when you have a lot of passion behind your startup idea. Unfortunately, startups will only be successful if there is a market need that comes to life. It does not have anything to do with the level of passion behind the invention.
So, the problem is, if you have some creative start up ideas, how do you make them come to life, and how do you do increase your chances of turning them into a successful business?
Thankfully, we did that research for you, keep on reading to learn how to turn your startup dream into your reality!
1. Do Your Market Research
It is one thing if your spouse supports your business ideas, but it is another thing if the market you are pitching to will actually want to buy it.
Before you get all gung-ho about your business plan, do some adequate market research to see if there is an actual need for it.
Discover Your Market
You probably already have a good idea of who your customers will be for your product. For example, if you are selling a dog leash, your customers obviously need to be dog owners.
However, your market research needs to be more defined than just dog owners. Perhaps your dog leash helps people who have back issues walk their dog easier, or maybe the leash is specialized to be easier on the actual dog’s back.
Your target market must be as dialed in as possible in order to not be drowning in the sea of competition.
Discover Your Competition
There are very few ideas in the world today that are the only item in their niche. Chances are that if you have an incredible idea, there are already similar items on the market or one that is soon to come.
Just because someone already has a similar product, does not mean that yours cannot be better! Do some thorough research on your competition and see where their product is lacking, where the complaints are on their reviews, and learn from their mistakes!
Discover the Demand
Now that you have discovered who will use your product and if there are already similar products out there, you need to know if people will actually use your product.
Is your competition doing well with sales? Are there people posting about troubles that relate to your product? There are many templates available online for market research surveys. This process will help you to ask the right demographic of people about your product, those who will actually use it and what they look forward to about it.
2. Discover What and Who’s Problems You are Solving
In order for there to be a need for your product, there need to be some gaps for it to fill. You may be currently very excited about the solution that your product offers. In the first stages of business development, you are required to be more focused on the problems which it solves for your customers.
All successful companies that offer products or services enhance the lives of their customers by solving their problems.
3. Create Your Prototype
A prototype is the physical representation of your creative ideas. It is one thing to have the idea in your head, but it is another to create an actual version of it. This process enables you to see where there are flaws, where there need to be alterations, and how functional it really is.
The prototype is what you will use to showcase your product to potential investors and licensees so make sure you have used your prototype and shared it with others to ensure it is up to speed.
While you may be very excited about getting your prototype patented, you need to make sure that you have made all the necessary changes first. A patent is based on the complete design of your product, so if you cannot make changes after your product is patented.
4. File the Patent
If you have corrected every possible flaw in your prototype, it is now time for the exciting part, the patent! In order to file a patent, you must speak to a legal patent professional first.
There are two main types of patents, utility patents that protect the creation and overall function of your design, and design patents that protect the unique and visual qualities of your design.
To make the meeting with your startup business attorney most efficient, you need to have a few things in place before you meet.
- Have your design journal and all the details with you.
- Have your market research and all facts that back up the need for your product.
- Have your prototype with you.
- Ensure that your advisor understands the legal aspects of your patent.
- Ask for an advisor that has experience in the exact niche of your product.
Having your “ducks in a row” will help you to ensure a future competitor does not find a loophole and use it to copy your product.
5. Market Your Product
Congratulations on making your ideas come to fruition! The only thing left is probably the most important part, marketing your product.
You need to investigate how you will produce and manufacture your product, how you will deliver your product (in a store or online), and how you will sell your product.
Most inventors freak out when they discover that they do not receive all the royalties for their product when they license it out. However, this option takes away the financial stresses of running a full business and it is something to consider at the beginning.
Learn More About Creating Your Start Up Business Ideas
Taking your start up business ideas and turning them into real, physical products is not an easy task. However, if done right, it can be a very fulfilling and lucrative business venture.
To ensure your ideas are protected consult with a startup business attorney to learn more about the legal side of creating new products and filing patents.