At 4D products, we are often contacted by private inventors who have a bright idea for an awesome new product. We love working with these innovative and creative individuals, and helping inventors bring their ideas to life. One of the most challenging parts of being an inventor is not coming up with these clever ideas, but coming up with ideas which are realistic, cost-effective, and achievable. This is why we have created our inventor’s checklist, to help you determine if your latest concept can make it all the way.
Idea / Concept
The first stage of any invention is the initial suggestion. Maybe it came to you in the shower one morning, or perhaps you’ve come up with a concept which will solve a problem you face on a regular basis. Whatever it might be, you can’t get anywhere without a brilliant idea for a new product.
Once you have your idea for an invention, you need to spend some time doing a bit of research. This is one of the most important parts of the process, as it can help you determine if your new product is going to be feasible or not. Begin by researching if this idea already exists somewhere in the world, or if pursuing this invention is going to infringe someone else’s intellectual property.
If you are confident that your concept is unique, you should find out if anyone else thinks it is a great idea too. Ask friends, family, colleagues, even strangers, what they think of your new product. If no one seems keen on it, then is it really worth inventing? During the research stage you should also ask yourself who your target market is going to be? How many of these products are you likely to sell? And who is going to sell it? How sustainable can it be made?
Protecting your new invention is crucial. It can prevent other people from closely copying your ideas and can also add value to your product. There are a lot of different options available when it comes to protecting ideas and new products, so make sure you choose the right one for you. Consider patents, copyright, registered designs, design rights and registered trademarks. Take a thorough read through the IPO website in order to get a solid understanding of your protection options.
It is likely that you will enlist the help of a third party provider during the production of your new invention, like 4D Products. It is always recommended to get a confidentiality agreement put in place before sharing your idea with anyone else. This will prevent them from taking your idea or sharing it with others.
Developing a new product is not cheap and requires significant investment in order to get right. As long as your concept is unique and has some commercial potential, you are likely to make this money back when you go to market. It is important to consider how much it will cost to make your product and if you have the funds available. If you are struggling with the money to get your idea off the ground, you might be able to get funding elsewhere. At this stage, you should also calculate how much you can sell your product for and how much you could potentially make back.
Product design is no easy task, and it often requires a professional designer to get it right. While you could attempt to design your new product yourself, if you don’t have experience in this area, you could make some serious mistakes or fail to realise some potential opportunities. A professional designer, like our team at 4D Products, can save you a huge amount of trouble during the development process. We can ensure that your finished product is commercially focused and made with all design considerations in mind. Our experts are able to recommend materials, processes and options that you might never have considered.
Many inventors fail to think about how they want the process to end, and it is vital that you have a well thought out exit strategy before you begin. Do you want to license your idea to an existing brand or manufacturer? Or would you prefer to create your brand and business? Think carefully about how you plan on profiting from your idea and hard work. Failing to have a proper exit strategy in place can leave you struggling to make these decisions down the line.
For more information on getting started as a private inventor, or to discuss your idea with our team, get in touch today.