Inventors and first-time entrepreneurs face many challenges. Along with the excitement of discovery and creation, there are many pitfalls that can cause an idea - no matter how impressive or valuable - to fall flat on its face before it ever gets to market.
At MFG.com we see thousands of Buyers sourcing products. We see the various types of products created for every application, industry and level of complexity. And that includes inventors, entrepreneurs and even small manufacturers with their own inventions.
Here are 4 rules that can help you avoid big headaches (or even failure) in the early stages of bringing your creation to life. (Hat Tip: Bill Ryan)
- Enlist A Designer - This may increase your initial costs, but will save time and lots of money later. This step may also be covered by selecting a manufacturer that also has design capabilities. One way or another, be sure the data, prints and info around your invention is complete and accurate.
- Quality of Information - Thoroughness is key to finding the right supplier. For example, 3D drawings will get higher quality results and also truncate the production process - it will also make design changes & improvements easier.
- Think Twice About Going To A Low-Cost Country For Your First Run - No need to over-complicate an already complicated process. Language, lead-times and quality management will cost you precious time. Once you've gotten the bugs worked out in the prototype, then consider other sources of production.
- Protect Your Invention ... CORRECTLY - Demand an Non-Disclosure Agreement be signed before discussing any features or specifics of your invention. It's nearly impossible to bring a supplier along if you can't describe what it is they're supposed to do. Also, enlist help to trademark and patent your invention as soon as possible. That means RIGHT NOW.
For more research the National Innovation Marketplace.