So, you’ve had an idea, applied for your patents, and now you have a working prototype? Congratulations! It’s a big achievement. However, the real work is just getting started. It’s a difficult stage to get through, but follow these tips and you should be able to open some doors. Here’s what you need to do when you have a working prototype ready to start showing off.
Get as much feedback as possible
The first thing you should do is get feedback from everyone you know. You family, friends, work colleagues – anyone whose opinion you trust. Give them a go on your product and ask for honest reviews. It’s a great way to see if your product might have some legs, and it will also identify anything that needs a little extra work done to it.
Go into stores
Want to know who really knows what will sell? All of the store managers at your local mall. Identify those retailers who you think might sell your product, and go and see them. Ask them for their opinions, and also if they have seen anything similar before. It’s a great opportunity to find out how well your competitors are doing, and also gives you some practice in fielding some tough questions. There’ll be more on that in just a moment!
Learn to present
Now comes the tricky part. At some point, you are going to have to present to buyers from stores – some of them may well be national, or even international businesses. So, you have to get it right, the first time. Practice your lines, and come up with some great graphics to add some oomph to proceedings. We suggest using something like a Powerpoint display with beautiful graphics, but there are alternatives if you are a technophobe. You could make up some of these transparencies at Filmsourceinc.net, for example, and use an overhead projector. Yes, it’s old school. But it might well help you stand out from the crowd.
Hire some salespeople
You aren’t going to be able to do all the selling yourself, especially if you want your prototype to succeed. You need orders -and as many as possible – before you can risk going into the manufacturing process. Your best bet, then, is to get professional help. Salespeople will have some ideas about where your product could be sold, and they’ll have a contacts list longer than both your arms. Once you and they have built up your orders, it’s time to take it to the manufacturer.
Find a manufacturer
Finally, you are ready to go into production. The first thing to understand is that it is going to cost you, so it’s a good idea to have solid numbers in place before you take this enormous step. Plus, the more you make, the more likely the inconsistencies in your product will show up. With this in mind, you should be prepared to withdraw a line or two, and make more adjustments before complaints get too intense.
And there you have it – one prototype turned into thousands of sellable products. Now all you need to do is go back to the drawing board and come up with some other inspired ideas!