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New business idea - how do I proceed?

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biophase

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I have a new business idea that I'm starting. This is something new for me as it is a retail/wholesale product. It is a product for the home. As a retail product, it can be purchased by consumers at any retail store. As a wholesale product, it can be purchased by businesses that specialize in placing its complimentary products in homes.

I have made a few mini-proto-types at home. I need to make some full size ones now.

I really don't know the order of the steps that I need to take.

Do I make some full prototypes first?
Do I try to figure out if this product has demand by running it by these businesses?
Do I search for previous patents now? hire someone to research patents now?

I guess what I'm wondering is do I wait until I think I have a viable product to begin to figure out the complicated stuff? or do I do all that research before I even know if I have a product that works?
 

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NoMoneyDown

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I'm in the same boat. I have a clothing apparral idea, but not sure what the next step is. I've done some patent searches at uspto.gov, and haven't found any matches, but just don't know what to do next.

* Do I file a patent now to cover myself before proceeding? I have a patent thru my company, and it took 4 years to complete from submission to issuance.

* Should I make a prototype and go store-to-store to see if any would sell it for me? (Should I wait first to get my patent, tho, or will my submission cover me?)
 

yveskleinsky

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I would contact score.org and ask them. They are great!...Keep us posted.
 

Peter2

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There are several stages in the new product development process...not always followed in order:

1. Idea Screening
The object is to eliminate unsound concepts prior to devoting resources to them. You must must ask yourself at least three questions:
  • Will the customer in the target market benefit from the product?
  • Is it technically feasible to manufacture the product?
  • Will the product be profitable when manufactured and delivered to the customer at the target price?
2. Concept Development and Testing
  • Develop the marketing and engineering details. Who is the target market and who is the decision maker in the purchasing process?
    What product features must the product incorporate?
    What benefits will the product provide?
    How will consumers react to the product?
    How will the product be produced most cost effectively?
    What will it cost to produce it? Test the product by asking a sample of prospective customers what they think of the idea.
3. Business Analysis
  • Estimate likely selling price based upon competition and customer feedback.
  • Estimate sales volume based upon size of market.
  • Estimate profitability and breakeven point.
4. Beta Testing and Market Testing
  • Produce a physical prototype or mock-up.
  • Test the product (and its packaging) in typical usage situations.
  • Conduct focus group customer interviews or introduce at trade show.
  • Make adjustments where necessary.
  • Produce an initial run of the product and sell it in a test market area to determine customer acceptance.
5. Commercialization
  • Launch the product.
  • Produce and place advertisements and other promotions.
  • Fill the distribution pipeline with product.
Regarding your question on how to protect your product, it would depend on what kind of product you are planning to market.

The answers are complicated by the fact that several legal concepts may apply to any given innovation, product, process, or creative work. These include patents, trademarks, service marks, trade names, copy rights, and trade secrets. It is necessary to know which are applicable and when each is appropriate. This varies somewhat from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The advice of a lawyer that specializes in these matters and is knowledgeable with your philosophy regarding protection is essential.
Generally, copyrights are fairly easy to obtain but are applicable only in certain instances. Patents on the other hand, tend to involve complex claims and approval processes, tend to be expensive to obtain, and even more expensive to defend and preserve.

Personally, I believe that marketing the products fast to become the market leader is much more important than a patent.

This is just a basic overview for you. If you have more specific questions, I'll be happy to help you with those. :)
 

NoMoneyDown

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yveskleinsky & Peter2 -

Much appreciated! I kind of doubt for my venture a patent is necessary on the onset, but looking over some documents at the Score web site, it appears one can protect their intellectual property by submitting preliminary paperwork first before getting a full-blown patent.

-- Steve
 

nomadjanet

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Aug 28, 2007
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http://www.entrepreneur.com/magazine/entrepreneur/2005/february/75662.html

some good basic info on the process, what to do first not as detailed as some of the other things I found. I would say that if there is a professional organization for the type of product you are building, you could search out the website for that organization and probably get some industry specific help. There are usually lots of industry specific periodicals that address issues in each industry these are also good references as they are aimed at your type of product and not so general.
 

nomadjanet

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Aug 28, 2007
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Is your product the type that would be manufactured in out of metal or plastic? I have a friend that owns a machine shop,they make prototypes for inventors. He has worked with many inventors bringing new products out for marketing & prepairing prototypes for the patent process. So if you have a product that needs machining skills J&LMachine http://www.jlmt-satx.com/ does this, taking your diagrams on line and creating the prototype. Just a thought.
Janet
 

Arman

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Dec 6, 2013
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I have a new business idea that I'm starting. This is something new for me as it is a retail/wholesale product. It is a product for the home. As a retail product, it can be purchased by consumers at any retail store. As a wholesale product, it can be purchased by businesses that specialize in placing its complimentary products in homes.

I have made a few mini-proto-types at home. I need to make some full size ones now.

I really don't know the order of the steps that I need to take.

Do I make some full prototypes first?
Do I try to figure out if this product has demand by running it by these businesses?
Do I search for previous patents now? hire someone to research patents now?

I guess what I'm wondering is do I wait until I think I have a viable product to begin to figure out the complicated stuff? or do I do all that research before I even know if I have a product that works?
I was trying to studying your thread and I found this thread. It will be very nice if you can share us the process story and the learning of this things. Thanks.
 

Ivan

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Jul 22, 2011
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That's quite the thread resurrection.
 

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CPisHere

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If you have someone in retail you trust you can run the product by them, maybe even let them put it in the store for a week to see what kind of interest it gets before pursuing patents, etc.

I'd be happy to help, though I am not in the home goods business.

EDIT: Didn't realize this was a VERY old thread. Oh well, the offer is still there! :)
 

biophase

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I can't even remember what product I was talking about here. I made this post a month before I started my first ecommerce store.
 
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