Single-product inventors, this post is for you

By Melinda Martin | Competitive Issues

May 06
problem facing single-product inventors

I want to scream! I talked with two, single-product inventors today on opposite ends of the U.S. One was in LA and the other in Fort Lauderdale. Unfortunately both of these incredibly talented individuals have wasted tens of thousands of dollars trying to build a company around a single product which is extremely difficult to do.

Single-product Inventors, there’s a better way.

The safest and least costly approach is to find a company that has a line of products in the related category, and license your invention to them. (Not a retailer – they don’t buy ideas.)  That way you have very little investment (often just a few thousand dollars), and you stand to collect a residual for years to come. Even if you have the funds to develop and manufacture the product yourself, be aware that big retailers usually avoid buying from single-product companies due the the inefficiencies of scale. This is especially true for start-ups and early stage companies. That said, if boot-strapping is your preferred choice, e-com can be a great option, as long as your profit margin is high enough to absorb the additional fees, which are often often significantly higher than brick & mortar retailers.

A secondary advantage of launching your product in e-com is that you can leverage your success to help get it on the shelf in brick & mortar. Having documented on-line success goes a long way to sway B&M buyers to give you shelf space.     

I have watched hundreds of inventors over the years take on challenges analogous to building their own airline when all they really needed to do was buy a ticket.

Come fly with us at AON Invent!

About the Author

Melinda is a blogger, graphic designer, and stay-at-home mom living in Palestine, Texas.