Are you Wired Like an Entrepreneur
You either are an entrepreneur or you’re not. Have there been times when you look at something and say to yourself, there is a better way to do this. If the answer is “yes”, and there have been times when you imagine a product bigger or better or even different you probably have that entrepreneur blood in your veins.
Five years ago I was going to a soccer tournament and I a few young boys in my car. I said to them, we are almost there, start putting on your clients. With that, the stench that took over my car was so overwhelming, my eyes starting tearing. I turned to my friend in my car who is now my business partner and said to her, “there’s got to be a way to get the stink out”.
And 5 years later our invention “Skunkies” are now being sold around the world including Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, QVC and more! So, how do you get an idea on the shelves? Today, getting traction and getting a product into production is a process, but even more important then the idea is to be able to manufacturer and distribute your invention.
I am sure there are many great inventions sitting in homes that have never made it out of the garage. If you are a true entrepreneur, its the passion in your blood that continues to push you each and every day. Its the burning desire to succeed that distinguishes the true entrepreneur.
The first thing that I recommend is to come up with resources among family, friends and colleagues that may be willing to help you before you encounter any debt. Asking for help is hard to do but usually friends and family are more then happy to give you advice for a dinner or a bottle of wine. We had an attorney friend who filed our trademark and worked for bottle of wine. Look around you before going to the bank for a massive loan, be resourceful!
Usually patent and trademarks are the first things that come to mind when you have an invention. Sometimes a patent is not necessary because the knockoffs can be a tad different, it wont really matter, and sometimes a patent only covers something that is a true invention and not a product that is made from other existing products. That was the case with Skunkies. We did trademark our slogan and name so we are protected.
After those housekeeping issues are addressed, the next important step is to build a prototype and do your market research. Sounds fancy and expensive, but its not. What that means is making your product or drawing it and presenting it to who you think would be your customers. We made our Skunkies and started giving them to friends and family and local stores. Once people starting asking for more….. we new we were on to something!
Once you feel there is an interest, its time to go full force, find someone to make and package your idea in small quantities and hit the pavement asking for orders and attacking media coverage. With Skunkies we have done all our own PR. It needs to be a daily occurrence contacting TV, Print and Websites. Its the angle of your story and product that people like to hear. When you create an invention, make sure there is a story line. Everybody likes a good story! With the media coverage, you need to use that platform to expose yourself to get to the next level. We were approached by a company to manufacture and distribute.
Today to get into big box stores there is electronic data interfacing which can be overwhelming for a new company. Its takes each day, being patient and stay focused that makes you get to the next level. Every “no”, means you are closer to the “yes”!
Someday, Skunkies, invented by 2 soccer moms will be a household name!