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Just as Archimedes had his “Eureka!” moment in his bathtub, you too could have your epiphany either in the shower or on your way to work. Your million-dollar idea to change the world! But then it hits you – “I have an invention idea but no money!”
Imagine if Thomas Eddison had given up on his idea because he lacked sufficient funding! Everyone has an idea but not everyone follows through with it, and most times the lack of funds is responsible for this neglect of brilliant ideas.
You know how much it hurts when an idea you conceived but did nothing about (because of the lack of funds) is released into the market and starts doing very well? You get different shades of the that-could-have-been-me syndrome.
This doesn’t have to be the case anymore, as I have given the ways to make money with your inventions even though you may not have the money.
For the most part, coming up with an invention idea is the fundamental part of the journey. However, that is not the end as there are other steps you would have to take.
The first step is coming up with the idea. Then, you need to check that the idea does not already exist as this could entirely discredit your idea. The internet is a good place to begin the search.
However, you should not stop there. Go to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s website and search for existing patents.
Once you are certain that your idea is the first of its kind, you must document every aspect of that idea. From the “Eureka!” moment, to how the product should work, and how it can be developed and marketed.
This is to protect yourself, and your idea against being stolen. The whole journey can be documented in an inventor’s journal – a notebook that’s serially numbered and cannot be detached or reinserted; and signed by a witness.
This investors journal would serve as your ‘holy book’ throughout the whole process of patenting.
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Finding someone ready to invest in a business idea with no market would be impossible. You have to be sure there is a demand for your products or services.
Also, it gives you even more practical knowledge of your invention idea. It provides confidence and proof to convince someone that your invention will be a success.
After confirming your idea doesn’t already exist, from the internet and the US Patent Office, discuss with trusted experts. Suppliers and retailers of the products or the materials for your idea will be in a good position to tell you if your idea has been done by someone else.
This is the process of bringing your idea to life. Although you have an invention idea with no money, you should try to make a prototype.
Having a physical model of your idea will give the manufacturers and distributors a clearer knowledge of your vision and give you suggestions on how you can develop it.
Also, it can help the inventor make some modifications to his invention idea. When it ceases to be just an idea in your head, you would probably notice some areas where you can make some tweaks to the idea.
Besides, if you don’t make these modifications before you patent the idea, you may not be able to alter it afterward. And, someone else can make those adjustments and patent the modified idea.
To manufacture an invention, it’s advisable to use cost-effective materials like this moldable (and meltable) plastic. Though the material may not be entirely made of plastic, it can give a realistic idea of how it should turn out.
Generally, it is advisable to figure out how to make a model of your invention idea even if you don’t have the money. It would go a long way to encouraging the realization of that idea.
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After getting a working model of your invention idea, it would be prudent to be protected legally so that your idea won’t be stolen.
There are four types of patents, briefly discussed as follows:
The utility patent is the most popular of them. It’s a long, technical document that instructs people on using a new machine, process, or system.
The US law allows inventors to file a less formal document proving that they own their invention and understand how it works. The invention is patent pending once that is on file.
However, if the inventor fails to file a formal utility patent within a year of filing the provisional, he/she will lose this filing date.
The design patent offers protection for the design of a product. For example, a design patent can protect the shape of a bottle or the shoe’s design.
The document itself is almost completely made of pictures or drawings of the design of the product.
A plant patent protects new kinds of plants produced by cuttings or other nonsexual means. Plant patents mostly do not cover genetically modified organisms and place emphasis more on orthodox horticulture.
Patent law can get intricate, so it’s worth doing your research.
The fact that many people file for both a utility and provisional patent shows that you can file for two patents. This is a strategy to be extra certain that your idea is protected.
A marketing plan will guide you on how to introduce your product to the public – and, ideally, make good sales.
However, this is the stage where financial buoyancy is required. And, since most inventors don’t have the required money, this is usually the end of their road.
There are a couple of ways to combat this challenge.
Firstly, generate a proper business plan which gives you a detailed marketing plan. Then, you should start sourcing for finances. Don’t cut the invention idea you have because you have no money.
At this stage of the process, you’ll have to source funds for your invention idea if you have no money.
Well, here are some incredible options that you might consider:
Although the patented invention idea is yours, since you don’t have the money to market and produce it, you’ll need the aid of an investor. This will, however, not be an easy pill to swallow.
You’ll have to be very prepared to pitch your invention ideas and showcase your product.
Remember you’re trying to convince a bunch of strangers to listen to you, and believe you well enough to invest in you, and your ideas. The key here is confidence and absolute knowledge.
With these companies, you’ll have to part with a portion of your company or your invention. They would own a share of your company and profits.
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Other than invention investors, inventor financing is also a means of sourcing for money if you have an invention idea.
However, your eligibility depends on several factors including your credit score. If you tick all the factor boxes, you can get the funding and begin marketing and production.
You should look for government programs offering more favorable terms at cheaper rates. For example, small business loans.
If your invention does not require financial backing, you can use the profit from the first production for subsequent productions. Then, inject the profits back into the business for continuous growth.
Friends and family are a good option if you have an invention idea but have no money. You may not want to seek financial aid from any of the two options above if you have friends and family who can lend you what you need.
However, you have to convince them that your invention idea is the real deal, and they would make some money out of it. You can also promise them a share in your company’s profits if they can give you financial support.
An angel investor is a person either among the family members or friends who can financially support your invention. That is another viable option in your search for funds.
An angel investor can either give you a bulk sum to kick-start your business or periodically give financial support during the baby steps of the business till it improves.
Either way, the angel investor is a great idea if you have an invention but no money to fund it. However, the angel investor will own a part of your company for the investment capital he provides.
This is also another option for someone with an invention idea but no money. A lot of private and governmental organizations give out grants to new inventors.
The Federal Government is most definitely the most preferred source of grants. Their private counterparts, however, only have an interest in the invention if it’s beneficial to society.
Ensure to verify what the private and public funders are offering so you do not sell your invention for the least price.
Lack of money is no longer a reason to keep your brilliant invention bottled up. There are lots of ways to put your invention out there, even if you are short on cash.
Everyone has an idea, yet not everyone succeeds with theirs.
Don’t let your reason for stagnancy be insufficient funds. Follow the steps I listed above and let the world enjoy your brilliant idea while you make good money from it.