Most everyone has heard or said "you could make a million bucks with that idea." Or "Yeah that and fifty cents will get you a cup of coffee." Actually the coffee would be somewhere between one and four dollars and the million bucks could actually cost you ten, twenty, thirty even fifty thousand dollars. Don’t take this the wrong way. It’s good to dream, just not with your eyes open. With you eyes open you can see the reality of the market. Selling price minus cost equals profit.
While working in the plastic manufacturing business for the past 30 years, I have seen several potential inventors/marketers waste time and money only to find out they could not achieve their sales goals. Time to market, cost analysis, design, product testing….the list is long. The question is, can you sell your idea or the product that is the fulfillment of that idea?
Sales projections are the most important information in any new product development. This information drives the production cost as well as start up and tooling cost that must be rolled into the retail price which will ultimately determine if you can sell it. Complete market analysis is critically important. I would rather see someone spend their initial dollars on a basic provisional patent, prototypes and test marketing than tooling up for something they think they can sell for a certain price. Remember the market will always determine the price, and test marketing is the only way to find that price.
So enough preaching, you’ve got an idea and you want to make some money. Well here’s some tools that are useful, inexpensive and just might keep you awake while you’re dreaming.
Google Sketchup will help you model or design you product.
IDES – The Plastics Web®
IDES provides a free search engine for plastic material datasheets called Prospector.
Free online dictionary.
Joe Crisp, President and CEO