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Doing it Yourself and Knowing When to Ask for Help

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Doing it Yourself and Knowing When to Ask for Help

Post  Roger Brown on Wed 29 Jun 2011 - 7:54

I get emails from Inventors around the world asking for help. The thing I find puzzling is the amount of money they have already spent before looking for any type of help. My question to you is why do you think they wait so long? How much money do you think is reasonable to spend on your idea before seeking help?

Here are some questions and answers that may help you stay out of trouble and save money.

Q: How do I find help?

A: A good start is where you are right now, forums directed at Inventors. Places like this give you a lot of free advice and warnings. You have a large crowd to use as a resource to get information on companies, agents, places to avoid, others to use. If you are not using the forums use the internet to find resources in the area that you are wanting to pursue. I get a lot of visitors to my website looking at the example sell sheets and other info I have available at Read articles on the companies you want to approach and see if they seem trust worthy or do they have a lot of consumer/inventor complaints. I get contacted by a large number of Inventors daily due to them finding articles I have written for Inventor’s Digest, online forums, online articles, my website, word of mouth from Inventors I have helped. It is all about networking to find the best advice and resources.

Q: Who can I safely hire?

A: This comes down again to doing your research on the company or person you plan on using. Ask for references, their successes, lawsuits. A lot of times it comes down to a gut feeling that they are not being upfront with you. If they are always avoiding answering a question it is probably a good indication you need to leave them alone. That is why I tell Inventors to ask Invention Submission Companies " How many Inventors have made more money in royalties than paid you for your services?" If they change the subject or tell you they can’t get into that until you sign a contract with them. What does that tell you about them? There is no 100% guarantee when dealing with any company, but you can minimize your problems by doing your research up front, not after you have already given them your money.

Q: What is a reasonable rate for work done?

A: That is all up to the individual and their income. Paying $8,000 for a patent may be reasonable to one person and horrible to another. You have to make your decisions based on the same rule they tell gamblers “Don’t spend it if you can’t afford to lose it.” I always look for alternatives to the normal route or is it REALLY necessary or just what everyone else is doing?
I have 7 products on the market, with two more coming out this year. I did not get a patent first on any of them. I approached the companies with a sell sheet and an NDA. Most Inventors would be frightened to do it the way I do because they are paranoid about getting the idea stolen. All they have ever heard is “Get it patented before you show it to anyone.” While they are waiting the two ro three years for the patent to be issued I am getting products licensed and on the market. I don’t pay top rate for services I can do myself or I find an alternative that works just as good. I tell Inventors to go to their local college and look for students in the graphics department to do sell sheets at a fraction of the cost a design firm would charge. Some design firms charge from $800 to $3200 for design work on a couple of sell sheets. A college student will do it for less than $100 or beer money. LOL

Q: Where do I find all this money?

A: I made it a rule a long time ago not to get others involved financially. Because you don’t want to be in debt to a family member or best friend and not have the money to pay them back because your invention did not get picked up or sell millions like you told them.
You can get investors, but that involves writing a business plan, which most people are not knowledgeable on what is required to write one. Plus, investors are now partners and will be telling you how to run your business because they want to protect their investment. Also investors expect a return on investment and own a portion of the company for their investment. You can quickly become a minority holder in your company and shoved out by the investors who now take it over since they own controlling interest in the product.
I have gotten all seven of my products licensed and on the market spending less than $100 on each. So, it can be done with little money and a lot of work on your part. It just depends on how bad you want it and think things out realistically before you do them.

Q: How do I know what to outsource and when?

A: You base everything on need and ability. If what you want is beyond your abilities you need to seek help with that portion. Do the ones you know you can and hire out the parts you can’t. The when depends on WHEN is it needed. If I am researching companies to see what my market share might be, do I NEED to spend $4,000 on a prototype at that time? NO.
What do I do if I spend the $4,000 on a prototype and find the same product or a better product than mine already on the market? I wasted that money. Inventors are quick to go in debt and slow to do the research up front to save them that money.
I get contacted by Inventors all the time saying “I have this great product that will make millions, could you look at it?” Once they send me the information on the product I do a little quick research and find the product already on the market, but the Inventor swore they searched everywhere and it does not exist. They are shocked and pissed when I send them the link to their product. They are mad at all the money they wasted and mad at me for showing them what I found.

It is really hard to find honest help. That is why it is important when you find a helpful site such as this forum to tell as many of your friends as possible. The more people that find helpful sites the less people will find the companies trying to bleed them dry.
It is a shame how many Inventors contact me through my site AFTER they are already in debt over their head to an invention submission company. They just didn’t know they could or should do a lot of the same things they were paying for themselves.
Roger Brown

Posts : 95
Join date : 2011-02-20
Location : South Carolina

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