Every inventor dreams of hitting it big: seeing their product on store shelves, collecting royalty checks while sipping Mai Tai’s in Cancun. For many, reality is a plethora of product – in the garage – and a dearth of dollars – in the bank. How do you get your product “out there” without going broke?
In the words of MC Hammer, your goal is to become “too legit to quit.”
Take incremental risk: start with a small budget and make just enough product to do a market test. Discover what buyers like/don't like about your product. Test, refine, and test again until your product is a hit with most of your buyers. This is an excellent way to improve your product without risking too much capital.
Next, seek out platforms to further test your product. Small, independent retailers may agree to buy some product and offer it to their clients. Ask for honest feedback from them, be willing to make changes, and don’t fear criticism. Negative comments often lead to positive changes that make your product resonate with buyers. Continually look for new platforms to test your product. Huge success always originates with modest beginnings.
Sell Anywhere and Everywhere
Put your ego on a shelf, it is not about you, it is about your product. Set up booths at festivals and flea markets to sell your product. Go to inventor’s shows and forums. Talk to visitors, ask them questions, find the “phrase that pays” something that catches their attention. Ron Popeil coined the phrase “set it and forget it” for his rotisserie cooker. Viewers forgot his name but remembered that phrase and bought his product.
For years, I pitched my product to thousands of festival attendees. Later, I successfully pitched Savvy Caddy wallets to millions of viewers on QVC.
Start with a small budget, take incremental risk, sell to everyone you can. Test, refine, then test again and refine some more. You won't go broke and you might just succeed!