How to Take Your Product From Idea to Assembly Line
Do you have a great idea for a product, but aren’t sure how to get it from the page to your neighbor’s shopping cart? Here are some tips for the experienced small business owner or the new entrepreneur who wants to get a project off the ground:
- Do your homework (and protect it from the dog). As the saying goes, ideas are worth a dime a dozen – it’s making those ideas a reality that will make you money. But to get there you need to ensure that your idea is feasible and profitable. That means doing your research. It’s also important to make sure that no one else has patented the same idea, and to register your idea with the U.S. Patent Office before somebody else does.
- Get organized. The more clearly you can articulate how your product should be built and what it’s meant to do, the more successful you will be. Compile detailed drawings or renderings and build samples – on your own or with someone you contract with – so that you have something more concrete to bring to potential investors, stakeholders and manufacturers. Know what the specific product dimensions are, the packaging you’d like, and the materials you need to source.
- Choose a manufacturer and assembly service. How are you going to produce your product? You will want to begin researching the manufacturers, assembly, and packaging services that can help you get your product produced, assembled, and shipped out to customers. While you may be tempted to choose services overseas due to costs, consider that there are many assembly and packaging services close to home – like Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries – that can assemble, pack and ship your products quickly and affordably. If possible, take a tour of their facilities to see the space and the people you’ll be working with.
After you’ve done your homework, protected your idea, gotten organized, and selected your manufacturing and fulfillment partners, you’ll be well positioned to take your idea from paper to product shelf!