Being an entrepreneur is tough. You have to be a bit crazy, used to failure, very persistent, and different than the average person. You should ask questions. This is why we did an open Q/A live with Fred Cary, CEO of IdeaPros. We answered your questions about the idea launching process. Read on to learn more!
1. How much product testing should be done with the demo before I can expect a market-ready product?
It depends on the industry. If it’s something people will use on their face – like sunscreen or lotion, some testing should be done to make sure you have safe ingredients that won’t cause reactions in most people. Testing two or three versions would be enough in this case. Then check if it provides the promised protection. This can be done in a lab first and then tested on a small focus group. Ask them about their experience and fine tune your product making it exactly what people want.
2. How good a prototype has to be before I start selling?
A prototype is not for sale. The first prototype is a rough view of your future product. It may act or look like your final product or even both, but it isn’t the final product. You are looking at functionality, appearance, and ways it can be built. Manufacturers look at your design, capabilities of their system, and make their own prototype design – something like a pre-manufactured version of it. After that, it’s time for some fine tuning and a more sophisticated version that looks more like your final product.
“When you do sell something, it will be the final manufacturable version of it.” – Fred Cary
3. What would you consider the most important aspect of any business?
It’s the foundation, ethics, and authenticity of your business. Be true to your customers, your suppliers, and an amazing employer to people you work with. Without a solid ethical foundation, you cannot be sustainable.
4. How much does a licensing deal with a manufacturer cost if I’m already making my product?
The licensing deal is not going to depend that much on manufacturers because most manufacturers don’t do licensing deals. It will mostly depend on your product and how it fits with the licensing company. Before someone wants your product there are things to be done. Be well-positioned, have a unique product, and arm yourself with data as there will be questions. Show them that there is an incredible audience with an insatiable appetite for your product and find an expert in licensing to help you.
“If your product matches the potential licensor and things are done right, there will be no cost. You may even get a check when signing a licensing deal.” – Fred Cary
5. What’s the most effective way to advertise an app with a limited budget?
It depends on the type of app and who is your potential audience. A great idea for you is to connect with a social media influencer who is deep in the space you want to be in, especially if the app is about lifestyle, health, or the beauty industry. If you can get influencers in a range from 25,000 to 100,000 followers who have interaction with the audience, you can even offer them a piece of your company and a percentage of sales generated through them. You can also consider ads on Craigslist that are free or cheap – if this is the place where your potential audience already lives. That’s a good way to penetrate the market, with a limited budget.
You can check more ways to advertise with our blog post: 101 Marketing Strategies.
6. What if I have an idea that could revolutionize a whole industry, but I need financial help?
Revolutionizing an industry is not easy. The car industry is a great example of that. Despite great ideas to have more fuel-efficient engines or electric vehicles, it was impossible to change anything. But even if there is a very viable and willing community to revolutionize, it is not going to happen just because you’ve had a great idea. You will need money and have done research, surveys, design, positioning, competitive analysis, and show potential investors how your product is going to revolutionize the market. If you believe in your idea, there are ways to find funding and you can find more info about them on our blog.
“True entrepreneurs find ways to make it happen.” – Fred Cary
7. What’s the best way to know if I have a marketable idea?
First, check on Google if your idea is authentic. Having a marketable product and having a market for your product are two different things. Demand means there is a market but demand is not enough. As your product may not solve the existing problem. Taking that product and making it marketable means that people will start buying it. Initial research is very important. Know if your market is growing or disappearing and decide how you are going to fit into it.
8. How can I ensure that my idea won’t be compromised?
The reality is that any idea can be copied and that almost every good idea WILL be copied. Somebody made the first toaster and there is not only one toaster out there today. Once you have a manufacturable product you can get patents and find some patent protection there. The best way to protect your product is by making it better, getting into the marketplace, and building a loyal audience.
“You want to build a situation where people don’t want to leave you.” – Fred Cary
IdeaPros signs a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) with all partners. This is something you should be doing with any company you partner up. Read more about confidentiality here.
The “Idea Pros” at IdeaPros have the resources, experience, and tools to help you at this step or any step in the entrepreneurial journey.
We partner with entrepreneurs at any stage and who are ready to invest their ideas. Apply for an interview and let’s explore partnering together.