Inventing a Product When on a Budget


It takes money to make money- it’s true. But what if you don’t have that money in the first place? Well, the North American dream is not completely dead- if you really want something, you can make it happen with a lot of hard work and less money than you might think. The key is to keep everything very low cost and with a DIY attitude until you have something you can show investors.

Here’s the recipe for bringing your product to life:

Imagine It

Before you can go to any designers or producers, you need to know what you are looking to make. Start with a problem and solve it through your product’s innovative design and function. What are some “must haves” and some “would be nice to haves” that you can share with your designers? Do your research to see what others have on the market and what patents already exist so that you do not infringe on any of them. See what is “patentable” in your product or imagined design.

Draw it

We are lucky to live in a day and age when 3D modelling and printing is an option. If you are a designer, you can draw out and model your design. Otherwise, contract a professional to do this part for you. They might even have some suggestions on how to improve your design or would fix issues that they know from experience would come up. This part will either be an investment of time, if you are designing, or money, if you are contracting this out. However, there’s a lot that you can do with a well-done 3D model.

Prototype it

Even if you don’t have the budget to do a full run in every variation that you would like, there’s a lot of value from having a tangible prototype. Once you have a 3D model that we mentioned in the earlier step, create a prototype with Solidworks 3D printing without much hassle. This is something that investors want to see, but most importantly, you should use and test to see where improvements can be made to subsequent iterations.

Market It

Now you can sell the idea. You have done the research, you have a design, and hopefully even a prototype. Whether you are looking to get serious investors, get a loan from the bank, or even crowdfund your idea, you are going to need to do some serious marketing. You need branding, a website, newsletter, video, imagery and more. If you can do some of this yourself because this is where your strengths lie, great. If not, you might do best outsourcing at least some of these tasks to a talented freelancer or agency.

Business runs differently now than it used to. You don’t need a family fortune or to appeal to some all-powerful magnate to get your foot in the door. What you need is a Google search bar, some contractors, and some serious elbow grease.

Now get going!

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