How an Inventor can Start a Business – On the Internet
I was downsized at age 57 after 30 + years in Corporate Management in Manufacturing, Quality Assurance, and Special Projects positions. Developing new products had always come naturally to me so I decided to start a product development business, which I did and worked on for approximately 4 years. I now have 7 patents and a total list of 25 or so various products ready to go to market. I knew it would be difficult, but thought that I could license several of these new products to companies who presently sell very similar products. So I spent about 4 years working on that and found out that it is virtually impossible for an individual to develop and license a product to a larger company. I read all the websites, went to the Patent Office shows, went to inventor’s shows, submitted new products to scores of companies, etc., for a number of years and only know of one instance of a successful licensing arrangement(more than a few dollars earned).
That is the bad news. The good news is that now you can sell anything, literally, over the internet, and no one can tell you that you can’t do it. The challenge here is that while it is possible, it is hard, much harder than you ever think it will be, and it will take a long time to do it. But it can be done, and can be very profitable. So a year ago I decided to sell something over the internet. I invent and develop all kinds of things, and so decided on a line of four unique solid hardwood cookware display racks to sell first. These racks make stunning décor additions to the kitchen when used with high quality cookware. I spent months finding suitable vendors and getting a website ready and opened my website, www.swedishdesigns.com, about 4 months ago and surprise!! nothing happened.
The only thing that saved me was that my wonderful fulfillment service, Jentre Products, up in Oil City, PA, warned me “don’t get discouraged, it’s going to take a long time.” Part of my problem is that no one has ever seen or heard of the new, unique products, so the very common Pay-Per-Click marketing does no good at all. My unique products have to be clearly presented to possible buyers. So for this most recent period I have been going to school on SEO, Blogs, Internet Articles, PR Marketing, etc., etc., and while sales are still very low, all of the contact line trends are up and there are a lot of irons in the fire.
My Internet Store consultant, 1 Choice 4 Your Store has phenomenal content; you may need to nag them on communicating. My PR person is Margie Fisher at Zable Fisher Public Relations and she is great. I am now sure that this business will succeed although it is going to take some time. I know that I will have to spend a lot of time at the computer every day doing the things I’ve learned recently, updating websites, adding content, writing articles, participating in blogs, and working with Wordtracker (best thing out there; contact John Alexander!). So while that is not my first choice of how to spend the day, I’m on my way to being successful, I can do it over and over with my other inventions, I’m working for myself on my own schedule, and I won’t be downsized again.