I HAVE A GREAT IDEA! WHAT SHOULD I DO?
PROTECT YOUR IDEA:
Don't start spending a fortune on patents just yet. Send the item and /or its description, instructions, rules etc to yourself in the registered post and don’t open it. This establishes when you had the idea.
Google NDA (non disclosure agreement) and find a simple one pager to try and use when showing people your potential act of genius. Don’t be surprised if they want to use their own however, as it saves them involving their lawyers.
Get a little feedback under NDA before you think about spending significant money trying to patent your idea.
DON'T PUT TOO MUCH OF YOUR OWN MONEY IN YOUR IDEA
It may be the next Hoola Hoop, but if it is you should be able to interest a professional company or an agent. If you can’t you are investing in a low odds bet.
Of course history is full of a handful of low odds bets that paid off…but they really are the minority.
So spring a little seed money, but don't go betting the farm. Don’t be afraid to split equity to take ideas forward.
100% of nothing is nothing. Fifty percent of a lot of money is still a lot of money…
MAKE A SIZZLE FOR YOUR IDEA
Make it easy for the person you are selling, to then sell your idea on internally and explain it easily.
A 1-3 minute sizzle should do the trick.
In it answer who is it for, how is it different, what is special about it and why you think people would want to buy it versus whatever else is out there.
Don’t try and be too clever on camera. Show what it does. Edit the footage and do a voice over.
Make sure you show it to someone else before you show it to customers and take their advice. It’s easy to get to close to a project, particularly if it’s your baby.
AIM TO SELL YOUR IDEA
The big players don’t actually buy all that many products. If they don’t bite fast then think of your idea as a “time investment” and find it a home somewhere else.
Success only comes from actually getting product on the market
Think about smaller companies and think beyond the USA. The rest of the world is as big or bigger than the US market. There are significant Toy companies in every country that license, tool and develop products all the time.
You don’t have to vastly increase your overheads to try and sell abroad, hiring experts based abroad can mean no additional overhead and only splitting a percentage of your royalties when and if there is an actual sale.
Quite often the product ends up back in the USA and (I’ve done it a few times) even with one of the same companies who turned it down in the first place.
Danny Kishon is Managing Director of All in 1 Products Ltd. The company manufactures Games and Puzzles and some Toys and sells or licences them to Distributors around the world. Danny also acts as an international sales consultant for other Toy Companies (including Wonderforge and Fantasma Magic from the USA) and very selectively represents some Inventors. He was Managing Director of Character Games part of Character Group PLC in the UK and founded Really Useful Games with Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber). He has been involved with many internationally successful Games and Toys.