Q: I'm a housewife who gets ideas all the time. I've never done anything with my ideas, but now I have one that everyone tells me is just great. Do I have any chance of succeeding?
A: As this month's column points out, companies and markets are open to novel ideas that clearly provide a better solution. If the idea is right for the market, it doesn't matter who the inventor is. To get started, follow these steps:
1. Draw your invention. Don't expect people to fully understand your idea from a verbal description.
2. Produce a rough ad layout. This should clearly explain why people will purchase your invention.
3. Decide who can help you sell your idea. Consider manufacturers' sales representatives, distributors or others involved in the market you want to penetrate.
4. Use your personal network. Ask everyone you know if they have any contacts in that market.
5. Once you find people, ask them to meet with you. If you want to market the idea yourself, ask if they believe your idea will sell and what steps they recommend you take next. If you want to license the product, ask the people who like the idea if they are interested in being partners with you.
If your product is as innovative as you indicate, people will go out of their way to help you. Of course, this all requires hard work on your part. But the fact is, anyone can introduce a product--as long as they keep pushing until they succeed.
Don Debelak, author of Bringing Your Product to Market (John Wiley & Sons, $19.95, 800-225-5945), is a marketing consultant specializing in bringing new products to market.
Lisle Corp., (712) 542-5101, fax: (712) 542-6591