Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5

Priced To Sell

Great idea, but can you profit from it? Here's how to find out.

This story appears in the June 1998 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

There are three key components to making a lot of money with your invention. One is a great idea people love; the second is a product that can be made at a low cost; and the third is a strong marketing plan. I've found the first and third goals much easier to attain than the second. Even if they build a working model that does the job, many inventors find out too late that the product costs so much to make, it can't be sold for a profit.

Herb Hoeptner is a professional inventor in Gilroy, California. About 30 products that he invented--or that include his designs--have made it to the market. Hoeptner's latest products include a Frost Proof Yard Hydrant, a water faucet that can be used in open areas and won't freeze; an Anti-Siphon Frost Proof Faucet, which prevents contaminated water from backing up through a hose; and a Backflow Preventer, which prevents water lines from freezing and keeps contamination from entering the water supply. The three products earn more than $1.5 million in total retail sales per year.

Continue reading this article - and everything on Entrepreneur!

Become a member to get unlimited access and support the voices you want to hear more from. Get full access to Entrepreneur for just $5.

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks