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Powerful Partners

Why do it yourself when you can have someone else market your invention?

This story appears in the April 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

When the time comes for inventors to sell new products, they frequently head down the same, predictable path: targeting small markets and getting small footholds. Eventually, expanding their sales network becomes a top priority-and that calls for selling to big retailers. Small businesses face some marked disadvantages here: they only have one product, and they aren't big enough to guarantee delivery.

How can inventors get around this problem? By private-labeling their products. In this arrangement, inventors market their products under another company's name. Inventors benefit because their products are supported by the marketing power of an established company. Private-label partners benefit because the relationship broadens their product line, which enhances their competitiveness.

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