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Have an Invention? Here's How to Make It Into an Actual Product. (Infographic) As the creator of a new product, you need to know the costs so you can weigh the risks and the rewards.

By Laura Entis

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Pixabay

Turning an idea into a reality can require a substantial upfront investment – figuring out how to patent an invention, make a prototype and then find a manufacturer to actually bring that prototype to market typically doesn't come cheap.

That's why it's so important to have a solid grasp of the process before embarking. Start with protecting your invention by patenting it. Not only will this protect your idea when you show it to investors, but it will help you decide if the product is worth pursuing in the first place.

After patenting, comes prototyping (for which you'll likely need to hire a professional designer) followed by finding the right manufacturer, arguably the most important and stressful part of the process.

Check out the infographic below, compiled by patent marketplace Idea Buyer, for tips on finding the right manufacturer, including where to look, how to request a quote and the art of the haggle.

Click to Enlarge+
Have an Invention? Here's How to Make It Into an Actual Product. (Infographic)

Related: Maximize Profits by Using These 3 P's

Laura Entis is a reporter for Fortune.com's Venture section.

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