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    5 Replies Latest reply on Apr 18, 2009 4:45 AM by phanio

    What do I do after creating a prototype for a product?

    nataliemaria Newbie
      I have an idea for a product that would probably be categorized as home decor. I've made a prototype of my idea ( to do this I needed to sew, which I've never done before until now, it turned out okay but definitely isn't in the condition I would want it to be to sell). I'm not quite sure where to go with this now. I believe my market would primarily be women. Do I learn to sew better, make more and try to sell my product to people locally? Or do I try to sell it to stores or catalogs? What is the next step I should take? Also, when is the right time in this process to get a patent? I have no business experience, I'm an artist! Any information is much appreciated.


              Thank You!


        • Re: What do I do after creating a prototype for a product?
          dhome2009 Newbie

          Try flea markets, craft fairs, art and music festivals held in parks, etc. Thats just a few ideas, if I have more I will email you or send another reply
          • Re: What do I do after creating a prototype for a product?
            puzzleman Tracker
            Hello, I started out my business like you with an idea and started vending at art and craft shows. As my business has grown considerably from those days, I still do art and craft shows. They are a great way to talk directly with people and get their feedback. Kind of like doing focus groups but you can also make money at the same time.

            My suggestion is to hire a seamstress to make the products and you spend your time on the marketing, distribution and design. I have learned that those are the three areas where I have the most impact. I have started getting away from the distribution side a little as I now devote a lot of my time to the marketing (getting the word out and selling is job #1) and designing new products and /or designs (gotta keep those ideas flowing).

            As far as someone stealing your design, I work in a business where I have competitors that do the same type of thing that I do but I differentiate myself through quality, design and service. As far as your production people, they will probably make some for their friend and family but what you have going for you that they don't is that you will know how to sell it to more than friends and family. That is the secret for me. What I do is to teach my employees how to do what I do. I give tours to the local woodworking groups and they could steal my ideas as well. But what they all cannot do is to be able to market and sell like I do. The greatest idea is not worth a thing is you cannot market and sell it. Remeber that with the right marketing and selling, you can sell a rock as a pet.

            • Re: What do I do after creating a prototype for a product?
              4Founders Newbie
              I suggest finding a partner or friend who can sew, and make a few relatively high quality units of your product as a trial run - something that you could use for market testing.

              Once you have a few made, try selling them on eBay and see what kind of interest you receive. Were there a lot of bids on your product? What price did it ultimately sell for?

              Ideally, you would run this test enough times to ensure a statistically significant sample. Also, keep track of the names of the eBay users that bid on your product - these are qualified sales lead who have indicated an interest in your product! You could easily contact them and solicit their feedback. Find out what they liked about your product, how they intended to use it, what their demographic is like, etc.

              Once you've got a firm understanding of the type of person that's interested in your product, how they'll use it and what price they're willing to pay for it, you can begin to build out the actual business. For instance, if you know that you can sell your product for $15, you'll know that you can afford to pay $10 for raw materials and manufacturing and still have $5 of profit leftover.

              Fundamentals for Founders: The Practical Guide to Kick-Starting Your Business
              • Re: What do I do after creating a prototype for a product?
                LUCKIEST Guide
                What do I do after creating a prototype for a product, Welcome

                Hi, If I created a prototype for a product and had no business experience, I would contact SCORE.

                SCORE is FREE and can help you succeed. You can visit SCORE online or in person.

                Good luck, LUCKIEST
                • Re: What do I do after creating a prototype for a product?
                  phanio Pioneer
                  Get information from Puzzleman. I say you try all the things you are thinking. Find the one that has the best results and stick too it. I would not try directly contacting national retail stores or catalogs - you can find a broker that already has relationships with these stores and use them. But, nothing is stopping you from visiting local retail stores. I also suggest you try SCORE ( or a local SBDC.

                  Business Money Today