If you're wondering how to have an idea manufactured, you need to understand a little about product development. Coming up with an idea and beginning the manufacturing phase have several steps in between, including determining whether your idea is actually economically viable.

Background to Manufacturing an Idea

Almost everyone has an idea for a product, and using manufacturing is how you can turn your idea into a reality. The problem, however, is that the process of getting an idea ready for manufacturing is very complicated, and many inventors don't know how to complete this process. One of the best ways to determine how to bring your idea to the market is by studying industries similar to your own. Studying a related industry can give you some idea of how you should develop your product so that it will eventually be ready for manufacturing.

When researching related industries, you should prioritize a few important pieces of information. For instance, you need to know how common it is for companies in the industry to license inventions and to whom you would need to speak about having your invention licensed.

If you can get a large company interested in your invention, they can help you manufacture your product and bring it to the market. Before you go this route, you need to make sure that you fully understand licensing terms. If you're not careful, you may accidentally sign over the rights to your idea, meaning you would lose out on potential profits if your product is ever manufactured.

Once you actually start manufacturing your product, you should focus on making small batches until you know that you have a strong customer base and can meet customer demand. Manufacturing too much, too quickly may leave you with inventory that you can't sell.

Engineering and Design

Before you can begin manufacturing your idea, you must fully understand the product, including the materials needed for production and how the product will be made. To get your idea ready to manufacture, you'll need to develop both a prototype and a manufacturing plan.

Depending on your location, you should be able to choose from many firms that can help you take an idea and make it ready for manufacturing. If you're looking for help getting an idea manufactured, you should check the list of resources provided by the Industrial Designers Society of America. Although working with a design firm can be expensive, the money you spend will be well worth it if you're able to begin manufacturing your idea.

Writing a Business Plan

If you're interested in manufacturing an idea, it probably means you have some entrepreneurial aspirations, and like every successful entrepreneur, you'll need a few important items in place before you can start manufacturing, including:

  • A business plan
  • Investors
  • A budget

The federal government offers a variety of resources for small business owners looking to get their company off the ground. In addition to tips for writing a business plan and budgets, you may be able to find advice for finding investors or other sources of funding for your business. You could also look for local organizations that work with inventors looking to manufacture an idea. If there is a chapter of SCORE in your community, for instance, you may be able to find invaluable guidance for manufacturing your idea.

Tips for Manufacturing Your Product

With a few tips and tricks up your sleeve, getting your idea ready for the manufacturing stage isn't as difficult as you might imagine. One good solution for manufacturing your idea is to attend trade shows for the industry that is most closely related to your invention. At these trade shows, you can meet manufacturers, talk with them about your idea, and make a proposal to have your idea manufactured.

When you first meet with manufacturers, it's likely that you won't yet have enough capital to start production, which is why you need to have a strong business and marketing plan. If you have a well-developed plan for marketing your idea, you may be able to entice manufacturers to work with you, even if you don't have money. In particular, you should be prepared to tell manufacturers how much of your product must be produced to turn a profit.

If you still have questions about how to get an idea manufactured, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.