For those who watch Dragons' Den (Canada), the investors usually tell the entrepreneur that licensing is the way to go. They believe it's much better than bringing the product to the market yourself and building inventory at the same time. With licensing, it'll allow you to bring your product to an already established company and collect royalty fees.
So what are your thoughts on this? Do you believe there's room to manufacture and sell the product on your own, or should one just license and open checks every month?
Off-page SEO is simply the outside factors that contribute to your search engine rankings - backlinks, specifically.
As for SEO services, you'll have to search and dig up information about the company you plan on hiring. Read reviews, make sure they're reputable and know what they're doing. Heck, check their search engine rankings themselves. This is a good indicator to differentiate the legit companies from those that aren't.
Another thing to point out is that a lot of SEO service companies are just resellers who outsource, so keep that in mind.