My name is Leslie from Charleston SC. In April of 2006 I invented a new grilling accessory and built a business around it. I love the process of taking an idea and doing something with it. I feel that`s what sets us apart from everyone else... the "doing something" part. (the idea part is easy) I am a Founder and President, I am a B/C Survivor, I am an Entrepeneur, but first and foremost, I am "MOMMY". www.grillcharms.com
Boy oh boy there are some smart folks on this board!! Sargent is right in that you absolutely need to do a patent search; first and foremost regardless of your intentions to get one, simply to insure you are not infringing on someone else’s IP. From there, there are 2 main schools of thought… To patent or not to patent…. Some folks are of the opinion “The first one to market wins”. While I do agree that if you can protect your idea, you probably should (or at least get a provisional to explore the possibility that your invention has legs) having a patent is not a necessity or a prerequisite by any means to make a living with your product. It’s all about market share baby! HOWEVER, as Roger said, a lot also depends on whether you want to simply license it or build a company around it. What are your thoughts for this “product”? Do you want to build a company or do you want to take the money and run?
Craig is so right. Ashton ROCKS! I have found it more "comforting" to use sourcing agents rather then going to the factories direct. IMO they are so worth it! They deal with and have relationships with manufacturers that we as individuals just don't have. Mine was actually able to negotiate a very low minimum because it was a factory he had dealt with time and time again. Instead of a 10,000 minimum, I was able to get a 1000 unit minimum PO!
It is absolutely possible. As a matter of fact, my friend (and the company I currently use to do my order fulfillment) started out the exact same way (in her home). There is certainly a need with us small businesses who have outgrown our own kitchen tables, but don`t yet meet the criteria for and can`t afford the big dog`s services (like UPS supply chain solutions). Yes the need is there. I know my friend got much of her business from forums like this and going where inventors and small business owners hang out. I got to know and trust her on a forum and she`s been my 1 and only fulfillment service ever since. VERY best of luck!