What you call outsourcing, I call standard business. Very few companies these days have the financial or managerial resources to accomplish all the tasks that need to be performed within their business. Finding other companies to enact your plan is just good business sense as long as you maintain some level of control and responsibility.
You gave us your "Core Competencies"
Marketing and Promotions,
Idea (Product, Service and Process) Development
You appear to have a strong foundation to build upon as you begin. There are a few other key ingredients you need to add to the formula. Showmanship, and a Gut of Steel are two big ones.
I`ll tell you what my brother and I have done. We started with practically no money but we had what we thought to be a winning idea. (I think you are at that stage now.)
So we built a prototype and tested it, had a friend of a friend who is good at computer aided design draw up our product and then we had a cheap SLS (selective laser sintering if you want to know what that stands for) model made, borrowed some money from (of all people) our mother, whom to this day is our number one investor. Not much really, just enough to get our provisional patent started, and register for a big trade show.
Going into the trade show we had A)A crude working prototype but no available product B) No Manufacturer C) no real idea what our next step was going to be D) Most important, a lot of energy and belief in our product
When the show opened, people with established booths snickered at us openly as they walked by to see our crude booth that resembled a bad high school science fair, but we held fast, ignored them, and soon companies began to realize that our product was something completely new to the industry and that is exactly what we wanted to hear. All we wanted from that first show was some form of acceptance from the marketplace. That told us that we could go forward. By the end of the show we had the respect and even envy of a lot of the people that snickered at us. Note: When Chinese Manufactures start to take pictures, you know you have come up with something special. (BTW, don`t let them take pictures!)
Next step, manufacturers rep. We had several to choose from. The first company we chose, we fired within 6 months because they were as slow as molasses. Money spent on them? $0.00
So we went back to another trade show with the purpose of finding a manufacturer. Bingo, we had more to choose from than we knew what to do with. 6 months later we have a royalty agreement, a product, a box design, a container load of units, and a plan to move ahead. With that one move we were able to give away all insurance liability, manufacturing, and sales responsibilities and at the same time maintain part of the creative development and marketing process which can make or break any product.
So what am I saying? Unless you are a complete social misfit and can`t talk to people to convey your ideas and create some level of interest in your idea, you have to be part of the process early on not only to cut costs, but to ensure that your product is getting the attention it needs and not just a bunch of lip service from people who you are paying to promote your product.
If we left everything in the hands of other people we couldn`t be sure that the message would be conveyed as well. It`s the one thing that we won`t let go of.
So you have a good idea Great. Do you KNOW people would want it? Find out before you take another step. Can you protect it? If not you are probably going to get knocked off (in fact whether you protect it or not you are going to get knocked off) so you have to be quick and discreet, have EVERYBODY sign a non-disclosure aggreement and I mean EVERYBODY.
SO what have I told you?
IF you have a good proven idea AND you are resourceful enough to get things done to a certain point AND you protect your idea, AND you are energetic and can show your product or idea in a way that gets others excited, you can do anything. No, it`s not easy at all, but you know the saying, anything worth doing doesn`t come easy and if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.
I will tell you that software programming scares me. It is for all practical purposes unprotectable. The patent process is so overburdened right now that it takes up to five years to get a patent number. By that time, most software has become terribly obsolete. So often you see companies spending HUGE amounts of time and money to develop a software only to be knocked off and often times, the best thing that can happen is to be swallowed by a bigger fish if it means that they pay you for your efforts. But I think you can do it if all of these things are taken into consideration early on.
Mike, I know you have that one idea that you feel could be huge. I`m glad that you have big and bold ideas about where you see yourself. That`s what people want to be part of. Now you have to find a professional way to present it to them. Most people are reluctant to respond to the "hey I`ve got this great idea" pitch. But if you give them a plan and tell them how they are going to be part of something big that will in time make them money, well.....then you have something.
I would be happy to sign and return a non-disclosure agreement if you are willing to share the basics of any of your ideas. I would be happy to give you my input. I guarantee you that I am no thief of other people`s property. Our product has been knocked off by a bigger company and we are furious about it and I can`t imagine doing that to somebody else. However, you really don`t know me and I would understand if you chose not to.
Best of luck to you Mike, perhaps we will be able to talk more later,
JE Design Group, LLC
If all you do is what you`ve done, then all you`ll get is what you`ve got.