Let’s dive into business ideas 2021 edition.
We are officially three months into 2021 and if you have been thinking about starting a business this year, now is the time to get going on making your dream a reality. 2020 pushed a lot of people to stretch outside of their comfort zone, re-evaluate what they envision their future to be and provided a nudge to get going on their dreams. If building a product, licensing an idea and becoming an entrepreneur has been on your mind, below we share some ideas and tips on getting started.
Licensing an Invention
For many inventors a licensing agreement is often a great option since it lets them develop a product, but then puts the expenses associated with commercialization on a more experienced manufacturer.
A licensing agreement is a deal between the owner of a patent, brand, or trademark and someone who wants to use the patented or trademarked goods and services. (Upcounsel)
With a licensing agreement, an inventor (the licensor) develops an invention and then protects that invention through a patent, copyright, trademark, or trade secret, and thus creates intellectual property (IP). The inventor—the owner of the intellectual property—then licenses the invention to a second party (the licensee) whose responsibility is to commercialize the invention. As compensation for allowing another party to use its intellectual property, the licensor will receive a royalty.
There are many types of licensing agreements: trademark licensing, copyright licensing, patent licensing, software licensing and merchandise licensing. Intellectual property licensors use three main types of licensing agreements: exclusive license, non-exclusive license and sole license. (Read about each type on Upcounsel)
Suggestions for Securing a Licensing Agreement
- Assess the complexity of your product. Is there a way to get a working version developed without extensive costs? 3D printing/additive manufacturing is a frequently used method to get a functional prototype ready because of its speed and the reduced costs associated with the technology.
- Identify manufacturers. Find out which manufacturers currently sell product lines to large retailers where you can see that your product would be a good fit.
- Create a functional prototype. Create a functional prototype of your product and pitch retail buyers. The goal is to get a commitment before you actually launch. You can possibly even offer them a few months of launch exclusivity. The mock-up of your packaging is also critically important. Your product must look as retail ready as possible.
- Setup a meeting with an IP attorney. The attorney will be able to go over the legal aspects of the licensing agreement with you and help come up with a plan that best suits your needs.
Read our Case Study that details how our team worked on turning a consumer product idea into a manufacturable product for licensing to a large international retailer.
Read more about licensing your invention in our blog post, Licensing Agreement Basics for Startups.
Developing a Product + Launching a Startup
If your goal is to develop a product idea and launching a startup, 2021 is a great year to do it. Never before have consumers been this open to change and adapting to new ways of doing things. COVID-19 has brought about new challenges, but with these challenges have also come the opportunity to solve these challenges in new and innovative ways.
When it comes to developing a product and launching your business, you don’t have to do it alone. We highly recommend talking to family, friends and your network to find a support system for yourself as you pursue your dream. Entrepreneurs need support and to know that they do not have to go it alone—the idea of the “solo” entrepreneur is a myth.
When it comes to designing and developing your product idea, working with a product development firm has its distinct advantages. When you leverage the expertise from a product development partner, you shorten the product development timeline and get your product to market faster. You also have the ability to work with a wide range of professionals that have built businesses before.
A product design firm will be able to help you optimize your design for manufacturing, provide functional prototypes for testing purposes, guide you on finding a manufacturing partner, help develop an intellectual property strategy with a licensed IP Attorney, and overall guide you through the entire product development process—design to commercialization.
Developing a product, launching a business and becoming an entrepreneur is an exciting endeavor, and with the right business plan and team in place, you can make it happen this year.
Read more about product development in our blog post, An Entrepreneurs Guide to Your First Product Development Meeting.
Have questions about developing a product idea? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional Business Ideas 2021 + Product Development Resources
- Product Development Basics for Hardware Entrepreneurs
- Four Must-Haves When Searching for a Product Development Firm
- When is the Best Time to Consult a Product Development Firm?
- FAQ: The Basics of Product Development
3D Innovations is a Product Development Company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.