Are creative, calculative and flushed with ideas? If YES, here are 50 ideas on how to invent something useful with no money or experience and make millions.
Who doesn’t fantasize about inventing such a great product that makes you a millionaire within the first month after its launch? It’s agonizing when you see a product you had thought about creating for years in the market doing very well commercially and making someone else wealthy. The more successful the invention the more gut wrenching it would feel as you go down the “it could have been me” lane.
What is an Invention?
The term invention is used to describe a unique device, idea, method, composition or process. Indeed it can be an improvement upon a machine or product or a new process for creating an object or a result. It is believed that a completely unique function or result may be a radical breakthrough.
The invention being buttressed in this article may exceed the boundaries of science into the field of business and entrepreneurship. Ideas are being established and claimed every day in the world, with each one defining an ever growing industry.
Indeed there is this blissful satisfaction you have once you complete your invention, move back and realize you have created something new and exciting – something that has never existed before. Indeed a lot happens between your completed creation, the license and sale of that invention. It involves a lot of processes for your invention to turn into a lucrative business. This is why you will need help evaluating the commercial potential of your product and then creating a means of profiting from that invention.
Even though inventing can be inspiring, but running a business can be tiresome and sometimes dispiriting. But irrespective of how you see it, you will have to understand these two options. If you plan to start the invention business yourself, then you will handle every step of the process-from creating a working prototype to overseeing the manufacturing to devising a marketing plan to sales and to distribution.
Running your own business demands a greater commitment and tolerance for risk with the promise of greater rewards, while licensing your idea minimizes your risk, and also your financial return. This article would help in guiding you every step of the way.
5 Ways to Know You Have a Million Dollar Invention idea in Your Head
i. The Market Test
The first and most important thing about any product idea is to find out if there is a market for it out there. What is the point of spending time and money to come up with a product or service no one wants to buy? You must first find out if there is a market for it; if there are people willing to buy this product.
Now, for a million-dollar idea, your market wouldn’t be limited to just a few people or to your local market, your product/service idea must be such that people all around the country or all around the world might need or benefit from using it.
It doesn’t have to be a new product idea; it could be something as simple as you creating a niche out of an existing product. Before disposable diapers were invented, cloth diapers were being used and they were very popular too. But someone thought “Oh, what if I can create something that would be completely stress-free for mothers?” And hello! Meet the disposable diaper.
The concept of diapers wasn’t a new one but the inventor was able to carve out a niche; a billion dollar product idea now used by at least 50% of mothers all around the world today.
2. The Availability Test
The next question you need to ask yourself in order to identify a million-dollar idea is “Is there something like this in the market? Now, you are not trying to see if no single person is currently making or selling the product although that would be a plus, but what you are really looking for is a product that can beat all others in the market.
Your product idea must be able to easily stand out from others in the market for it to become a million dollar idea. For instance, there was coffee in the market before someone decided to come up with the concept of decaffeinated coffee and then another person came up with Alkaline coffee to beat high acidity concerns. To identify a million-dollar idea, you must ensure that it is one that beats all others in the market if the product idea already exists.
3. The Patency Test
Not all ideas are available for you to explore. That product idea you have in your head might have been thought up by someone in the past and the person decided to patent or trademark it so that no one else explores the idea. Inventors do this when they cannot afford the capital to make their ideas a reality or when they are not yet ready to work on their ideas.
You can actually find out from the United States Patent and Trademark office whether your idea might have been patented or trademarked by someone else. If you are unable to visit their offices, you can check their website on www.uspto.gov. If there is no patent, then you know you have a great original idea on your hand.
4. The Excitement Test
Are you able to generate some excitement about your idea? When you tell your idea to friends and family, what do they say? How excited are they about your idea? One sure-fire way to identify an idea that would make you a lot of money is to do a pre-launch test to see if people would be interested or excited about your product.
You don’t have to spend money on making a product prototype for this. You can simply perform a dummy test to see how excited people would be about your idea.
What you should do is to get your product/service designed on paper; come up with attractive photos of your product and write out the features and benefits. Use these details to create an opt-in form with a ‘buy now’ button or a ‘learn more’ button.
Host this on your website, social media and any other digital marketing platform you can find. You would be able to see just how many people are clicking on your buy now or learn more buttons and this gives you an inkling on the level of excitement your product would generate, and potential sales you would make when your product is launched.
This strategy is perfect because you literally spend nothing and you are able to test your idea to see if it is a million-dollar idea worth pursuing.
5. The Conviction Test
The next test you want to perform is the conviction test. You really need to look inside of you and ask yourself “How convinced am I about this idea?” Sometimes, you may be the only thing standing between your idea and your success story because you are not exactly passionate about your product/service idea.
Most of the time, the things that you would become very successful at are the things you are passionate about. If you are not passionate about your idea, you might not be able to give it all it requires to turn the idea from a basic idea to a million-dollar idea.
How to Invent Something With No Money and Make Millions
1. Brainstorm ideas
The first phase in creating an exclusive and valuable product is to brainstorm ideas. Ponder on the area you want to invent in and also what are you most interested in, as you will need to think through a whole lot of things. To effectively do this, you may consider making a list of all the things that catch your attention. These could be pastimes, jobs, or products that you use on a regular basis. After that is done, you would need to look at the problems that exist in these areas and think of how they can be solved through your inventions.
2. Keep a journal
One of the things that you would also need to do this period is to keep an active journal. This is because you would need to continuously add new items to your possible-invention list, while keeping your ideas all systematized in one place. One other beauty in keeping a journal is that it helps you to remain intellectually clutter-free and allow you to review your ideas at a later date.
3. Resolve on an idea
After you have done a lot of brainstorming, now you can be satisfied that you have got options. You now have to look at choosing your best idea for an invention. To achieve this, you have to spend time thinking through the details of the project.
You will need to ask yourself some very important questions like; is the invention special that people will feel compelled to bring it into their lives? Why is your invention so great? Think about changes that might need to be made. What parts of your invention are superfluous or unnecessary? Is there any way to make it more efficient or cheaper to produce?
4. Sit under the Tutelage of an Expert
One of the ways to possibly set the ball rolling for you to invent something useful is by sitting under the tutelage of an expert. You may want to consider choosing an expert in the field of invention that you are looking at. It is very vital that you choose a similar field so that you can be watched at a close range by the guru.
You can’t just say you have invented something useful if you don’t have a prototype. Indeed you need to have proof of when you came up with the invention idea. This is why you need to write down everything you can think of that relates to your invention, from what it is and how it works to how you will make and market it. This is the first step to patenting your idea and keeping it from being stolen. You will need to research your idea from a legal and business standpoint.
Report has it that more than 95 percent of all patents never make money for the inventor. So, before you invest too much time and money into patenting your invention, do some preliminary research on your target market. You need to ask if this is something people will actually buy?
Once you know there is a market, make sure your product can be manufactured and distributed at a low enough cost so that your retail price is reasonable. Have it in mind that you can determine these costs by comparing it with similar products currently on the market.
6. Ask Yourself Some Pertinent Question
- Has your product/service been through any internal testing processes?
- Has the product been through external testing, certification, approval or registration?
- Have technical support documents been written e.g. specifications and instructions?
- Have you documented the features and benefits of your new product/service?
- Are you getting professional intellectual property advice e.g. from an IP lawyer or patent attorney?
- Have you used a confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement to protect IP at this stage?
- Have you developed an intellectual property strategy to protect your IP into the future?
- Do you have seed funding in place for research and development (R&D) and IP protection?
- Have you used customer feedback in the development of your product/service?
- Is product development complete and is the product ready for customer sales?
- Is the product ready to start commercial production in volumes that can meet demand?
Immediately you believe you have come up with a unique idea for a new product, you should take steps to protect it. A lot of people who want to protect ideas think first of patents. There are good reasons for this. Indeed you will find it hard to license your idea to other companies, should you wish to do so, without patent protection. But, getting a patent is a lengthy, complicated process, and one you shouldn’t embark on without professional help; this makes the process expensive.
If you wish to pursue a patent for your ideas, contact a registered patent attorney or patent agent.
A lot of businesses choose to protect ideas using trade secrecy. Note that this is simply a matter of keeping knowledge of your ideas, designs, processes, techniques or any other unique component of your creation limited to yourself or a small group of people.
Have it in mind that a lot of trade secrets are in the areas of chemical formulas, factory equipment, machines and manufacturing processes. The formula for Coca-Cola is one of the best-recognized and most successful trade secrets. When planning to protect your idea or product, your IP needs to become legally protected. A range of options are available and you should get professional advice.
8. Research your market
When planning to start a business that sells or markets any useful product or idea you must have invented, you need to make sure that your product fills a need and has a competitive advantage. You also need to evaluate its viability. Things to consider may include;
- Has your market research identified market size, key players and potential customers?
- Has your market research confirmed there is a clear need for your product/service?
- Does the product/service have a competitive advantage over already existing products?
- Have you undertaken a financial evaluation of the viability of your product/service?
- Have you scoped an early business model and identified options to be researched?
- Have you completed trials to confirm the strength of both the product and the market?
- Have you identified your target market and worked out your market entry strategy?
- Do you have a well-developed pricing strategy/model that is ready to go?
- Do you understand the distribution channels needed to achieve market entry?
- Can you recognise the ‘influencers’ in the market that will assist your market entry?
- Are financial projections for three years completed to support the commercialisation stage?
- Is funding in place to support set up costs and working capital for early commercialisation?
- Is your business model finalised, and based on market research and financial assessment?
- Is your business structure registered, and ready for trading activity and tax purposes?
- Have management and staff resource planning been completely developed?
- Have you completed your commercialisation plan with a focus on market entry strategy?
- Are your financial, accounting and reporting systems ready for the commercialisation stage?
9. Choosing your business name
When you are about to sell a product or idea you developed or invented, then you need to know that your business name is your public name – the moniker that consumers and other businesses will use when contacting you. Note that once you have picked a legal name, you must decide whether you also want to use it as your trade name.
For a lot of inventors, the simplest thing to do is to use the same name for legal and trade purposes. This is especially true when you haven’t even begun marketing your invention. If you are a sole proprietor, this means you will use your personal name as your trade name.
If you are a partnership, corporation or limited liability company (LLC), you will use the name you have chosen as your legal name. But, if you are more concerned with the marketing and sales of your invention and you think your legal name is too dry, you may want to create a trade name that is more attractive and exquisite.
10. Financing your business
Note that as an inventor that has plans to sell or license products based on your inventions, you will need to pay various up-front costs before getting your business off the ground. Start-up expenses are expenses you incur before you actually begin your invention business.
Such expenses have tax ramifications. Unlike business operating expenses, start-up expenses cannot all be deducted in a single year. This is because the money you spend to start inventing, or any other business is considered a capital expense. It is, in other words, an expenditure that will benefit you for more than one year. This is where you can get proper financing.
- Funds from Personal savings
- Getting loans from families and friends
- Taking small business loans
- Getting microloans
- Attract an angel investor
The truth is that most people have the ability to invent something during their lifetime but only a few people get to achieve this feat.
There are a lot of people who have had successful ideas in the past but they couldn’t do much with it because they lacked the required motivation and gave up somewhere along the line.
Inventing products/services is not an easy feat because there are a lot of ups and downs involved. There are times that things just wouldn’t work the way you expect them to, even after giving in your absolute best and it is during times like this that most would-be inventors give up on their ideas completely.
However, the inventors that are able to stay focused and motivated are the only ones who make it past this stage to become very successful.
5 Ways Successful Inventors Stay Motivated While Working
i. Always Prepare for the Unknown
One of the challenges that make would-be inventors lose their motivation is facing challenges or plateaus that they were completely unprepared for. The best way to beat this challenge is to prepare for anything that may happen along the way so that if anything goes wrong, you would be able to handle it.
You can start by making a list of all possible challenges you may face during process of working on your invention, and then have a game plan for handling the challenges. You should also remember to make allowances for uncertainties too and make sure unexpected challenges do not end up derailing your plans.
ii. Have a Detailed Action Plan
Before you start working on your invention, ensure that you have a detailed action plan. Make a list of all your goals, break them into milestones and then have a detailed plan on what it would take to achieve the different milestones.
There is just something about setting milestones when working on your invention ideas. For one, it simplifies things and makes it look less cumbersome. The entire process would appear uncomplicated so that it would motivate you to continue to work on your project. It also helps you to clearly see how far along you have gone, and how closer you are to achieving your goals so that you don’t give up along the way.
Don’t forget to have a budget too as lack of finance to keep working on your project after you have started is one of the challenges that would-be inventors face. It helps to make a detailed list of everything you need along with how much it would cost, then create a budget and be sure that you have a source of getting all the money that you require before you start working on your project at all.
iii. Get an Accountability Partner
An accountability partner is someone you tell about your plans and goals; someone who can continue to remind you of what you need to be working on and who is able to cheer you on when you are about to fall off the wagon.
When you keep your ideas and plans all in your head, it is easier to give up because no one knows about it; no one can look at you as a failure. But when other people know about it, you wouldn’t want your ego to take a hit or for someone to start seeing you as a failure so it is only natural that you would want to keep working on your project so that you can prove to the world that you are not a failure.
An accountability partner can also help you celebrate little milestone achievements and cheer you up to do more. They can give you the much needed thumbs up and pats on the back at different points in time as you keep working on your project.
You wouldn’t need to go through setbacks and challenges alone either, you would have someone to share them with and who knows, they just might have the much-needed solution to your problems.
iv. Take Time off For Inspiration
Inspiration is an on-going process when you are working on an invention. You might have had an initial inspiration that gave birth to the invention idea but don’t expect the inspiration to stop coming. You can expect to continue to receive inspiration along the line and it would mostly come when you are in a relaxed and less tense state.
So from time to time, you should take some days off work to relax and unwind. Do not do anything that is related to the project, this time should just be a period of relaxation for you. It would refresh you mentally and your mind would be more open to receive new inspiration and ideas to help move your project forward.
v. Reward Yourself
Don’t take any milestone achievement for granted. No matter how little you achieve, it is worth celebrating as celebrating your results make you want to do more.
You should attach an attractive reward to each milestone and plan on what you intend to do for yourself should you achieve a specific goal. It is this reward that would urge you to keep working on your project because you just can’t wait to give yourself a special treat to celebrate your achievements.