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  • #999927
    Method
    Member
    • Total posts: 8

    Hey all,

    Long term lurker here having registered in 2015. I regularly read posts and have always wanted to operate my own business.

    A bit of a background. I am 29yrs old and previously worked as a web developer before joining law enforcement at 21. At 26 i moved into law and have worked as a prosecutor since. I am also completing a bachelor of laws while working.

    I have been sitting on a product idea for the last 18 months but have not had a clear idea of how to go about executing it as well as being unsure of it being a good idea. I dont want to be bias in thinking that my idea is a great idea because i want it to be and have an emotional attachment to it. So i try to be very objective.

    I’ve just found a local contact who provides a service to new inventors and assists in a lot of the key areas or has contacts including patenting, manufacturing, design, marketing, web development, licencing, prototyping etc..

    I have a $40,000 budget to get this thing going. I dont want to say much more about the product until i have my patent application filed.

    Its not a consumer product, more of an industry tool. Its completely outside my areas of knowledge and falls into a grey area of most Australian state legislation that would regulate this product. The majority of my research has been around the legalities.

    The area i am clueless about is the machinery aspects of running a business. Which programs to use to record relevant information, tax or even setting up a business meeting to pitch the product. Its these little things where a mentor would be invaluable to ask a question on occasion.

    Im local to the Gold Coast and would love to make some contacts. Specifically someone who holds a liquor licence and operates a bar would be a bonus.

    Hopefully one day i can be in a position with the knowledge to help someone starting out too.

    Im very much looking forward to this journey and thanks for allowing me to lurk in silence for all these years.

    Method.

    #1221893
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Moderator
    • Total posts: 3,115

    Welcome to the Forums [USER=73088]@Method[/USER]. I hope you can find the contacts you are looking for.

    #1221894
    Mischelle
    Member
    • Total posts: 805

    Hi Method,

    Welcome to the forums, you long time lurker :):)

    It is really hard to reply without information so I would 100% suggest a mentor for you, they would be happy to sign a NDA so you can talk freely.

    I would start out with trying to find a free mentor so it doesn’t eat into your budget and review any possible grants,

    https://www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/growing-business/business-mentoring/mentoring-growth

    https://tafeqld.edu.au/information-for/employers/business-mentors.html?

    https://advance.qld.gov.au/entrepreneurs-and-startups

    Cheers
    Mischelle :)

    #1221895
    Method
    Member
    • Total posts: 8

    Thanks Mischelle,

    I had seen the qld gov M4G which looked good but currently i only satisfy 2 out of the 5 criteria being that i am so early in the process.

    Once i have the product in a saleable state the challenging part will be how and where to market to generate sales which is the primary area i will need assistance in.

    Matt

    #1221896
    Mischelle
    Member
    • Total posts: 805
    Method, post: 268042, member: 73088 wrote:
    Thanks Mischelle,

    I had seen the qld gov M4G which looked good but currently i only satisfy 2 out of the 5 criteria being that i am so early in the process.

    Once i have the product in a saleable state the challenging part will be how and where to market to generate sales which is the primary area i will need assistance in.

    Matt
    Hi Matt,

    Darn it about the M4G :)

    Without knowing anything it hard to give advice, but for B2B sales (which I assume it is) networking is the key.

    Are there any conferences, trade shows etc etc in the field for your product? It might pay to attend just to talk to people (in general, not detail) and gauge interest.

    What about the The Gold Coast Innovation Hub?
    Maybe they may have mentors to suit your needs.

    Cheers
    Mischelle

    #1221897
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Moderator
    • Total posts: 3,115

    Another thought.

    Burleigh Brewing and Black Hops are both on the Gold Coast. It would be worth reaching out to them.

    #1221898
    Adam Dobson
    Member
    • Total posts: 4

    Hey Matt,

    As an Entrepreneur who has developed software and hardware products

    My view is don’t worry about the mechanics of the business until you can validate 2 things (Not with friends and family) but people who dont know you:

    1- There IS a real demand for the product idea you have
    2- People WILL pay for it and how much?

    Getting a “Physical” product built and marketed properly is more expensive and harder then a service or software product so you need the 2 questions above answered before you spend a cent building. And i wouldn’t spend a cent on patenting, until you have validated 1 & 2.

    There are ways to do it without building the product.
    Also FYI Patenting it is only as good as you having the money to defend it legally, often the one with the most money wins.

    Happy to chat more and share my experiences if you wanted to.

    AD

    #1221899
    Method
    Member
    • Total posts: 8
    Mischelle, post: 268043, member: 60404 wrote:
    Hi Matt,

    Darn it about the M4G :)

    Without knowing anything it hard to give advice, but for B2B sales (which I assume it is) networking is the key.

    Are there any conferences, trade shows etc etc in the field for your product? It might pay to attend just to talk to people (in general, not detail) and gauge interest.

    What about the The Gold Coast Innovation Hub?
    Maybe they may have mentors to suit your needs.

    Cheers
    Mischelle

    Trade shows is a great idea. I’ve made a note of that in my book for future reference :)

    The GCIH looks good. It might be the next step after i produce a prototype.

    Paul – FS Concierge, post: 268047, member: 78928 wrote:
    Another thought.

    Burleigh Brewing and Black Hops are both on the Gold Coast. It would be worth reaching out to them.

    I’ve had a quick look, these companies wouldnt use my product. Its more cocktail specific.

    Adam Dobson, post: 268050, member: 115964 wrote:
    Hey Matt,

    As an Entrepreneur who has developed software and hardware products

    My view is don’t worry about the mechanics of the business until you can validate 2 things (Not with friends and family) but people who dont know you:

    1- There IS a real demand for the product idea you have
    2- People WILL pay for it and how much?

    Getting a “Physical” product built and marketed properly is more expensive and harder then a service or software product so you need the 2 questions above answered before you spend a cent building. And i wouldn’t spend a cent on patenting, until you have validated 1 & 2.

    There are ways to do it without building the product.
    Also FYI Patenting it is only as good as you having the money to defend it legally, often the one with the most money wins.

    Happy to chat more and share my experiences if you wanted to.

    AD

    I completely agree with you on proving the concept with unbias subjects. I guess it could be done with a prototype without revealing too much proprietary information. The only problem is that once a person sees the end result it wouldn’t be hard to copy with no knowledge of the product.

    I can make a prototype for about $200 which is basically buying 2 existing products and merging them together. It will physically look like one of those existing products but has different internal electrical components. I could scratch off the logos and make it look blank. Is that worth exploring?

    It would be great to put a prototype in front of a focus group but i feel very apprehensive about revealing it with no protection at law.

    It seems like an infinite cycle of, i need to show people to get feedback but i dont want to show people so i can protect the idea. What is the solution here? It seems like i either get the feedback to validate the idea which gives confidence to pursue it but the risk of the cat getting out of the bag. Or i take a huge gamble with little validation and pursue it regardless.

    Is it commonplace for a focus group to require the participants to sign NDAs?

    In response to defending a patent i agree with you. Although i do have a slight advantage working in law with many connections or referrals. Im also aware of patent insurance but i do agree, money trumps all in law. I can see a big company becoming aware of this product and instantly replicating it and beating me to market.

    I would love to pick your brain more Adam with your experience in hardware and software dev, perhaps in a more private capacity if time allows?

    Method.

    #1221900
    BusinessTrade
    Member
    • Total posts: 210
    Method, post: 268051, member: 73088 wrote:
    I can make a prototype for about $200 which is basically buying 2 existing products and merging them together. It will physically look like one of those existing products but has different internal electrical components. I could scratch off the logos and make it look blank. Is that worth exploring?

    Why not? It gives you a good gauge of the market demand for your product/service and if it does well, spend the money on R&D and build a better proprietary version.

    #1221901
    Method
    Member
    • Total posts: 8
    BusinessTrade, post: 268063, member: 113709 wrote:
    Why not? It gives you a good gauge of the market demand for your product/service and if it does well, spend the money on R&D and build a better proprietary version.
    After i wrote that comment i went and bought everything required. Ill have a prototype up and running in a week. Its going to be very crude though lol
    #1221902
    Dave – FS Concierge
    Moderator
    • Total posts: 2,522

    There’s so many moving parts as you’ve identified (sales, manufacturing, distribution, etc).

    Simplest is to license the idea to a company who can do all the work, and feed you a royalty.

    Then the plan is more like: Protect your idea, make a prototype, and make ONE sale to the right company. It’s a much simpler plan to execute by a new player. Most people try to do the lot and that’s pretty difficult (end up owning 100% of nothing).

    Best of luck!
    Dave

    #1221903
    BusinessTrade
    Member
    • Total posts: 210
    Method, post: 268069, member: 73088 wrote:
    After i wrote that comment i went and bought everything required. Ill have a prototype up and running in a week. Its going to be very crude though lol

    Good on you for taking a punt.

    Best of luck with your endeavour.

    #1221904
    Johny
    Member
    • Total posts: 840

    I think people tend to overthink the “what if someone copies my idea” problem.,

    In my experience, most of the time someone copies something it is because it is already successful. Why copy an idea that doesn’t have any traction yet?

    Or think about it like this, if you can’t be arsed to think of your own idea, you aren’t going to want to be the one spending the time, effort and money to introduce a new product to market. Easier to just copy an existing version?

    That’s not a hard and fast rule of course, but perhaps is one reason to not necessarily be toom shy in advocating the benefits of what you product may entail.

    #1221905
    Method
    Member
    • Total posts: 8
    Johny, post: 268078, member: 34822 wrote:
    I think people tend to overthink the “what if someone copies my idea” problem.,

    In my experience, most of the time someone copies something it is because it is already successful. Why copy an idea that doesn’t have any traction yet?

    Or think about it like this, if you can’t be arsed to think of your own idea, you aren’t going to want to be the one spending the time, effort and money to introduce a new product to market. Easier to just copy an existing version?

    That’s not a hard and fast rule of course, but perhaps is one reason to not necessarily be toom shy in advocating the benefits of what you product may entail.
    Well reasoned. That does somewhat apply to my product. im still quite nervous because the few people ive told say things like “wow, why didnt i think of that”. So its like a light bulb moment, something so glaringly obvious but so extremly complex in its execution bundled into one.
    Im looking forward to producing it and sharing it with you all for some feedback. Thanks for the reply. :)

    #1221906
    m.dance
    Member
    • Total posts: 17

    Hi Method, I’m interested to follow your journey !

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