You brought your invention idea through the beginning steps of the process, preformed a patent search and now exploring various options of bringing your invention to market.
You could license your idea to a manufacturer with distribution which requires minimal risk and pays you a royalty or you may decide to go into business for yourself by manufacturing your product and taking a larger risk with potentially a greater return.
Responsibilities of Invention Manufacturing
Now that you decided to manufacture your invention…
there are some questions you need to ask yourself. Do you have the finances to invest for set-up, tooling, production, packaging, liability insurance, websites and marketing initiatives? Do you understand your industry and what the buyers or sales reps will expect of you? Are you prepared to handle shipping, warehousing, accounting, product safety testing and other responsibilities that come along with starting a business? There are entrepreneurs that forge ahead and find out these answers as they go along, perhaps learning lessons along the way and some may look to find a partner or partners to help in sharing the responsibilities.
Invention Manufacturing in the U.S. or Overseas
The entrepreneurial inventor may look to keep manufacturing in the United States or search for manufacturing overseas.
You will need to evaluate production costs, volume minimum order quantities (referred to as MOQ) and maximum capacities of production, shipping costs and overall comfort level of a local factory vs. overseas. With technology today, cameras can be honed in live on your production activities whether in the US or overseas through the internet.
Finding a Local U.S. Invention Factory
When searching for a local manufacturer, there are resources online with directories of manufacturers such as ThomasNet.com.
Filter what you are searching for by using the words “contract manufacturing” and include the generic industry or specific terms that the search would recognize. Contract manufacturing means that the factories are for hire and work with outside companies. You can also search by state and even by city to find a factory near you. Trade shows have manufacturers that exhibit and you can speak to them directly. Ask other people, including friends and family you may know that are involved in manufacturing or work in industrial parks may give you a lead. Also, finding a fellow inventor that may have taken their invention into manufacturing may have a factory they could share that work with inventors and possibly accept smaller orders to start.