Selling At Retail: STOP! Top 10 Things To Consider Before Investing In Your Idea or Invention.

July 22, 2014

We will be sharing our Top 10 Things to consider before investing in your idea.

You will find there will be a continued emphasis on “Doing your Due Diligence”.

We cannot express this sentiment enough based on our own experience over the past twenty years as well as that of our clients. Most likely your idea came to you in a light bulb moment. You see this item as an image in your head or on paper. Your product seems complete and ready to bring to the world, but how much do you know about manufacturing, importing, selling, retail, marketing, or what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Each of the 10 things to consider will provide you with a strong platform however it is not all encompassing. Every journey towards selling at retail will be different but we hope these blogs will be informational and help guide you towards the next steps in your products evolution. We look forward to continually sharing our knowledge as well as the success of our clients and their products.

 Tip: Before you start, purchase a notebook solely for this project and keep all your findings, notes, thoughts, and plans all in one place.

** Top 10 Things to Consider before Investing in Your Idea!

 #1) Know your Competitor and Market


 Getting to know your competitor will help to reveal opportunities, limitations and what’s happening in the marketplace. Start by defining your competition but be mindful there are most likely other competitors that are less obvious than your direct competitor. Look broader at what other products may substitute for your offering and are in turn competing for the same consumer’s dollars.

 It would be extremely rare not to have a competitor in some form or another. If it isn’t on market, Why Not? This is an area not to be overlooked. There are millions of products sold through out the world. Has your item simply not yet been thought of? Or is there a reason why… This is the start of doing your due diligence as a business person not the parent of the invention. You must be willing to look at the good, bad and ugly even if that means your idea may not be worth the risk of bringing to market. The saying “What you fear you create” definitely applies here because if you aren’t willing to look at the why you have greatly increased the chance of learning the hard way sooner than later. So back to the why not?

- Is there a limited consumer base?

- Too expensive for consumers? 

- Minimal margins for inventor?

- Too big to ship at ecommerce? (many large ecommerce stores provide free shipping or minimal cost shipping to their consumers)

- Is it too big for brick & morter? (store square footage is broken down to dollars & buyers have limited space for their offering’s)

- Is the cost to educate the consumer too high? (consumer marketing can cost millions of dollars if the product is not self explanatory)

- Does it have mass retailer appeal? (it doesn’t mean it has to be a Walmart item but can it be in all baby boutiques for example if it’s a baby item.)


If you truly cannot find any competitor than you may be one of the few that have created the next big product on market but most often the market demand for such product is weak or immature.

Your competitors have walked the walk so the more you investigate their company, history, and product it will help you to learn what is working and where you need to be weary.

Another Tip: When searching the Internet don’t just do a Web search, try search images as well as it’s a quick way to identify current product offerings and links you back to both the original manufacturer and potential retailers.

-       Is there anything like it on market? If so, in what way, quality, pricing?

-       Is it manufactured by a major brand? Pretty hard to compete with a playdoh or Nike unless your item has a distinct point of difference.

-       How many competitors? Is the market cornered? Competition is good but retailers will most often only offer a few different brands to their consumers. Unless your idea is vastly better than the current offerings most likely the buyer will stick with their tried and true vendors and it’s products.

-       Is it popular? Popular is good. We like popular especially if only one manufacturer is currently on market. Important to research though is other companies also in process of being said item to market.

-       Is it sold by major retailers? (elaborate)

-       Is it sold online/ecommerce as well as brick and mortar? (Best to have both, elaborate)

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