Top Tips for Mom Inventors

by Tamara Monosoff

What many multi-tasking moms don’t realize is that they already possess the necessary skills to become successful entrepreneurs.  These essential skills are practiced and strengthened on a daily basis such as; coming up with creative solutions to everyday problems, extraordinary time management (getting kids to school, activities, doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, preparing meals), stamina (staying up all night when the stomach flu hits the household), all while living within a budget.  In fact, these skills are directly transferrable to launching and running a successful business.  When I hear a mother say, “I’m just a mom, I can’t run a business,” nothing could be further from the truth. And, becoming an entrepreneur has benefits such as a flexible schedule and an opportunity to contribute to the family income.

For the past ten years, I have seen thousands of people transform that initial idea into creative, money-generating new products.  And, with the resurgent economy and awesome new resources available for developing, manufacturing, funding, video marketing, selling and distributing products, the opportunity for inventive product entrepreneurs has never been better.

Every entrepreneur’s journey is unique, but like any new endeavor, the most important steps are the first ones.

Below are seven tips to get you started on the right path:

  1. Treat Your Product Idea as a Business from the Start. There is no true short-cut. With an open mind, analyze and understand the design and production costs, market size, selling price, profit potential, and competition BEFORE you spend money bringing your product to market.

  2. To Patent or NOT to Patent? A patent can be a useful tool but it is not a requirement and sometimes a waste of precious resources. Consider taking advantage of a Provisional Patent Application (PPA) first. It is a placeholder that will buy you 12 months of time before you have to officially file a utility patent.

  3. Make it Simple. Many new product ideas include flashy features from electronics to excessive bells and whistles that drive up production costs and the retail price. Creating high-quality products with fewer features–but priced right — can mean more sales and money in your pocket.

  4. Raise Smart Money. Use crowd-funding, microloans, credit lines, and new online options that fit your business. There has never been a better time to fund your business.

  5. Bring Your Product to Life with a Prototype. Start with something basic that will be refined over time. It does not need to be expensive or fancy.

  6. Be Cautious of “Opportunities.” Be careful to scrutinize companies that offer to market or license your product with sweet deals that sound too good to be true. Use the same good practices you would use to select a contractor, plumber, or new nanny.

  7. Celebrate Your Successes…Large and Small. Recognize setbacks for what they are an unavoidable — and sometimes the most valuable — part of the journey. This is an opportunity to build a business and life that you LOVE.

There are many steps along this journey but with the abundance of new resources available you can take your idea and run.  As Julie Martin-Allen, Senior Director of Showcase Events for Sam’s Club said in the foreword of my new book, “My final advice to those readers who aspire to see their products on the shelves of the nation’s top retailers; be courageous and go for it!”

For more resources on funding, manufacturing, publicity and managing your business check out The Mom Inventors Handbook, How to Turn Your Great Idea into the Next Big Thing, Revised and Expanded 2nd Ed (second edition), released on April 1, 2014.

 

Tamara Monosoff is an award-winning inventor, educator, media contributor, speaker and author of six bestselling books; including the new interactive version of The Mom Inventors Handbook, How to Turn Your Great Idea into the Next Big Thing, Revised and Expanded 2nd Ed(second edition). If you need help getting started, Tamara offers Power Mentoring Programs that will rocket you to success! Visit: www.TamaraMonosoff.com.

Kidpreneurs

kidpreneurs-parent-teacher-guideKidpreneurs and its accompanied Parent/Teacher Guide are unlike any books I have ever seen for kids (targeted for children age 6 to 12). They embrace and teach kids about entrepreneurial principles and creative approaches that drive modern business, but in a kid-friendly way. Written by brothers Matthew Toren and Adam Toren, Kidpreneurs teaches young ones about proven business tactics while the Parent/Teacher Guide helps parents and educators use it to lead their budding business experts into even more success.

The “Kidpreneurs Parent/Teacher Guide” is packed with more than 100 pages of fun activities, reproducible worksheets, and complete instructions to help teachers and parents guide kids in their entrepreneurial journey. It is so amazing that it is already being integrated into curriculum at elementary schools across the country.

“All children share the inalienable right to become financially independent, whether rich or poor, city or suburb,” Matthew Toren says. “By utilizing the Parent/Teacher Guide and the Kidpreneurs book, adults will help sharpen kids’ entrepreneurial know-how and will equip them with the skills necessary to tackle a limitless future.”

I have a great appreciation for entrepreneurship and the work ethic and pride that goes along with it. It is truly something that all children should be exposed to, but many are not, as entreprenuers are not in the majority of families. But, entrepreneurs will continue to build our economy throughout time and we need kids thinking in that direction!

The books do an exceptional job keeping the topics interesting and relevant for kids and they are extremely hands on. It is presented in a way that kids will actually enjoy learning about business, either in a home or school setting. The graphics and layout of the books enhance the experience.

I truly believe that reading these books with your children will make them think about business, making money and making a difference in a whole new way. I highly recommend this book to any parent who wants to see their kids be successful and help plant the seeds for entrepreneurship at a young age!