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Solo dude, 15 parts, 25K,

ArcaneArcane subscriber Posts: 1
edited October 2006 in Developing Your Invention
Hello Start up Nation,
I am a solo entrepreneur attempting to bring a product to market with 25K of savings. My product is the size of a bar of soap, made of plastic and aluminum, contains no electronics, consists of 15 parts (3 moving) and should sell for $25.
I am designing the product using CAD software and protoyping it using rapid prototyping techniques, after which I will apply for a patent. I will look to overseas manufacturers to keep cost down but it`s unlikely that the entire product will be made in one place.
I would greatly appreciate input from anyone with experience, stories, and book or website recommendations that articulate the best practices and pitfalls of bringing a product like this to market without the assistance of a product development company.
All input is welcomed, no input is irrelevant or insignificant.
Thanks everyone, SuN rules!


  • stevesteve subscriber Posts: 14
    This feels like a game of 20 questions.

    Have you any clue what manufacturing will cost?
    Cost of materials, tooling, setup?
    Minimum batch size?

    How many layers of distribution between you and the retail purchaser?
    What is markup for each?
  • ArcaneArcane subscriber Posts: 1
    Hi Steve,
    I was actually hoping to obtain that information from the Nation based upon your experiences with similar projects   Prices would be estimates and relative but such discusssion can still be immensley useful. 
    For example it is commonly said that the final cost needs to be 3 to 4 times the manufacturing cost in order to turn  a profit, how true is this?  As for layers of distribution I figure at most 3 factories will be involved with the last one doing the packaging as the last step then ship the units to my house from which I will sell the product online to clients and retailers.
  • DeafCeoDeafCeo subscriber Posts: 3
    15 parts??? what is that? I sure dont remember learning this in my economy class...
    Could someone explain this to me please?
  • DeafCeoDeafCeo subscriber Posts: 3
    Could someone explain this to me please?The product he is designing has 15 parts. I`m not sure what the confusion is about. Do you have a more specific question?
    I wasnt clear after the fact, but I backtrack and I got it now. I thought it was 15 steps or something but not parts. I was overthinking the post.. and somehow I was thinking there were 15 procedures.
    But I understand now it 15 parts as in 15 connecting pieces to make it a whole unit.
    thanks!DeafCeo2006-10-26 14:24:27
  • westnovawestnova subscriber Posts: 1
    Hi Arcane. I am also a solo start up and when you are bringing something new to the market make sure that you protect it by getting a PROVISIOAL patent which will give you a year to get a patent atorney and continue developeing the idea for about $45.00. There is a guy with the username of patentandtrademark on this site and he should be able to help you.Best of luck. Wes
  • ArcaneArcane subscriber Posts: 1
    Hi Degrees, thanks for your input.I will litterally nail/thumbtack that price to my wall What are some examples of the hidden layers of distribution that future entrepreneurs may miss?  Do these layers also add hidden costs?Does anyone have a ballpark price range for how much it costs to advertise a product in a magazine such as "Stuff magazine", "Men`s Health" etc...Hi Westnova, I have read about provisionals, the problem with them is that if you change your product during the development stage, the provisional that was submitted for the prior revision may be useless.  I could be wrong on this and at $45 it`s still worth it, but look into it so that you protect yourself by submitting another provisional for the revision as well.Is is feasible to manufacturing at home a product made of shaped plastic and aluminum?
  • DeafCeoDeafCeo subscriber Posts: 3
    As far adversiting in a niche magazine.. It is going depend on the size of the ads.
    I am not comfortable with giving you a ballpark range but if you could call the Magazine` Ads Account Manager,  they could give you the necessary information so you could make a more informed decision.
    Also every month in those kind of magazine they do extenstive product reviews. They would review the product and list the website. This only cost you the price of your products but the only problem is the editiors have the last said when it come to a product review that is the equalivent of  creating a buzz for your products.
     DeafCeo2006-10-27 10:45:49
  • ArcaneArcane subscriber Posts: 1
    Thanks Degrees, much appreciated.I am composing a step by a step tutorial of my experience bringing this product to market, it will be a while before it`s done but Startup Nation will be the first to know.  Thank you all.
  • westnovawestnova subscriber Posts: 1
    I started a blog detailing my experience in trying to bring my new invention to market and that was two years ago.Now A O L has screwed up my blog and I`m the only one who can see it. Good luck. Wes
  • MNGrillGuyMNGrillGuy subscriber Posts: 2 Member
    Arcane, hidden layers of distribution refers to all the people that purchase your product before the end customer does.  So, for most products it will be 1) your distributor and 2) the retailer.
    Plan appropriate margins for these layers.  I`m not sure what is reasonable.  My best guess is that distributors mark up 25%, retailers 100%.  SuN community might have experience in this area, this is only what I`ve read.
  • famtacfamtac subscriber Posts: 0
    Has anyone used the patentandtrademark guy that westnova mentioned?
  • patentandtrademarkpatentandtrademark subscriber Posts: 103
    it is also possible to file more than one provisional application if the changes from the first provisional application are significant.
  • Innovator7Innovator7 subscriber Posts: 9
    Provisional patent filing fee for small entities is $100.  Patent attorney to draft the application? priceless 
  • txbassguytxbassguy subscriber Posts: 0
    let`s see:something about the size of a bar of soap:potential tooling cost for top bottom molding tool:(for a `soft tool` $8000+)  good for short production runs (under 1000 pcs)(for a `hard tool` upwards of $15k+) good for larger production runsi`ve done this before with a similar sized product. we had great engineering and attempted to do it all ourselves, but needed a lot more marketing sales behind us. it costs money to get a product in front of the people that make decisions to carry your product in catalogs, websites, distributors, on store shelves. there`s also another layer of fulfillment, tracking orders, shipping, completing orders. also don`t forget the backend stuff - customer support, warranty issues, product packaging, product testing, UL certification, etc.
  • ArcaneArcane subscriber Posts: 1
    A very insightful post txbassguy, have you read any particularly good books on this topic that you can recommend?  I am currently filling papers to incorporate as an S-Corp so that I may deduct the R&D (prototype, patent, etc..) costs if and when profits are made.
    It`s a long road out of serfdom and into ones own, don`t give up!
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