Author: Don Debelak

Driven by a green heartbeat: Family’s natural first-aid salve mixes passion with success

Many start-ups have a defining moment or turning point at which their entrepreneurial mission gains lasting momentum. But for the Scott family, success has resulted from a steady, collective heartbeat that drives a passion and natural synergy. Jen and Jodi Scott have been best friends since they were little. “Jen graduated high school early to come to college with me,” Jodi says. “We’ve always been earthy, green and health conscious.” So in Jodi’s words, “it isn’t ironic” that they are now leading a health-oriented, women-owned, family-operated business. Yet the family does marvel at some of the circumstances that helped...

Read More

5 Steps to a More Effective Product Pitch

Many inventors whose ideas fall by the wayside have great ideas but fail to gain the trust of the people they need to help them, often because they don’t show enough business savvy. Too often, inventors don’t show they have the experience to understand the task(s) in front of them—or to execute the tasks once they understand what to do. They simply need to take a little time to bring themselves up to speed on the market and the process of introducing a product so they look like a winner. You will make a much better presentation if you...

Read More

6 Steps to Catch an Inside Contact

Making that key company connection boosts your invention’s chance of success. Inventors have a much better chance of launching their product with a larger company if they can find an inside contact to give them advice and help make connections. You don’t need to go hat in hand when working on an inside contact. These connections gain as much as you do when they present the project. In fact, it is a win-win situation for them. An insider who brings the project to the company for a licensing, marketing or private label deal looks like a go-getter who is helping to make deals whether the project goes to completion or not. These steps can get you an inside contact with a potential partner company: 1. Go in armed with data You won’t strike your best deal by just showing your invention. You’ll need to show positive first market research and initial sales success with intriguing possibilities, then tell the insider that your concept seems so strong you feel it will do best if you partner with a marketer immediately. This approach allows you to enlist partners in the beginning phases of an exciting opportunity, rather than risk the insider’s perception that you’re looking to team up after failing to successfully market your product on your own. 2. Start with a salesperson You can meet salespeople by requesting literature from...

Read More

Team Is Her Ace in the Hole

Golfer’s high standards, expert help led to successful cart fan     Houston’s average winter temperature is in the mid-50s, but this day in 2009 was a warm exception. Area resident Cynthia Wark, an avid golfer, felt the need for a strong fan to keep her cool. Her search for that product yielded subpar results. “All of the cart fans had to be hard wired in the cart, which didn’t help people without a cart, and the battery-powered fans just didn’t put out the airflow I thought was needed,” she recalls. Wark has addressed that market need, with some expert help. The inventor of the Personal Golf Fan and the Personal Go Fan has sold more than 4,500 of the fans at a suggested retail price of $149 through her company, Cynwark Corp., since 2014. The fan has a rechargeable battery and sits in the cup holder of any golf cart. Wark’s road to success was fueled by a strong team that could handle many of the technical aspects of the invention and her dedication to providing the customer a top-notch product.   The planning begins In planning her product, Wark had four design requirements. She wanted to keep the fans at a reasonable weight; create high-velocity airflow; feature an attractive design; and configure the product to fit into a golf cart’s cup holder. She knew she first needed...

Read More

Know Your Cost Breakdowns

Keep manufacturing expenses lower than 25%.  One of the most important planning aspects for inventors is determining costs associated with manufacturing, marketing and selling your product. Inventors often don’t realize that they need their product’s manufacturing costs to be only 20 percent to 25 percent of their projected retail sales price if they hope to make money. See this chart for a typical $100 retail sale: The problem most inventors have before spending large amounts of money is not knowing how to estimate what their product will cost in large production. Often, they only have quotes for prototypes and...

Read More


Pin It on Pinterest