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Sitting on something HUGE I think!

Discussion in 'Business & Tax Advice' started by jeremy13, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. jeremy13

    jeremy13 Newbie

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    My friend's mom recently invented something and got it patented. This is something hugely legit in the fashion market. She has prototypes of this fashion accessory and every time she wears it out in public women and girls have been asking her where she got them and if they could buy them off her. She has been approached by a fashion magazine and they wanted to do a show with her new "accessory." She has been approached by investors seeing this as something big... but she has not taken action other than getting her invention patented. She says she would pay anyone willing to help her once it goes big. My question is how can I help her monetize this/find investors/start a business/make money/who to talk to first...
     
  2. funky_c

    funky_c Newbie

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    Depends what country you're from, but she's got a 99% chance of just being SOL if she doesn't already know how to work with it from an industry stand-point.

    Patents are stupid expensive and really easy to rip-off from someone like your mom's friend. These 'investors' would probably just do something similar to this, or they're just lip-servicing her. Nobody just up and invests in a random home-made good just because it exists. Investors invest in businesses with infrastructure, distribution, and above all else sales...and no, people coming up to you on the street saying they want to buy it doesn't mean anything (especially in fashion).

    Best bet is to find a cheap lawyer and get some kind of non-disclosure agreement done up. Then take it to actual clothing companies and offer to licence it to them. She'll make an approximate 3% royalty on every item sold (depending on what it is), and if she's lucky nobody will rip her off.

    Only other method would be for her to start working 80hour weeks like a real entrepreneur, and try to find small independent clothing stores that will carry/sell the items for her. Kind of hard to say much more about that with such little info though. Good luck regardless.
     
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  3. angelas111

    angelas111 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    she can get a design patent but that still doesn't protect her 100%
     
  4. jeremy13

    jeremy13 Newbie

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    Its for shoe jewelry. Something that goes on a boot and it sparkles and stuff. It costs her like 30 dollars to make one and she has sold for 200. I believe she did get a design patent but she has no startup $$$ to produce them beyond her 20 or 30 protoypes. She is on disability from work as of right now because of an on the job injury so she has all the time she needs to work something. I am just trying to compile some ideas to show her. Thanks for the response funky_C.
     
  5. nufaman

    nufaman Elite Member

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    Go to Dragon's Den
     
  6. mudbutt

    mudbutt Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    just bootstrap fund the damn thing, borrow as much as she can, pull a loan against her house, get a supplier in china to mass produce it for her than sell sell sell. the thing with fashion is that it moves EXTREMELY FAST. Cash in on it before it passes. fads die QUICK!
     
  7. funky_c

    funky_c Newbie

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    Be careful, I got caught up with something like this over the summer and am still stuck with 40 units of inventory in my basement. The units had 140% markup, demonstrated sales, and I had setup everything from sourcing to local production...then I got ****ed by the actual sales. It's one thing for people to purchase something as hand-made for above it's worth, but once people see it as a business their perception of value falls to practically nothing.

    My advice would be to personally sell the 'prototypes' to whoever you can get to buy them, but don't hard-sell them. Just make sure that lots of people see them and say 'Ooooh, pretty'. Once they do, offer her one, and say that you could make him/her one for $X, or a couple as presents for $XX. They either bite or they don't.

    Take the cash from the direct-sales and re-roll it into making more (yes, still by hand), and maybe teaching some neighbourhood kids how to do it for cookies or something (parents will buy them by default with that one). Once you can sell 100 in 3months then you're on to something, and can start sneaking your way into stores. Try places that 13 year old girls like to shop, because they're just plain ridiculous with money.

    Don't bother with setting up some sort of manufacturing agreement until you're selling about 100units/month and the poor woman's hands are about to fall off. Don't take any investment from random vultures. Don't get a loan from the bank. Don't push the product on all your friends and family just because you want a buck. Don't bother spending money on a domain and website, and don't bother with ebay. Etsy, maybe, but you'll still get paypal'd on the way in and Ebay'd on the way out.
     
  8. tonyy

    tonyy Junior Member

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    First of all get some training in business plans, if you live in the USA or UK there are plenty of shools of organizations who gives courses (sometimes with investment opportunities for your new company).
    get a business plan, what you would outsource, the channels trough you will distribute the good and the $$$ you will need to start. and you expect to make. You will need to investigate the market for this, but if investors get attracted by the idea then you can assume it has a market. You can always outsource the market investigation but it wont be that cheap.
    Later, if you are in the USA just find away some angel investor(generally they invest in brand-new ideas and companies) or contact organizations of investors (generally they invest in companies working atm). there are plenty of this guys in USA and UK so if you live there it would be easy to you, just open the phone directory and google a bit).

    Try to talk to the investor who already met your friend's mom, the idea is to show every possible investor your plans and the money you would need, it sound like a great good so i dont think you will have problem to find investors willing to give you the bucks since they already seek for your frriend's mom.

    If you are serious about this find a business coacher, they are cheap for what they do and they will help you trough the process.

    The last thing you will do is to go to a bank. If you are out of possibilities you will have to give some quarantee and a interest rate. If you are rich or have a lot of houses, cars or another active so it's the lazy way to start, since the bank will give you the money fast if they see that you have a loot of no-inflation goods.

    The patent system was done for it, to give incentives to people to invent new things and proofit of it.

    take action! it's the most important thing.
     
  9. dejanlesi

    dejanlesi Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Get those investors to cough up some money to get her production started.. She shouldnt make it a mass production but rather something unique..

    Dont take a lot of money, because that will influence your future income.. They will try to drop you big numbers but they will want a lot for that..

    Rather get a smaller amount and start making them for the fashion show to get attention to it and then you can blow this up :)