(c) 2003 Market Launchers, Inc.


Editor: Paul Niemann



We'll be giving a FREE WEB PAGE next week. Details will be sent to you in 4 days!

This issue has 3 more great articles -- enjoy!

Best Regards,

Paul Niemann



"Courage is fear after saying your prayers," – sign at a church in Quincy, IL

"We can stand here like the French, or we can do something about it," – Marge Simpson


Article # 1:    "Tricks of the Trade," by Ron Docie, excerpted from "The Inventor’s Bible"

Article # 2:    "Revamping, Redesigning, Recycling, or Otherwise Making an Existing Product Better," by Randy Moyse, excerpted from "The Inventors Pocket Guide"

Article # 3:    "The 7 Major Types of Media," by Paul Niemann of MarketLaunchers.com, as first printed in Inventors’ Digest


EDITOR’S NOTE:    In this issue we welcome 2 talented and knowledgeable columnists to THE ONLINE INVENTOR: Mr. Ron Docie, author of "The Inventor’s Bible: How to Market and License Your Brilliant Ideas" and Randy Moyce, author of "The Inventors Pocket Guide."

Article # 1:    "Tricks of the Trade," by Ron Docie, excerpted from "The Inventor’s Bible"

There are three key elements that affect the commercial success of your inventions: manufacturing cost, sales price, and projected volume. Trying to estimate these figures is a chicken and egg situation; you often can’t figure out one without knowing the other. Although it appears that this could possibly stalemate your communications with a potential licensee, you can make the confusion work for you if you’re careful.

If you are in discussion with a marketing person who has little engineering or production experience, they may be able to calculate the potential sales price, but not how much it will cost to produce your product. They may ask you to provide this information to be able to evaluate whether or not to license with you. Unfortunately this is the person you are trying to get information from, and they’re asking you for figures!

Since you need a rough sales projection to determine the manufacturing cost, this is an opportunity to learn something. Tell your marketing contact that you first need to know the potential sales volume. Such a projection can be based on whatever price the market will probably bear. Then you can ask your sources to establish a ballpark manufacturing cost and see if the cost will support the sales price with room for profit. Another option is to suggest that the potential licensee have its production department source the product. This saves you time, and it will probably get lower and more reliable cost figures in-house anyway. Also, companies like the idea of using sources they are familiar with.

# # # #

Reprinted with permission from "The Inventor’s Bible: How to Market and License Your Brilliant Ideas." Copyright © 2001 by Ronald Louis Docie, Sr., Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, CA

Ronald L. Docie, Sr.
Docie Invention Services *
73 Maplewood Dr.
Athens, OH 45701
(740) 594-5200

*Includes Docie Marketing, an Ohio Corporation, & Docie Development LLC


Article # 2:    "Revamping, Redesigning, Recycling, or Otherwise Making an Existing Product Better," by Randy Moyse, excerpted from "The Inventor’s Pocket Guide"

One of the activities that I get the most satisfaction from (other than introducing a new item and having it manufactured and ultimately bought and used) is redesigning existing products. Oh, the companies hate it too; nothing bugs them worse than to have someone outside their office come up with a way to improve something they already have been making and selling.

You have to be very careful how you present the idea. Use a very well-defined nondisclosure agreement to protect yourself from the possibility of the company's rejecting the idea because of the feeling that it's theirs already and making the changes anyway.

Step number one:    Contact the person responsible for accepting new ideas at the company and present the change clearly. This will not be the catalog or marketing source but the actual company that manufactures the product. Let the appropriate person know that you have seen their product and have realized that with a minimum of expense their existing idea can be redesigned in such a way that it can be more useful and create an increased revenue-building source. Be very clear that in exchange for the idea you require a royalty compensation on the redesigned product.

Step number two:    Being sure to avoid giving away which product that is or what the changes would include, say only that it will be relatively simple and inexpensive to make the alteration and increase the sales potential. If the company realizes how simple the changes are without your first getting an agreement that you will be compensated for the idea, then you will be dead in the water.

Step number three:   Secure a royalty agreement (http://www.inventorshq.com/royalty.htm) that will allow you to be compensated for the newly redesigned product. Do not balk at a mildly lower royalty rate, of a split royalty amount. Remember, this is not your exclusive new idea but your redesign of their product. So be sensible in securing a royalty agreement.

Step number four:    After you have secured an agreement (and not before), then you can release the idea to the company. What generally happens is they are not too excited about paying for it once they realize what a simple idea it is. That is why you must have your agreement in place before declaring your idea.

I have been successful with this concept twice, and both times the companies were decidedly reluctant to pay for the idea. But since the agreement was set in place beforehand, they had no alternative but to pay for the concept. That is, of course, if they agree to go forward with the change. Another reason you need to have your agreement in place is that should they decide to drag their feet, you would have the option of taking the idea elsewhere.

For instance, if they do not want your new idea for redesigning their existing product, then you have the freedom to take it to another company that produces similar products as a new idea. The reason you go to them first is because of the cost factor. It will be less expensive for them to change their existing product then to start new somewhere else. Besides, they already have a client base set up to purchase the existing product off of which your sales will (we hope) springboard.

If you have your agreement set up correctly (see my sample royalty agreement http://www.inventorshq.com/royalty.htm) and you have given them the ultimatum of the thirty-days-to-accept/reject clause, then even if they turn you down, you have a binding agreement that releases you to take it elsewhere. The competition is always the best place to start. It seems they are always a bit more interested if they know the other company has made the product already and demonstrated a positive sales yield.

# # # #

Randy Moyce is owner and Founder of Inventors HQ & Inventors Mentoring Services.

Author of The Inventors Pocket Guide:


Article # 3:    "The 7 Major Types of Media," by Paul Niemann of MarketLaunchers.com, as first printed in Inventors’ Digest

If you are having own invention produced and sold as individual units for retail sale (as opposed to licensing it to an existing company), then you have to advertise in order to ring up big sales. This article gives you a primer on the basics of the different types of media in which to advertise. If you’re trying to license your invention instead manufacturing it and selling it at retail, the information in this article will still apply to you, but think in terms of trade publications rather than the mass media that we discuss here.

It’s important to decide where you’ll run your ads before you create your them. For example, an ad that you create for a newspaper or magazine will be totally different than an ad that’s made for television or radio. The major types of media are:

The term used to compare the cost of advertising is CPM. This stands for Cost Per Thousand and each unit represents reaching 1,000 people. For example, if a magazine ad sells for $5,000 and reaches 100,000 readers, then the Cost Per Thousand is $50 (the cost of the ad is divided by the number of thousands of readers: $5,000 / 100 = $50). The CPM allows an "apples-to-apples" comparison of different types of advertising media, and the CPM varies dramatically depending on the media.
One final thought: Always include your web address in your ads, brochures, business cards and letterhead. Some potential customers will need more information than you can provide in an ad, such as a detailed description and pictures.

Test your knowledge of the different types of media by taking the following quiz:
  1. What does CPM stand for? Why is CPM important as a way to measure the cost of advertising?
  2. Which type of media is the most expensive in terms of CPM?
  3. List the various types of media in terms of lead times to get an ad placed, from shortest to longest lead time.
  4. Which type of media is the best choice for demonstrating a product?
  5. Which type of media produces the best results (measured as a percent)?
1.    CPM stands for Cost Per Thousand. It’s important because it gives you a way to compare different types of advertising on an apples-to-apples basis.
2.    Direct Mail has the most expensive CPM, although the overall cost of a Direct Mail campaign can be small if you're targeting a small number of prospects or potential licensees.
3.    Radio, newspapers, Internet, TV, magazines.
4.    TV and Internet advertising are the best choices for demonstrating a product because they involve sight and sound.

5.    Direct Mail produces the best results, and it’s also the most measurable. In addition, Direct Mail is often the most effective way to target businesses.


Paul Niemann's specialty is creating web page advertising for inventors and small businesses. For help in designing your ads, or to get a web site built, contact Paul at (800) 337-5758 or visit his web site: www.MarketLaunchers.com. Inventors who have a web page on his site have their inventions seen by companies looking for new products.


If you wish to distribute this issue of "THE ONLINE INVENTOR" to your local inventor group, as well as your fellow inventors, please send the *entire* issue by clicking Forward.

If you change your e-mail address, please subscribe with the new address in order to continue receiving it each month. To unsubscribe, (now why would you want to do that?) please reply with the word "unsubscribe" in the subject line. You can view past issues of "THE ONLINE INVENTOR" at http://www.marketlaunchers.com/archives.html. Thanks.

Until next month, Successful Inventing To You!

Best Regards,

Paul Niemann -- http://www.marketlaunchers.com/customer-testimonials.html
(800) 337-5758 (within the U.S. and Canada)
(217) 224-7735 (outside the U.S.)

Copyright 1998 -- 2003
All Rights Reserved