Is your prototype finally finished? Then congratulations, you’ve reached an important milestone in your quest to take a product from the drawing board to consumers’ hands. However, there is still a ways to go yet. There are certain steps that you’ll need to take now that you’ve got your prototype. A little unsure of what those steps are? Then keep reading and learn everything you need to know about what to do once you’ve built your prototype.

Decide On Patenting

Many people automatically assume that they need a patent. The problem is that a patent can be tremendously expensive for a small business or entrepreneur, and it may not be necessary. Spending money on a patent instead of using it to build your business can potentially backfire. So what do you do? One possibility is called a provisional patent. It’s a less expensive process to protect your product, but you have to eventually file for a real patent. Your best bet is to consult a patent lawyer who has experience in these situations.

Double Check Everything

Finishing your prototype is an amazing feeling. However, now is the time to make sure that it works exactly as you’ve specified. Can it do everything you want? There’s a difference between the red light coming on and a fully functional prototype. You may want to have someone else who wasn’t deeply involved in the process come check out your prototype. Humanity has a long history of looking past obvious problems when the prize is in sight. Far better to hear there are problems with the prototype in this stage than farther down the line.

Get Eyes On It

And by that, we mean you should find plenty of people to try out your prototype. Find as many as you can, especially if you think they’re the type of person who would use your prototype.

You can use market research companies for this, or you can hit the streets and show off your prototype one person at a time. The key is to listen to what they tell you. If you start to hear a common refrain about your prototype, then make the necessary changes.

Keep doing this until the vast majority of people you interview are pleased with the product, its design, and the way it works. Remember, you can’t please everyone, so you probably won’t find 100% of your respondents loving the product. Still, you should have enough feedback to know what needs to change and what should stay the same.

Start Shopping Investors

Now that you have a prototype that’s been rigorously tested by your team and the court of public opinion, it’s time to start looking for funding. There are generally three ways to go about this. There’s bootstrapping, which means using your own funds and taking out loans to get the business up and running. You can also go after angel investors—individuals or groups that fund promising startups in return for a share of the business. And finally, there’s crowdfunding. If your idea is unique and people seem to really love it, a crowdfunding campaign can be the way to go.

Having some trouble creating your prototype? Or do you have a prototype, but need more help bringing to market? Either way, give us a call at Pivot UK and let’s get started turning your idea into a reality.

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