Given the time it takes for a patent to be issued, it may be a good idea to start marketing your invention immediately after you've filed the patent application. Developing a business plan is one of the first items on the agenda.

A business plan offers multiple advantages. It keeps you focused on your goals and timelines, helps identify strategic flaws that need to be ironed out, and it aids in evaluating the market and your product's earning potential. It is also highly beneficial as a planning tool to be used at various stages of the production and marketing process, and as a sales tool, critical to raising capital.

Remember that your business plan is competing with hundreds of others. Make it concise and professional, but detailed enough to convey a sense of credibility. A solid business plan includes:

  •   A summary of your product—what it does, its advantages and patent status
  •   A marketing analysis, including market opportunities and competition
  •   Projected sales, pricing and distribution
  •   Production plans, methods, costs, capacities and implementation timeline
  •   Management personnel
  •   Financial statement, cash flow budget, suggested wholesale and retail prices
  •   Projected profits

The Inventor Handbook is written as a preliminary guide for inventors and where legal rights are concerned, the reader should consult a qualified attorney.