Tips for Pitch Perfecting Your Idea to a Multinational Corporation
All you need is: * Patience * One (1) Patent * One (1) Prototype * One (1) Presentation
You’ve thought of something that would be a fantastic product, but you’re too lazy to create it yourself. How can you get the massive business machinery to do your bidding? If you plan to make a mind control device, you already know what you need to know. Learn from this article’s advice on how to pitch your concept to a major corporation.
First, you need to know that major corporations won’t look at your proposal unless you do some groundwork first. Don’t assume that major corporations will welcome you with open arms and sing your praises for your ingenuity. Most will require extensive research on your part before even considering your submission. What exactly does all of this research entail? You’ll need to present a bundle to convince them that your concept is worthwhile.
If you don’t have a way to protect or own your idea legally, most businesses won’t even speak to you about it. Companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars annually hiring people to think of new ways to do things. Those businesses can get into a real jam if you present them with an idea identical to one they are already working on. Cover all your bases if you want to sell a concept. They would instead not inform you that your idea is good because they have thought of it themselves and are about to bring it to market. This can result in unpleasant outcomes, such as lawsuits that the business is unlikely to win and negative publicity. Because of this, you should get a patent on your concept before disclosing it to the public.
You may think that the tens of thousands of dollars in legal costs associated with obtaining a patent are money I don’t have. Correct! But there are other possibilities to consider. A temporary patent issued by the Patent and Trademark Office is an excellent stopgap before a complete patent application can be filed. You can do it without a lawyer, it only costs around $150 (the exact amount changes over time, check the patent office fees for exact amounts), and it gives you legal protection for one year before you have to submit an actual patent.
Next, you’ll need evidence that your strategy is effective. Most businesses will require a fully functional sample before making a purchase. Even if they are willing to purchase without seeing a prototype, they will be ready to pay less if they are the ones to create the initial working model. You might be able to construct the prototype independently, depending on the nature of your concept. (or use your mind control device to make your minions do it for you). Otherwise, you’ll have to commission a custom creation. Spending money is inevitable, so you might as well get used to it now. It’s not hard to locate a prototype maker; some individuals and businesses make prototype creation their main line of work. Post an ad on Craigslist advertising your need for the necessary expertise and equipment, then employ the lowest bidder. Don’t go into debt to create something marketable; invest in developing a proof of concept model.
Contact prospective buyers once you have a functioning prototype and patent protection. Perhaps you have already thought of a business idea to manufacture your idea. Try to identify their rivals and propose to them as well. Google Finance, Hoovers.com, and Answers.com are just some of the sites you can use to find related businesses and competitors for your goal firm.
Formal submissions and direct delivery are the current options.
There is often a set procedure for submitting ideas to businesses. To get your foot in the door at a company, you’ll need to ask them what they’re looking for in submissions. Calling one of the available phone numbers on their website and explaining to whoever answers that you have an invention you’d like to submit to the business is the best way to do this. If you know the name of the person who transferred you previously, you may be surprised at how rapidly you can move up the organizational ladder. It may take a few tries, but you will get through to someone who can assist you. After collecting your information, a packet outlining the company’s submission rules will be mailed to you. This may help your idea reach the right business, but it doesn’t ensure the right individual will see it.
Direct mail, your other choice, is the one we recommend. Create a list of all the company CEOs you can locate using one of the above resources. Seeking Chief Executive Officers, Presidents, Vice Presidents, and Directors of Sales, Business Development, Research & Development. You need to track down the decision-makers who will determine whether or not your proposal will be implemented. Send them a letter explaining your proposal briefly. Don’t come at it from the stance of “This is a fantastic idea; you should buy it.” Instead, focus on how your innovation can boost business for them. Use lovely stationery and let them know who else you’re contacting in case they decide to steal your concept. Many of the names you discover online will be outdated, so don’t be disheartened if you only get a few responses. Try sending multiple emails to different businesses to increase the odds that at least some will be read. Never send out anything that isn’t patent protected, and always include the patient’s current state in any correspondence about it.
Once you’ve entered the negotiating room, you must do as much groundwork as possible and consider every potential scenario. You should have a rough estimate of your idea’s value, and talks should not be expected to be quick or easy. It is highly recommended that you consult with an attorney and consider forming a legal business entity. If you’ve read this far, you deserve a reward. Don’t neglect to thank the people who spent time explaining everything to you after you’ve signed the contract.
Napkin To Reality is a website with articles by Justin Melendez to assist aspiring business owners. To learn more about pitching a concept, How-to-sell-an-idea-to-a-big-company.