A friend of mine is in the beginning stages of manufacturing her invention and came to me for input, advice and insight as to what to expect.
I sat with her for two hours explaining the in's and out's of what is ahead of her from working with China, getting the right Attorney, branding, sourcing, becoming compliant with your product, product displays, retail pricing...phew, it was A LOT! But how cool that I now know all of these things. Don't get me wrong, I have tons more to learn but it felt really good to see how far we've come since November of 2010.
I never liked homework while I was in school but when it comes to launching your own product I am going to quote Daymond John's Mom, "Your homework is what is going to make you money."
My advice, read as many books from others that have successfully manufactured/sold their products. Three I recommend...The Brand Within by Daymond John - a great story of how he successfully launched FUBU with helpful tips for anyone starting out, Mommy Millionaire by Kim Lavine - an inventors bible and if you are sourcing from China for anything, Sourcing Smarts by Edith G. Tolchin - this book I wish I had read before I even started out.
My Cousin is already talking about the book I am going to write. Ha! Who knows...
While I am doling out advice, I will pass on what my Husband advised me to do (sadly I did not listen to his advice and paid the price for it) "Do not sign any contracts!" At least not in the beginning...things change too fast when you are first starting out.
I jumped the gun and signed a contract with a graphic artist (see my post, It's Business, It's not personal) which I am now being charged a ridiculous amount of money for work I could never use. My daughter could have created what I am paying her for. BUT, I did sign the contract and I will never, ever be known for not keeping my word. MAJOR lesson learned! *I'm sure I could write an entire chapter in my "book" about this lesson*
One last thing, expect to take three steps forward and two steps back...but don't worry, you'll get there...just like I am with SassaB™!