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Simple Best Way to Start Business

# Protect

You’re considering investing valuable time and money into your project, so you won’t want another company copying your products and competing against you.

Patents and trademarks can be used to carve out a competitive market position. Meet with a patent attorney to determine whether your idea is already patented or if your trademark is already in use by someone else. If it is, think hard about how important a patent or trademark is to your business’ success.

# Prove

Prove marketability by researching every company that makes similar products (competitors), analyzing the profile of customers who might buy the product (demographics), and charting margins, shipping methods and practices of the stores that would sell the product (distribution channels).

Not only will this exercise identify the state of the market, it will lay the groundwork for how you’ll need to introduce and sell your product.

# Produce
You’ll either have to manufacture or assemble the product yourself, or subcontract all or part of the manufacturing of the product to your specifications. Short-run manufacturers will be able to help you answer production questions.

# Promote
Once you prove the marketability and have a product to sell, you need to roll out promotional and sales programs. During the “prove” phase, you outlined the competitors and distribution channels for similar products in your industry. Now it’s time to put your findings and marketing/sales strategies to work.

By following your new marketing plan, you’ll have a good chance of getting your product through the right distribution channels you chose, and onto store shelves.

# Profit
If you follow a solid plan and get your product into stores, you’ve passed the first stage of business success. If the stores reorder, you’re on your way to long-term success. Only good customer service, competitive pricing, high product quality and functional design can assure customer acceptance and profits.

So remember the Five Ps, follow a plan, and you and your partner could very well go down in the history books as one of the 5 percent of inventors who become successes. Good luck.