Do you hate to wait for things or, worse, wait for people to accomplish important tasks for you?
I sure do!
Guess what? Waiting is a required virtue for inventors.
When I first began my career as an inventor, I imagined that it might take 6 months to license my invention and that most of the “delay” would simply be me getting ready to do a pitch for my product. I assumed that once I pitched to a company to license my product, surely they could make a decision either on the spot or within a couple of weeks.
Why should it take any longer than that?
Boy was I wrong!
Why Does Everything Takes So Long? …
So, a fair question is simply “why does everything take so long?”
Here is a short list of situations where you, as an inventor, will be waiting to get a needed result:
- After you pitch your product to a potential licensee – their decision may take weeks or months
- When you begin working with a manufacturer – it could take months to get an initial sample done
- After you have signed a license deal – it could take 6 to 9 months before you get a royalty check
- When a QVC buyer has green-lighted your product – the QA process could take 2 or 3 months
I could add many more items to the above list, but this is a representative sample.
Regarding 1 above; very typically, a key decision-maker(s) will have been away during your pitch. Depending upon the time of the year, they may be at various trade shows or in China working out production snafus, or on vacation. Once they are again in the office, they will have a mountain of business to attend before turning even a bit of attention to your product. They may then need to confer with others who may be traveling – causing even further delay.
Literally, months can go by and the lead can grow cold during this time. Frustrating? You bet! But, it’s a reality you will face as an inventor.
Regarding 2, you sent the manufacturer clear diagrams and descriptions of your product. But, somehow they don’t quite see it the way you do. The back and forth to correct these issues can consume months.
For example, when I was working with a manufacturer for my thin wallets, I sent them very detailed drawing with dimensions and multiple views of the wallet. About 6 weeks later, I got my first sample from them. It looked great except for one detail: it had no billfold pocket – no place to put money! Getting that fixed took several more weeks.
3 is addressed in considerable detail in my new webinar Land Your License Deal. But, it can take the licensee easily 3+ months to source your product. Then another 1 – 2 months to begin rolling out the product into retail stores; and a big chain like Target or Walmart may require 2 to 3 months to distribute the product into all their stores. The process seems grindingly slow.
Regarding 4, QVC deals with thousands of new products each month. There is a process for each and it just takes a bit of time.
Take a Deep Breath, Meditate, and Relax and Ask Questions
Now, let’s talk about how you can deal with the annoying, but necessary, delays that are so much a part of the day-to-day life of an inventor.
First, just step back, take a deep breath and realize that your timeframe is not the same as theirs. Naturally, you are emotionally engaged with your invention – it is your baby and you want the best for it, and you want it now, or at least soon.
But, emotions can cause a lot of distress and friction, none of which is helpful for you. Never contact anyone when you feel annoyed, it will get them annoyed as well – a negative cycle that won’t speed up the process.
What has worked for me and will work for you is to be proactive from the very beginning of the process and ask a lot of questions. Clearly describe your expectations on quality, turn around, etc. to them and then confirm the extent to which they can meet your expectations in each area. Then, adjust your expectations accordingly or find someone else to work with – another delay.
Want some ideas as to how to bide your time productively while you are waiting?…
Grab the free PDF below. Stay tuned.