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How To Start A Niche Product Company In Fishing.

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Well to start, I came up with an idea for the fishing industry, (not just bass) and after some testing basic prototypes we're pretty sure the concept is ready, and want to get some full scale testing.

The question is, we dont know how, or where to get the resources, etc. We dont think we'll need investors, as its a small niche market, and I dont think people outside of fishing would want to invest anyhow.

And my question is, once we get a working full prototype, how do we go into mass production? (Well, not massive, but the idea of producing a lot) Should we invest in our own machines? Or should we outsource to a company, and how would that work?

Thanks

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I would think step one would be to file a patent on your product.

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And my question is, once we get a working full prototype, how do we go into mass production? (Well, not massive, but the idea of producing a lot) Should we invest in our own machines? Or should we outsource to a company, and how would that work?

Thanks

Much depends on the product itself... the numbers needed for an initial inventory for your launch, amounts expected for future sales, cost of machinery, the whole employer thing etc. In my case, it was far more cost effective to spend the days on the phone and surfing the web to find manufacturers than it was to buy a machine and manufacture myself.

Like I said, much would depend on the product. If you were to make special screen printed shirts or cool decals and do that then yes, it may be more cost effective to do yourself. Provided you have the time.

Everything has a value towards your bottom line including your own time.

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Well, its a carbon fiber product, so I dont know if you can cut that with everyday tool, we did theory testing with aluminium that we could cut with a metal saw blade, for proof of concept. I dont know if you can cut carbon fiber with a fine toothed blade. Its still very prototype-ish stage, but want to make some final prototypes with the final product in mind.

I still have some research to do, but was wondering about some basic tips to do so.

And for how niche this is, unless it becomes a very popular stable, this could probably all done by hand. If it becomes a high demand product, I could see going to manufacturers.

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You can cut CF with coated tooling, bit it is abrasive and will wear it over time. We're looking into getting a laser to cut with.

I would go talk to a local machine shop and see what they say. You can buy CNC stuff relatively cheap, but not all CNC is good for production. If you do get you own equipment, you will need to thing about the CAD/CAM software to support the machines. This is another learning curve if you've never fooled with it.

A couple of years ago, I made a specialized tool for guns and ended up making and selling about 70 of them. It was a pain in the butt to do all of the work (machining, anodizing, TIG welding and assembly) but it was nice getting an email from paypal that had "You have money" in the subject line. If I did it again, I would job all of it out. The profit margin would be about 1/3 of what I was making, but the headache would be in somebody elses skull.

Good luck!

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A Dremel will cut it if you just want to make prototype and file it and sand it. A bandsaw a hacksaw. Tape the point where you might drill a hole. Wear mask safety glasses

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Well, I just did some research and came back, and its good to know I can cut it with a good dremel bit.

And QUAKE, thanks for the idea of tape over any drilled holes, im sure that reduces the sharding, and a cleaner cut.

I just order a couple 4x4 sheets of 3 mm CF, so I can cut the shape out and make sure that it works.

What i'm now concerned about is finding the hardware I need. I need to find rivets (Like you find on regular handles, with the screw in the end) to finish my product. Does anyone know where I can get these? I did a quick google search but nothing turned up.

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You can cut CF with coated tooling, bit it is abrasive and will wear it over time. We're looking into getting a laser to cut with.

I would go talk to a local machine shop and see what they say. You can buy CNC stuff relatively cheap, but not all CNC is good for production. If you do get you own equipment, you will need to thing about the CAD/CAM software to support the machines. This is another learning curve if you've never fooled with it.

A couple of years ago, I made a specialized tool for guns and ended up making and selling about 70 of them. It was a pain in the butt to do all of the work (machining, anodizing, TIG welding and assembly) but it was nice getting an email from paypal that had "You have money" in the subject line. If I did it again, I would job all of it out. The profit margin would be about 1/3 of what I was making, but the headache would be in somebody elses skull.

Good luck!

Thanks, i'm very familiar with AutoCAD (had a tech drawing class in HS) so I can make some prototypes in there, and maybe see if I can get them CNC'd out for me. That would be a MUCH better option than doing it by hand, but only if the price is right.

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I would think step one would be to file a patent on your product.

Ding! Ding! Winner!

No matter what you do, do this FIRST! Seriously. Note the recent Alabama rig knock-offs (trust me, there were dozens at ICAST last month), or the endless Senko knockoffs. The fishing industry is not bashful at all, and will steal your idea in a heartbeat.

Get a patent. It's the single most important thing you do.

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Ding! Ding! Winner!

No matter what you do, do this FIRST! Seriously. Note the recent Alabama rig knock-offs (trust me, there were dozens at ICAST last month), or the endless Senko knockoffs. The fishing industry is not bashful at all, and will steal your idea in a heartbeat.

Get a patent. It's the single most important thing you do.

I would definitely patent it, I just want to make sure everything works out first, and have some solid prototypes to work with before hand.

Also, does anyone know how much a patent would cost? Its a fairly simple design, and I mean SIMPLE.

Also, how does a patent protect me from people copying outside of the US, or making outside the US and selling in the US?

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Well, I just did some research and came back, and its good to know I can cut it with a good dremel bit.

And QUAKE, thanks for the idea of tape over any drilled holes, im sure that reduces the sharding, and a cleaner cut.

I just order a couple 4x4 sheets of 3 mm CF, so I can cut the shape out and make sure that it works.

What i'm now concerned about is finding the hardware I need. I need to find rivets (Like you find on regular handles, with the screw in the end) to finish my product. Does anyone know where I can get these? I did a quick google search but nothing turned up.

Do you mean a threaded insert?

http://www.rivetsinstock.com/rivet-nuts-threaded-inserts.html

Any big box hardware store should carry them

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Do you mean a threaded insert?

http://www.rivetsins...ed-inserts.html

Any big box hardware store should carry them

Yep, thats what i'm talking about. I need them to be the standard size of reels though. I'll check out Home Depot and Lowes this weekend to see if they have anything.

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I think I remember something like a poor mans patent, not sure if it's 100% legit but if you have the basic plans for your patent, seal it in an envelope, and mail it to yourself. This way you have a sealed package with postal stamp with a date. Not sure if that's all you need but I recall reading that somewhere. I'm sure someone here knows about patenting stuff, a lot of big brains ya nawhaimean!

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Not sure how much work you have done with threaded inserts, but if you plan on using them with CF, not sure you are going to get the results you are looking for. You need a good tool to install/seat them properly and if you are trying to seat them in the CF, it's probably going to crack.

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Not sure how much work you have done with threaded inserts, but if you plan on using them with CF, not sure you are going to get the results you are looking for. You need a good tool to install/seat them properly and if you are trying to seat them in the CF, it's probably going to crack.

Could I simply just screw them on, with a very small screw?

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I think I remember something like a poor mans patent, not sure if it's 100% legit but if you have the basic plans for your patent, seal it in an envelope, and mail it to yourself. This way you have a sealed package with postal stamp with a date. Not sure if that's all you need but I recall reading that somewhere. I'm sure someone here knows about patenting stuff, a lot of big brains ya nawhaimean!

Did some googling on that, I see what it does, even though courts apparently hate those.

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I'd be glad to cut you a few prototypes, if you'd like, no charge. I have a full CNC shop at the University and work is kinda slow right now. As far as software, I have AutoCAD, FeatureCAM, Solidworks, Espriit, ProE.... and more.

Shoot me an email or PM me for a phone # and we'll talk.

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I'm not sure what you are going to be doing with said CF material, unless you can somehow layer the material actually around the fastener, not sure the durability of the termination.

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Well to start, I came up with an idea for the fishing industry, (not just bass) and after some testing basic prototypes we're pretty sure the concept is ready, and want to get some full scale testing.

The question is, we dont know how, or where to get the resources, etc. We dont think we'll need investors, as its a small niche market, and I dont think people outside of fishing would want to invest anyhow.

And my question is, once we get a working full prototype, how do we go into mass production? (Well, not massive, but the idea of producing a lot) Should we invest in our own machines? Or should we outsource to a company, and how would that work?

Thanks

Let's start with the "I & We" portion of your post. If you are the only person involved you shouldn't have a problem, but if you are involved with another individual(s) this venture should be formed as some type of partnership or perhaps an LLC. You need some way to keep track of how much cash, time, or anything else (in many partnerships you can put a value on ideas) that you want to place a value on for potential reimbursement.

With regards to patent protection of your invention, there is only one way to go about it. Initially the cost is rather low if you do this yourself and then hire an attorney if the product shows promise. Visit the government's patent office and file the initial patent application(s). There are two types of patents that you could recieve. There is a utility patent and a design(?) patent that you can seek. This filing provides you with what is called "patent pending" protection until a complete patent search is done. The last I knew, this gives you about a full year to move onto the next phase of the patent process. At this point, it is the date showing on your application that protects your idea from someone else copying it, and should be filed prior to outsourcing any help in bringing your product to market. This also gives you the time needed to find a reputable patent attorney.

Food for thought:

There are times when an idea is worth following through on but the money needed to take it to market is more than the inventor can handle. If you feel strongly enough about your invention but can't find the funds, you may want to try selling the idea to a manufacturer that has the resources to complete the project. You won't get as much money as you may have carrying it all the way to market, but your risk and investment will be much less. This could give you the capital needed for your next idea. Because there's always one more invention that needs to be looked at.

Good Luck!

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I'd be glad to cut you a few prototypes, if you'd like, no charge. I have a full CNC shop at the University and work is kinda slow right now. As far as software, I have AutoCAD, FeatureCAM, Solidworks, Espriit, ProE.... and more.

Shoot me an email or PM me for a phone # and we'll talk.

Big, i'd love to take you up on that offer. I just started making some basic drawings on AutoCAD (Its been a few years since I learned to use it in Tech Drawing, so it might take me a while) and i'm still trying to figure out how to make it so I can do a 3d model for you. (right now its pure 2d, just the shape).

I'll send you a PM tonight after work.

Let's start with the "I & We" portion of your post. If you are the only person involved you shouldn't have a problem, but if you are involved with another individual(s) this venture should be formed as some type of partnership or perhaps an LLC. You need some way to keep track of how much cash, time, or anything else (in many partnerships you can put a value on ideas) that you want to place a value on for potential reimbursement.

With regards to patent protection of your invention, there is only one way to go about it. Initially the cost is rather low if you do this yourself and then hire an attorney if the product shows promise. Visit the government's patent office and file the initial patent application(s). There are two types of patents that you could recieve. There is a utility patent and a design(?) patent that you can seek. This filing provides you with what is called "patent pending" protection until a complete patent search is done. The last I knew, this gives you about a full year to move onto the next phase of the patent process. At this point, it is the date showing on your application that protects your idea from someone else copying it, and should be filed prior to outsourcing any help in bringing your product to market. This also gives you the time needed to find a reputable patent attorney.

Food for thought:

There are times when an idea is worth following through on but the money needed to take it to market is more than the inventor can handle. If you feel strongly enough about your invention but can't find the funds, you may want to try selling the idea to a manufacturer that has the resources to complete the project. You won't get as much money as you may have carrying it all the way to market, but your risk and investment will be much less. This could give you the capital needed for your next idea. Because there's always one more invention that needs to be looked at.

Good Luck!

Lund, by "I & We", I mean mostly me, but my dad is helping me out with some stuff. Just me and him.

And i've thought about the idea of selling it to a company, but I don't really know how to go about doing that, and I don't want it to be something silly or jokingly to them. But of course, to sell it to them, you need to show them it works, which is part of the reason I need prototypes.

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I'm not sure what you are going to be doing with said CF material, unless you can somehow layer the material actually around the fastener, not sure the durability of the termination.

There's no layering involved, I just bought two sheets for mistakes, and/or tweaks.

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For money, either find a private investor, or pitch it to a bank.

before you do that however, make sure you have a well thought out presentation, have crunched all the numbers, and can answer all the questions.

pretend the pitch is like an interview, be ready for the tough questions.

remember you have to sell this, so start buffing up on your sales know-how, this could save your whole idea.

might now be what you were looking for, but a piece of the puzzle anyway.

good luck, nothing like working for yourself!

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Lund, by "I & We", I mean mostly me, but my dad is helping me out with some stuff. Just me and him.

And i've thought about the idea of selling it to a company, but I don't really know how to go about doing that, and I don't want it to be something silly or jokingly to them. But of course, to sell it to them, you need to show them it works, which is part of the reason I need prototypes.

I didn't mean that you shouldn't continue with the research into building a prototype. Until you have a product that is complete, and works, you can't move to the next step. It's after that point that I was talking about.

In the instances I've been privy to, the money problem really starts once you consider tooling, manufacturing, and marketing the product. Each part of the product that will require an outside source to produce can require you to commit to a certain number of units per/production run. That can get expensive. Assembly and packaging the product is another cost. Unless you decide to sell the product exclusively, you'll want to apply for a bar code (plu?) for wholesalers/retailers to use. If you do intend to sell the product to other businesses, then you'll need to find sales reps to market the product which adds another costs level.

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I didn't mean that you shouldn't continue with the research into building a prototype. Until you have a product that is complete, and works, you can't move to the next step. It's after that point that I was talking about.

In the instances I've been privy to, the money problem really starts once you consider tooling, manufacturing, and marketing the product. Each part of the product that will require an outside source to produce can require you to commit to a certain number of units per/production run. That can get expensive. Assembly and packaging the product is another cost. Unless you decide to sell the product exclusively, you'll want to apply for a bar code (plu?) for wholesalers/retailers to use. If you do intend to sell the product to other businesses, then you'll need to find sales reps to market the product which adds another costs level.

Thats good info lund, thank you! As of right now, initial tests with the basic shape and different tests have yielded good, but mixed results. with some spare aluminum, proof of concept was great, but with wood, it wasn't (well, its wood, you dont build this type of thing from wood). Plastic didn't prove anything, except that standard, and my design both broke. I'm hoping CF proves the same result the way that aluminum did.

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