As innovators and inventors, we’re always thinking about how we can improve the things around us and make the world a better place. That’s what makes us great creative minds and engineers. What it doesn’t really help us with is figuring out how we’re going to sell invention ideas once we have them.

A lot of us are techies, not business people, and that means we need a bit of extra help before we can become successful inventors in our own right. Here are a few important things that every inventor needs to do before they try to sell an invention idea to an entrepreneur or investor.

Learn About Your Competition

To sell your invention you’re going to need to be able to explain to a potential buyer why your invention is better than whatever already exists, and why your idea is better than those of the other 3 people waiting just outside the door to present their ideas to solve the same problem.

The only way to have satisfactory answers to those questions is to do your research ahead of time, and to understand thoroughly what makes your invention the best choice. Think about things like the cost of production, shipping, assembly, and safety as well as aesthetic concerns and functionality.

Potential buyers will be much more willing to trust your expertise if you can show that you understand your new product’s market, and that you can understand what their interests are and that you can help them succeed.

Get a Patent

Young inventors often get a bit too excited when they have a great idea, and that can be a problem. You don’t want to share your ideas with other people, specifically business people, before you’ve had a chance to develop and file for a patent for your new invention.

If you haven’t at least secured some provisional protection for your idea, anyone else could come along and simply steal it. Unless you can legally prove that you had the idea first, you could lose control of it entirely. Filing for a patent can take anywhere from a few months to several years, so give yourself plenty of time.

Luckily you won’t necessarily need to wait until the patent is granted until you start looking for potential buyers, you just need to file your patent to essentially create proof that you had the idea first.

Figure out Who Will Benefit from Your Invention

Getting a good price for your invention means knowing how to sell it to. There are a lot of big businesses out there, and some will simply buy patents from potentially competitive inventors in order to prevent competition.

If you’re comfortable with that you can certainly sell invention ideas to those businesses, but, if you do your research, you might be able to get a significantly better deal from a competing business who’s looking for people like you to help them become more competitive. As inventors, most of us prefer to see our inventions come to life instead of seeing them buried in a vault, so I’d always recommend looking for a buyer that’ll use your ideas.

Author's Bio: 

Zane Smith is an aspiring inventor and writer for, where he works to connect aspiring inventors with entrepreneurs and investors.