Tuesday, November 26, 2013

From Inventor to Entrepreneur: Business Lessons You Have Already Learned

Content Provided by Melissa Deacon

Having a creative mind can benefit you not just when you are coming up with ideas and perfecting your inventions, but also when you want to find a market and start building up your own business. Although the world of business can be overwhelming, particularly when it comes to financial decisions and account keeping, it can help to recognize how certain elements of the inventive process have already prepared you to create a business out of your idea.

Innovative Entrepreneurship
It is a truth universally acknowledged in the business world that innovators do not make good entrepreneurs, but this belief is called into question by too many examples of inventors who have broken into the market and turned their ideas into successful companies. Business people who have spent years studying the works of the best minds in economics may want to believe that the logical course of action for an inventor is to take advantage of the resources of an established company rather than to build up a business of their own, but the evidence seems to suggest otherwise. Inventors can make excellent business owners, because they know their product and have the creativity to become truly innovative entrepreneurs. This doesn't mean that you can ignore the business textbooks and forget about learning how the business world works, but it does mean that you already have an important advantage that you should not overlook: your own natural skills and inventiveness.

SWOT Analysis
One of the tools that you will discover in many business and economics textbooks is the SWOT analysis. This simple technique provides a means of analyzing your business and coming up with new directions for future development, but as an inventor, you may recognize this mode of thinking from the way in which you developed your initial idea. Creativity often stems from recognizing existing problems and opportunities, while developing a successful product requires the ability to see both its strengths and its weaknesses. Your ability to spot the need for a new product and to come up with an invention that can fulfill this need will continue to prove useful as you build up your own business. It can even help you to write a successful business plan, when you formalize your ideas in the form of a SWOT analysis.

All that a SWOT analysis requires is that you use your proven ability to spot Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats to thinking about the future of your business, rather than to coming up with an invention. You can begin by listing every attribute of your business under one of the four headings. Having acquired a patent for your invention might be a strength, for example, but a lack of capital might be a weakness that needs to be tackled. Strengths and weaknesses are considered internal factors, relating to your own business, but you also need to consider the external factors, opportunities and threats posed by the current market. External factors can be harder to assess, but as an inventor, you will be used to recognizing opportunities and problems, although you will now need to tackle them with your business acumen rather than simple creativity. An opportunity could be a new technology that you can use to market your product online, while a threat could be a competitor with a similar product.

Once you have identified your SWOTs, you can move on to another acronym, USED, to plan your future moves by determining how strengths can be Utilized, weaknesses Stopped, Opportunities Exploited and threats Defended against. The strength of a patent could be utilized by licensing your invention to someone operating in a different area, for example, while the weakness of a lack of capital could be stopped by finding an investor or taking out a business loan. Similarly, the opportunity posed by online marketing could be exploited by joining the WomenInventorz Network and creating a webpage, while the threat of a competitor could be defended against by building a stronger brand identity through marketing.

By the end of the SWOT analysis, you will have a better idea of where your business stands now, and the changes that you will need to make in the future. You can use this understanding to direct your business plan and remain focused on the most important areas of your business.

Other Business Advantages for Inventors
SWOT analyses are one of the clearest opportunities for making use of the inventive mind in business, but the skills that enabled you to come up with a brand new invention will also help you in other ways. The close knowledge you have of your product will be a significant advantage when it comes to understanding your customers' needs and how they can be reached through marketing, while your experience of managing the production process and thinking about costs could prove useful when it comes to managing your business and accounts. Seeing how your skills as an inventor can be applied to your new role as entrepreneur can make the transition to the world of business much easier.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Rachel Zoe Receives Amazing Azza Bijou Saucer Cuff

Photo of the "Saucer" cuff that Rachel Zoe received.
We all know Rachel Zoe's fabulous bohemian style and her love of amazing jewelry. This is why Rachel was the perfect recipient of the luxurious Azza Bijou Saucer Cuff of the Medley Collection.  This collection will make a wonderful styling choice for Rachel!

About the latest “Medley Collection”
Encompassing an eclectic mix of contrasting colors, the Medley collection is a seamless marriage between contemporary structures and traditional art. Solid and cut-out surfaces, dark and light colors, sharp edges and curvy forms interplay with traditional Islamic designs to create jewelry that is far greater than the sum of its parts. Edgy, contemporary and unique, the Medley collection epitomizes all the beauty, confidence and style of the modern woman with traditional values.

The saucer range exudes modern luxury with its sophisticated architectural structure and mix of contrasting colors. It will instantly carry any casual look into the evening, but also has the charisma to complement the sophisticated look.

The teardrop bangle is truly a one-of-kind piece. Its unusual silhouette of round and edgy makes it eye-catching and unique. This piece brings a new design language that holds true the values of the Medley collection whilst looking elegant and effortless in its execution. A single Islamic motif on either side of the bangles “edges” with jewels and colored enamel complete this design making it a piece of art that you can wear. This is sure to be a genuine style statement.

Ancient window grills from various Islamic eras inspire the Gladiator statement cuff design. 90 mm in length, this substantial piece combines enameled solid precious metal with a very delicate Islamic design overlay in “window grill” form. The Gladiator recreates an intricate component of Islamic architecture in elegant, contemporary jewelry form. To achieve the stunning form seen in this cuff, the latest manufacturing techniques were selected.

The two-faced range is a play on contrasting colors. On either side of the design are identical Islamic motifs that are enameled in contrasting colors. The design is versatile in that it allows the wearer to switch between colors depending on their outfit. The two-faced is a delicate, everyday piece that will compliment any look.

Combining a flat enameled surface with a curvy dome-shaped cut out Islamic motif, the dome ring is delicate yet grand. With its eye-catching pop of color and fine Islamic design, the dome ring stands out worn on its own at the same time being an essential partner to all other designs in the Medley collection.

About Azza Bijou and Designer Azza El Arabi

For UAE-born Sudanese designer Azza El-Arabi, designing beautiful jewelry is a near-lifelong passion. Producing her first pieces at fourteen years old, the style of her work would evolve over years to come; inspired by travels to Northern Cyprus where she earned a degree in Business Administration and later from time spent honing her design skills at Central St. Martins in London. The culmination of her evolving style over the years is her first full collection launched in 2012; Azza Bijou. Azza Bijou is a veritable history of Islamic architecture, drawing inspiration from the ancient mesquite of Andalusia, the majesty of old-world Egyptian souks and the opulent palaces of Ottoman Istanbul. Heavily influenced by the unique geometric patterns present in Islamic structures, Azza likes to combine these shapes with bright colors and organic silhouettes to create pieces that she believes would become an extension of women, their character and their style. Through Azza Bijou, she hopes to translate her fascination with these unique structures into timeless, everyday wearable pieces.

Visit www.azzabijou.com to purchase this amazing jewelry for yourself.  What a wonderful gift for the Holidays!

Follow Azza Bijou on Twitter @azzabijou, and "Like" them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/azzabijou

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Cyber Tuesday With The Innovation Divaz


The Innovation Divaz are hosting the FIRST EVER CYBER TUESDAY!!!!  Listen to the Innovation Divaz Radio Show LIVE Tuesday, December 3rd at 9:00 AM PT/ 10:00 AM MT/ 11:00 AM CST/ 12:00 PM EST for fabulous DEALS on invention that make amazing GIFTS FOR THE HOLIDAYS! 
(Note that the date has changed from November 26th to December 3rd
due to the excitement of the event!)



Leave a comment to this posting with:
1. Your Product Name
2. Website Address
3. The Deal For Listeners
4. Landline that our Producer can call during the hour


Don't miss this very fun promotional opportunity just in time for the Holidays!!!

Click Here to visit the Innovation Divaz Radio Show Page!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Next Steps for Inventors: Turning Your Idea into a Small Business

Content provided by Melissa Deacon

Creating and marketing an invention can be hard work, but with a supportive network of other women inventors to help you to bring your invention to the customers who want it, you can turn your idea into a successful business. The key to making it work is to come up with a strong business plan and to break the process down into manageable steps.

Finding Your 1%
As the saying goes, genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration, and while it is true that hard work and perseverance are essential for bringing your idea to the marketplace, it is just as important to find that 1% of inspiration that enables you to create a good product. A good idea for a new invention will form a strong foundation for your new venture. Inspiration can come from anywhere, so although many female inventors identify unfulfilled needs while they go about their everyday lives, others spend years developing highly specialized skills at work that enable them to see a problem in a new light and come up with a solution. Once you have your idea, you need to refine it into a workable product and look for a way to turn your invention into a business.

Turning Your Idea into Reality
In order to create a marketable product from your invention, you may need to work through a series of prototypes to find a design that looks good, works well, and can be manufactured at a reasonable cost. It can also help to undertake same product testing and market research to ensure that your invention meets people's needs. As you perfect your idea, it is important to protect all of your hard work to ensure that it will be you who reaps the rewards. If your idea is novel enough, you may be able to obtain a patent to protect it. You can also protect yourself and your invention by taking the right steps when you set up your own business, such as choosing the right legal structure, registering for the necessary taxes and obtaining the right types of coverage from your business insurance policy.

Setting Up a Small Business
Many inventors begin simply by selling their products to a few friends in their spare time, or setting themselves up as self-employed, but when a product is successful, the time comes when it needs to be turned into a business. In order to create a small business, it is vital to write a solid business plan that includes a description of how the business will be structured, and to understand the steps that need to be taken to create this new business entity:

1. Choose your business structure: sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation, cooperative or nonprofit. Many inventors choose a sole proprietorship or LLC when they start a business. Sole proprietorship is the simplest business structure, but an LLC can protect your personal finances by limiting your liability for the business, without requiring such complex paperwork as a corporation.

2. Register your business name with your state, if you will be trading under anything other than your own name. Your "Doing Business As" name can be registered with your state government or county clerk's office, but some states do not require this form of registration. You can also trademark your business name with the patent office to prevent anyone else from using it.

3. Get a Tax Identification Number from the IRS and register your business for state and local taxes. Depending on your business structure and location, you may need to file for state and federal income tax, self-employment tax, excise tax or tax for employers.

4. Check whether you need to obtain any licenses and permits at the local, state and federal levels. You may need a license if your business will involve activities such as transporting agricultural goods, selling alcohol or driving heavy vehicles, for example.

5. Protect your business with insurance to cover your business premises and employees, if you have them, and product liability coverage in case anything goes wrong with the items you sell. If you are running a business from home, you may need to add coverage for business activities to your home insurance policy in order to ensure your property will be protected, although this may not be enough to cover you against other business risks, such as public and product liability.

Organizing your business structure properly is vital, but your business plan should also cover your financial and marketing intentions. It is important to think about how you will cover your start up costs, how profits will be re-invested to help your business grow, and how you will reach potential customers and convince them to buy your product. The Women Inventorz Network can provide some invaluable support for online marketing and selling, but as your business grows, you may want to look into other avenues, such as approaching stores that might want to carry your product.