Phone Accessories Business

Discussion in 'First Steps To Starting A Business' started by JohnW94, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. JohnW94

    JohnW94 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    5 0
    Hi everyone,

    Apologies if I'm posting this in the wrong section, this is my first post of the forums, please let me know if it needs to be moved.

    Anyways, I have not long graduated from my postgraduate degree, since I was child, my ambition has always been to work for myself. I have come up with an idea centred around phone accessories that enhance privacy, they're rather simple designs however I believe they would enhance security whilst simultaneously protecting the hardware of the device, an added bonus!

    I've been extensively researching how to go about this, getting it designed and having a prototype made as well as the manufacturing process (either manufacturing it myself or having someone do it for me), however, I've become stuck on this. As a cash strapped (former) student, it seems that the startup costs needed to design and manufacture a product is astronomical and this is simply something I cannot afford to do. Does anyone know a cost-effective way in which I can design and manufacture a prototype? As well as a cost-effective way of self-manufacturing or a manufacturer who can produce the products again in a cost effective manner?

    I'm happy to answer any questions, if the above isn't sufficient.

    Thanks!
     
    Posted: Sep 13, 2019 By: JohnW94 Member since: Sep 13, 2019
    #1
  2. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

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    Hi John and welcome to UKBF.

    Buy a 3D printer.

    The cost of manufacturing will be tiny compared to the cost of marketing. And within days of your launch, a chinese factory will already be tooling up to copy your designs.

    You say you are cash strapped, how many jobs do you have? Are you working during the day with a pizza delivery job in the evening and a job in a bar at the weekends? If you aren't then that's why you are cash strapped. If you need cash there are loads of jobs you can do.
     
    Posted: Sep 13, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
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  3. JohnW94

    JohnW94 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Hi, thanks for the advice, genuinely appreciate it!

    I have been considering the 3D printer option, my issue again would be the design aspect.

    In relation to being cash strapped, I work full-time however live in an area where approx. 55% of my income goes on rent alone and I care for my father in the evenings, who has recently undergone a major transplant.
     
    Posted: Sep 13, 2019 By: JohnW94 Member since: Sep 13, 2019
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  4. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    30,776 9,028
    That sort of stymies your spare time employment.

    As you say, it's the design element that could be the problem. Are you any good at crafting? Could you make a prototype out of cardboard and plastic?
     
    Posted: Sep 13, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
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  5. JohnW94

    JohnW94 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    It's okay - I'm trying to make the best out of the hand I've been dealt.

    I'm not, however my girlfriend is certainly competent. If we design something out of cardboard/plastic, how would you recommend transferring that into a design that would be suitable to be printed on a 3D printer?
     
    Posted: Sep 13, 2019 By: JohnW94 Member since: Sep 13, 2019
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  6. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Once the gubbins has been sorted out, crafting the material around it to protect it should be fairly easy from a design point of view.
    The electronics can be more expensive part of the design.
    You have figured out what you need, what components etc?
    Even a basic mock up that can be made to work could be useful as a basis for showing it.
     
    Posted: Sep 13, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
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  7. JohnW94

    JohnW94 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Hi Mr D, thanks for taking the time to respond, I appreciate it!

    In terms of components, I wish to focus on phone cases with security features to begin with, essentially whilst I find my feet with this. The mechanisms need for the security features are simple and I know the type of material I would need to produce them.
     
    Posted: Sep 13, 2019 By: JohnW94 Member since: Sep 13, 2019
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  8. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    30,776 9,028
    Is there anything in your design that could be patented?

    If not then you will struggle. There are hundreds of phone case/accessory makers and thousands of suppliers. They will copy your design in days and make it cheaper and sell it cheaper than you.

    This doesn't mean you won't get a lucky break but it's very unlikely to make enough to live off. In fact it might not even break even. But if you can patent it then you stand a better chance of success.
     
    Posted: Sep 13, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
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  9. JohnW94

    JohnW94 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    In short, yes. The three mechanism that enhance security would be able to obtain a patent. I studied law at undergraduate level, however I didn't specialise in IP. I have spoken to a close friend who is currently training as an IP solicitor at a specialist IP law firm and he believes that the merits of the idea would satisfy the tests, that would then grant a patent.
     
    Posted: Sep 13, 2019 By: JohnW94 Member since: Sep 13, 2019
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  10. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    30,776 9,028
    So that's your first action. Apply for a patent.

    Then get out the cardboard and stickybacked plastic and make a prototype.
     
    Posted: Sep 13, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #10
  11. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Then all that would be needed is defend the patent against those seeking to make the items for free.

    A lovely job. How is your Chinese language skills? :)

    Seriously, with patent and prototype you would have more to offer companies capable of producing the item than 99% of those who come up with a great idea.

    Phone cases are a crowded market - seems like every seller and their granny has gone into that in the past 15 years. But new feature not offered as common or as good elsewhere has potential.
    And the bigger companies have the abilities you do not.
     
    Posted: Sep 13, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
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  12. MBE2017

    MBE2017 UKBF Ace Free Member

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    Before considering going to the expense of applying for a Patent, you should first research if there is a potential market. You might think it is a good idea, it might be a good idea, but if people are unwilling to pay for it then little point making it.
     
    Posted: Sep 13, 2019 By: MBE2017 Member since: Feb 16, 2017
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  13. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    16,195 1,804
    Yes depending on security features it could be a massive market or total flop. Or anywhere in between.
     
    Posted: Sep 13, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
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  14. NathanGrieve

    NathanGrieve UKBF Contributor Free Member

    31 4
    3D printer and a student lisence to CAD software if you're eligible - can take you a long way
     
    Posted: Sep 18, 2019 at 3:47 PM By: NathanGrieve Member since: Sep 17, 2019
    #14