New member, need direction

NotSure

Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2020
Messages
5
Points
3
Hi all, I appreciate you having me here.
I’m Joe, and I’m from Wisconsin; and to be up front, I’m not really looking to start a business. I’m looking for some help with what I should do, because I feel that I have few options, and so far they have turned up nothing and I have nowhere to go.

I have an idea for a product that is not on the market, and to help keep it my idea I won’t go into detail, but the problem is that I have contacted a couple companies that manufacture what you could say are similar products (this could add to their line) but I have had no response.

I don’t wanna sound all doom and gloom, but I am really excited about what I made, and bummed that nobody even wants to give it a look.

Anyway, this being an entrepreneur site, I may want to mention why I can’t make it myself. The core of the product hinges on a technology used for shooting sports targets. Generally called a splatter target, but the gist is a bullseye or target is usually a flat black color, but when it is struck by a projectile, the area surrounding the hole is a bright neon color, usually green. It works by having green base paper and a coating on the top that can flake off when hit. I have no idea how that’s made in the professional industry; I can guess that it’s a special type of ink or paint that also requires a special type of printer. Neither of those I have been able to find information on- but I have done a DIY method, and it’s low quality. However the effect is similar and it was good enough to make prototypes. It also involves quite a bit of time and work just to produce ONE. In fact, too much time to ever make it profitable.

So that’s where I’m stuck. I’ve made prototypes, and even had other people test them and asked a key question: if you could buy this in a store, would you? And the answer was always yes.

I truly believe this could be a success, but without the aid of the specific industry equipment, I may be done. I’m here to see if anyone has any wisdom, or dare I say, connections to help.

thank you for your time; and if this isn’t the proper sub forum, I apologize.

Side note: as I mentioned that this deals with shooting sports, and some people are uncomfortable with the general topic of guns, this can be applied to pretty much anything that can poke a hole through paper- so like a pellet/ air rifle and the like.
 

djbaxter

Administrator
Joined
Nov 10, 2016
Messages
2,164
Points
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Welcome to BizWarriors, NotSure :)

I'm afraid this is well beyond my own experience or expertise. However, have you tried contacting target shooting groups in the area for leads on where they get their targets or who manufactures their targets? That may get you some leads on additional people to contact.

You might also get some ideas by joining

Try posting in one of the forums under Guns and Ammo | Jesse's Hunting & Outdoors Forum | California Hunting, Fishing & More.
 

NotSure

Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2020
Messages
5
Points
3
Thanks for the reply. I have contacted Birchwood Casey, they are the manufacturer of the most mainstream targets that I described and one of the largest target manufacturer that I know of in the US.

I brainstormed today and came up with another tentative plan. I found that there are “blank” targets that can be used in inkjet and laser jet printers for someone to print their own image on and have a similar effect. I will have to probably contact them to see if I can get the blanks in a larger size, because I require at least a 22” square instead of the standard 8.5”x11”; and I also need red as well as the blank white. Then I’ll have to track down if there is a printer big enough for a 22” wide sheet.

The hunt continues.
 

djbaxter

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Nov 10, 2016
Messages
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Excellent. I'm sure you'll find a solution if you keep looking.

I used to know someone who was a digital artist - designed his art on the computer and then printed them to larger sizes on a special printer. I believe it also used special inks.

In any case, all that to say I know such printers exist and can be bought for home use. He was a frugal man but certainly not wealthy.
 
Joined
May 2, 2017
Messages
186
Points
63
I have an idea for a product that is not on the market, and to help keep it my idea I won’t go into detail, but the problem is that I have contacted a couple companies that manufacture what you could say are similar products (this could add to their line) but I have had no response.
I can understand why. They probably see your product as direct competition. Even if they make it themselves, it will probably cut into the profits of their own products.

Is it possible for your to break down the production process? What I mean is instead of having just one company produce the whole thing, you source the production to different companies (one ink producer, another one for the printer) and just oversee of the assembly. You already have a possible source of blank targets. Maybe look for a large scale printer? Or screening?
 

NotSure

Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2020
Messages
5
Points
3
Thanks for the input. So far my problem is that I need the paper. From what I gather, that is the unique part that will make things work. I can get some blank white sheets, BUT they are only standard paper size (8.5”x11”) and they only come in a 3 pack for $12 plus shipping. I need these in at least 22”x22”. I also need the same type of paper that is a sticker back in red (these can be standard size).

So, if I could source the proper paper, I *could* invest in a large format printer and do them myself. However, this may also be cost prohibitive. If I can get the paper in the right size, I would probably still pay retail price because I’m dealing with a company that’s pretty far down the chain, and therefore my end price for something like this might be so high that nobody would even want it.

That leads me to then trying to see if I can find a supplier for this type of paper. Birchwood Casey would be out, because I’m pretty sure they hold a patent on it and wouldn’t bee keen on their paper manufacturer cutting a deal with another entity. So off to google I went, and maybe I’m just not thinking of the right key words or search terms, but I’ve come up with nothing.

It really starting to get me very worried, because this global pandemic is setting a lot of things back, and places that make paper targets are not really essential; and my provisional patent will expire in September- in which I will need a over a month notice to convert it to full patent. But I would need a lot of money to do that, and I wanted to generate this by either partnering/ licensing, or producing my target. I could do Kickstarter, but that leads me back to the paper issue.

Sorry for rambling on, I’m just very concerned that this will be the greatest opportunity in my life and it will be a waste.
 
Joined
May 2, 2017
Messages
186
Points
63
It's fine. It's good that you're sharing. You'll never know, there might be someone out here who can answer your question.

And yes, the pandemic really sucks. Like you, I had so many opportunities and projects that have been put on hold because of it. I am hoping that most of them will still push through after this.

Or you never know, maybe because of the crisis some paper manufacturers higher up the chain would be willing to work with you. Or your paper retailer might be willing to negotiate just to make sure they can keep you as a customer?

Re: provisional patent, there's no way they can extend the validity because of the pandemic?
 

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