For a number of years Steve Padley has been working towards getting his invention off the ground. This is a kind of valve for radiators.
It has been quite an involved project as the valve body has a complex shape that had to be machined in stainless steel. The project is ongoing, he has a granted patent and he hopes to be testing pre-production samples from suppliers soon. Meanwhile, he has had other product ideas. As these are relatively simple, Steve has decided to circumvent all the usual intellectual property processes and has simply had them manufactured himself locally. He is selling them successfully on Ebay. One of these is a tool for metal-detector enthusiasts and he has sold over 400 of these worldwide, largely due to a positive review on an American website.
Steve is a keen metal detector user and he recently found some Roman coins and a brooch. He noticed that whenever he saw people metal detecting they would have a small shovel in one hand. He realized that there would, therefore, be a niche market for a special-purpose hook.
Steve has cats and cat’s like to sit on the windowsill and scratch the corners of the walls. You can buy angled Perspex corner protectors but these are expensive to purchase online or by mail order as the L-shape means that postage is over £10. Steve realized that he could supply two flat sheets instead which are simply positioned to meet at the corner. Furthermore, as it’s made of 1mm thick Perspex, they can actually be rolled up and put in a small box. Thus the postage cost is just £2.80. Steve sells these for £5 for four panels which are enough for one window.
There is a risk that eventually a larger operator might see the advantages and will steal away the market but at the moment he is making a profit and growing his business and he is one step ahead of the game!