As you might imagine, we like to celebrate inventors and inventions whenever we can! Not only are we proud to be a member of that community, we’re happy to help others make the community even bigger.
Chances are that if you’re experiencing a problem, lots of other people are too. We originally developed our folding table risers for our own use (see the whole story here), but then discovered that plenty of people in a variety of industries had the same issue with folding tables that we did.
The journey to being a part of the inventor community is not as difficult as you might think!
What’s your problem?
What’s bothering you? For us, it was our catering staff getting back pains after crouching over folding tables that were too low.
You might have something that just isn’t quite working either at home or at work. Maybe you’ve developed a temporary fix, but you know it’s not permanent. You’re still using it because you haven’t had time to think of anything else, and it’s working. At least for now.
What solutions are already out there?
Fortunately, the internet makes it very easy to see if anyone else has an idea for your problem. Consider trying some of them to see if they work. And if not? There’s room for your invention.
For example, we looked for ways to lift up the folding tables. We found bed risers and tried to use those, but discovered they weren’t stable enough. It was up to us to find a better solution.
What are the parameters for the fix to your problem?
Believe it or not, having some constraints can actually make you more creative! You don’t want to box yourself into what already exists. But at the same time, with no boundaries, it’s hard to reach a decision when there are endless possibilities.
Does your solution have to be a certain size? For example, maybe you’re fixing an issue that you have in your home office. It has to be small enough to fit into a room that already has existing furniture. This might mean that it folds up after use, or slides under a desk for storage, etc.
Should it come in different sizes to accommodate different uses, people, industries…? Does it need to be portable, or will it stay in the same place? Maybe the solution requires a certain color, or material, or price range, or all of those things.
One solution to our back pain problem with folding tables might have been to manufacture a table with longer legs. But because our staff typically works at the customer’s site, we needed a portable solution. Dragging around a table with giant legs wouldn’t work.
Do you need help with the design of your solution?
Not everyone is gifted with drafting, programming, or being handy! You might be able to conceptualize the fix you’ve come up with, but not be able to draw out specifications for it. Or if your solution is an app, you might not be able to program it.
If you’re lucky, you know someone close to you who can help. (We have a handyman in the family who was able to figure out the specifications for our folding table risers.) Maybe you have a child who programs, or someone who’s good at drafting.
If you want to learn a new skill, you could absolutely learn what you need to know from free resources, especially YouTube. But if you don’t have the time, you can find freelancers to handle this for you. Check out a site like Upwork or Fiverr to hire someone to get your idea moving.
You’ll need a prototype to make sure your design works. You might be able to run them up yourself (or have your handyperson do it) in your home workshop. That’s the easiest way to get started. If you have friends and family who can test out your fix, give them some prototypes to try out too.
Once you’ve got a fix that works and you’ve tested it out in a variety of environments and uses, it’s time to consider trademarking. The Small Business Administration has lots of information on what you need to know to make sure others can’t copy you before you start selling it widely.
Congratulations, inventor! Now running your own business for your invention is a whole other story…
Need to use our invention to soothe an aching back for someone who stands to work or play at a folding table? Click here for our solutions.
Lift Your TableⓇ… SAVE YOUR BACK!