There are many moving parts that must be coordinated when starting up a small business. You’ll need to think about researching your market, assessing the competition, and finding investors for your start-up funds. Another thing to think about right from the start is how and where you will source your products. Do you plan on manufacturing your own pieces, finding a local supplier, or outsourcing the labour overseas? What type of equipment will you need? How can you cut costs while still providing a superior product? Here are a few manufacturing tips for those just getting started.
- Research and check references.
As with any aspect of starting a business, you’ll need to do your research carefully before signing any contracts. Turn to the Internet first and then follow this up with real life references to find out as much as you can about your prospects. Who is supplying your competitors? Do you have the capacity to purchase your own machinery? Turn to word-of-mouth recommendations, attend trade fairs, and read industry blogs to connect with potential contacts. Research is equally important if you are setting up your own factory or looking for an outside provider.
- Implement cost-effective procedures.
Cost should be a major motivating factor right from the start, along with convenience and quality. Some may find it more cost-effective to purchase their own machinery. Options like these machine tools for sale by MachTrade can allow you to save money on hiring equipment. For new businesses, it’s best to approach this process in small, manageable steps. You can save more by relying on low-investment tools as you tweak your product, before taking the plunge and purchasing your machinery. As you perfect your process, you can spend more on manufacturing and know that it will pay off.
- Team up with several vendors.
It’s always good to have back-up options no matter how long you’ve been in business. As you start out, ask for quotes from multiple vendors. Compare these carefully and then work with a short list of candidates. Having multiple options will usually lead to better pricing overall. It’s also a good way to mitigate risk, in case one manufacturer goes out of business or chooses to terminate your contract unexpectedly.
- Forge strong relationships.
Relationships are everything for small businesses, and this extends not only to your investors and clients but also to your vendors. Tour manufacturing facilities in person whenever possible and get to know the people making your products. Create mutually beneficial partnerships and you’ll reap the long-term rewards.