So, are you finally ready to get into the manufacturing business? Maybe you have a product idea you’re ready to bring to light, but how do you start a manufacturing company? Maybe you have a few ideas that you’re trying to narrow down and see if it’s feasible to build a business around it. There are many steps involved in successfully running your own manufacturing company. If you’re serious about this next career step, here are 10 things you should consider.
1. Do Market Research
How do you start a manufacturing company with little information about the industry? If you plan to break into the manufacturing industry, you should do plenty of market research. One part of your market research should involve looking at your competition. Review some of the most popular products on the market and how your competition is developing and marketing them to the public.
In addition to your competition, you need to understand who your audience is that’s going to buy your product. Where are they located? How do they shop? Do they mostly make online purchases, or are these products that you would have to display in a brick-and-mortar shop? You can break things by way of demographics. Would certain age groups prefer your product, and how would you market to them? Are you going to manufacture products that are considered budget items or high-end items? Where will your source materials come from? Can you get them domestically or will you have to do business deals with foreign countries and their suppliers?
Research items that you’ll need to run your business. For example, you’ll more than likely need shipping crates to get your product from one place to another. Shipping crates are often used for large bulky items or fragile ones that need extra protection, such as wine bottles, art, and furniture. So if you plan on manufacturing large items, shipping crates or steel containers are items you should look into.
2. Consider Technology
Understand the technology you can use for your manufacturing business. Technology helps manage your business, its processes, as well as the actual manufacturing itself.
Advanced manufacturing continues to find ways to improve products and processes so that the manufacturing world continually becomes more streamlined and profitable for the people involved. But how do you start a manufacturing company with it? According to Project Manager.org, Information communication technology (ICT) helps project management in manufacturing shorten the time it takes for products to get to market, conduct research, see how to lesson materials in a product, etc. Include project management software in your manufacturing budget to ensure you can compete with your competition.
3. Hire People
Once you get past the prototype phase of your product, you’ll need qualified professionals to produce the product for you. Of course, the type of people you hire will depend on what you’re manufacturing. For example, if you’re manufacturing items using metal, you may want to invest in an industrial welding service.
How do you start a manufacturing company without knowing much about the production process? You don’t have to worry about this issue when you have a product manager. You should also hire a project manager to ensure production stays on schedule. If you eventually have more than one product, you may need to hire a project manager for each one, depending on how far you plan to scale up. For research and development, you probably want to have a research and development team, but at least start with one or two people to get the ball moving.
4. Start Advertising
No matter how great your product is, no one will know about it if you don’t properly promote it. So, how do you start a manufacturing company with little fanfare behind you? Hire a local marketing agency to help you reach those markets that’ll buy the product that you’re putting out there. A marketing agency understands how to search for keywords that online users are looking for and tie them into your promotions.
Usability testing is a great way to ensure your product is ready for the market. The marketing agency knows how to conduct these types of tests. They can conduct surveys as well as host panels related to your product. You can do these types of testing in a month leading up to big releases to ensure that any product release is as successful as possible.
People are using more digital devices than ever, but there’s still a huge market for TV and radio advertisements. Your local marketing agency can put together campaigns to promote your product in these spaces.
5. Get on Social Media
How do you start a manufacturing company and quickly access loads of potential customers? Any company that doesn’t use social media to its advantage is wasting access to millions of people worldwide. When it comes to social media, you can post videos that show your product being manufactured. Many viewers love behind-the-scenes sneak peeks and feel like they’re in on the action.
A LinkedIn profile to keep up with other businesses in the manufacturing world. It’s a great social media site to network with these stakeholders and join relevant organizations. You could find out about conferences to attend that will help you connect further. TikTok and YouTube are the best sites to post videos. As mentioned, customers love seeing behind-the-scenes videos, but you can also post videos from presentations, demos, and conferences. Give customers incentives to use your products and post their commentary on their social media handles.
How do you start a manufacturing company with little social media skills? Don’t worry, you don’t have to manage your commercial social media. You can always hire a social media manager for your company or outsource all the social media work to your local marketing agency.
6. Create a Professional Web Presence
Gone are the days when there were only a few websites online. Now any legitimate company is expected to have a professional web page. The more expansive your web page is, the better. You don’t have to be a web designer to establish your web presence beyond social media. Hire a local web design company so that you have a professional and sleek-looking website that is optimized for viewers.
You can attempt to build your web page from one of those simple templates online, but it’ll make more sense to have a professional handle it. A professional designer has the keen eye and experience to give you the most professional website available. Plus, hiring a professional will save you time, as they understand how to optimize the site so that it loads as quickly as possible. According to Statista, online viewers will leave a web page and as little as seven seconds if it fails to load within that time. In other words, you may end up losing a potential customer because your website is too slow.
If you create a product from scratch, you may want to blog about it. You can add a blog section to your main website and make sure you update it frequently. Blogging is another great way to further engage with your customers or other business stakeholders as can get more insight into your thoughts about your product or the industry.
7. Plan Expansion
When you create your initial business plan, you can also incorporate your ideas for expansion. For example, your initial product might be made of something cheaper, like plastic. However, you may eventually need an industrial fabricator to manufacture products made of metal or other materials.
When it comes to expansion, also consider your business location. You may initially plan to only sell your products online by way of shipping to your customers. However, based on the market that you’re in, you may realize that having a storefront, especially in different locations, can be even more valuable for branding and expanding a customer base.
Expansion plans should also include the number of people you eventually want to add to your team. While many manufacturing companies need to start small to get off the ground, you may envision having an industrial plant in different cities and maybe different countries.
8. Make Your Commercial Building Comfortable
Your commercial building should be comfortable from the first day you begin working in it. When products are being manufactured, they can produce a great deal of heat in the area. Your HVAC unit can make sure that the area remains cool so that everybody can always work at a comfortable temperature.
Even if you outsource your production to another location, you may still have an office space that you need to maintain, so make sure your commercial HVAC installation is scheduled before people start work. Remember, your HVAC unit isn’t just to supply hot and cold air. It also helps to filter impurities in the air and provide ventilation. So whether people are working on an assembly line putting your products together or taking phone calls in your office, you want to ensure that everyone has comfortable clean air to breathe and a comfortable temperature to set in for hours at a time.
When it comes to comfort, you also purchase ergonomic chairs for anyone sitting at a desk. Your break rooms should at least have a water cooler, vending machine, functioning sink, coffee machine, and microwave. Once your company becomes more established, you can add more perks and comfortable spaces as you expand.
9. Purchase Equipment
You can’t have a manufacturing company without the right equipment. The equipment that you need to purchase will of course depend on the type of products that you’re manufacturing and what materials they’re made from. For example, if your product is related to the aerospace or automotive industry, you need machines for commercial metal fabrication. You may need automatic floor sweepers to keep the production facility clean.
Equipment can also include packing supplies. Can your items be automatically assembled on an assembly line or humans will pack each one by hand? Even when individuals do packing by hand, they’ll usually work from some machines that’ll give them quick access to plastic wrapping.
You may also need transportation items. For example, you can have your company moving trucks and other vehicles to get your supplies from one place to another.
10. Get Funding
How do you start a manufacturing company without funds? You simply can’t have any business without funding. Your initial seed money may come from your savings or family or friends. However, if you have good enough credit and a good enough business idea, you may be able to get a business loan to start with. Just understand that with a business loan, you would normally have to provide some type of collateral. Collateral is any physical asset that can guarantee your loan such as a house or a car.
Some people also use sources such as crowdfunding and Go Fund Me to source a business idea. Venture Capital funding is another possibility, especially if you make it on a show like Shark Tank.
Also, check into your city and state economic programs. They may have grants available for small business owners to help you. Try networking at different events that investors may be at to see if they’re open to letting you pitch your idea for a company.
During this time, find a good business lawyer for your company. A business lawyer will make sure everything that you’re signing is legitimate. Whether you need someone to help with contracts, handle funding donations, or work with venture capitalists, a business lawyer will ensure that your best interest is in mind. These lawyers can also provide feedback in terms of your taxes. They can also give you advice on other ways to get funding that you may not have thought of.
Now that your questions about how do you start a manufacturing company have been answered, you can start bringing your unique product to life. However, it’s a lot of work and can take a long time. Because once you have an idea for a product, you have to deal with the prototype development, testing, and bringing everything to production. Once production starts, you have to run a manufacturing company and keep it going with your marketing efforts. Follow this guide to get your manufacturing company off the ground, and you may see lucrative success with a good product for years to come.