Tuesday, August 15, 2017

One of the biggest challenges that all startup entrepreneurs face is finding the best manufacturer for their business. With so many to choose from, it can be difficult to find a factory that is both time efficient and high quality. Read on to learn the best tips about finding a manufacturer that can take your production to the next level.

Must-Haves Before You Start looking

Make sure you have an idea of your budget.
Have information about your product and brand goals established.

Know the type of capabilities you’ll need your manufacturer to have.

Have a time frame.

Know the amount you are looking to produce.

A working prototype or sample of your product.

Create or have a techpack.

When looking for a manufacturer it is important to understand what kind of manufacturing partner you need or want. While searching for a manufacturer, one common misconception that some entrepreneurs think is that factories can do everything, such as the designs, source materials, and production. However, not all factories are one-stop-shops and you will likely have to find a design partner, a materials partner, and a production partner. A design partner can help turn your sketches into a pattern, and then to a technical drawing. Materials partner can help you find your fabric, hardware, and all the components needed to make your product. Finally, a production partner will be doing all the manufacturing or construction of your product and make it into usable form.

Where To Search For A Manufacturer

Once you have established a solid business plan and understand your business needs, it’s now time to start your search for a manufacturing partner. The first thing you need to know is what type of factory are you looking for. If you are looking for apparel manufacturing, it’s important to know some of the key terms that can help you with your production process. Once you have learned all of the lingo and technical terms it’s now time to take your search to the internet. One of the best ways to find a manufacturer is through online directories. Directories contain over thousands of manufacturers, suppliers, and wholesalers. One example of an online directory is Maker’s Row, a platform that makes the manufacturing process simple to understand and easy to access. You can also search for them on social media platforms so you can see what they produce and get in contact with them. You can do this through hashtags and some keywords that relevant to what you're searching for.

How To Contact A Manufacturer

Getting in contact with a factory is not always easy. When reaching out, it is important for the factory to know who you are and what your brand is. It’s best to keep it simple and brief. State the name of your brand, your main product, and what you’re looking to produce. It’s also important to include a techpack when reaching out. If you don’t have a techpack, provide a detailed description of the product you are trying to produce. The following is a list of important things you might want to include about your product when reaching out:

  1. An estimated budget.
  2. General timeline.
  3. General timeline.
  4. Images or sketches of your product.
  5. Your exact needs such as materials, production, sample making, and drafting.
  6. What is your current process status and what you need help with.
  7. State if you require a business consultation.
  8. Factory requirements such as location and the can do end-to-end development.

After you have contacted a manufacturer it’s important to have a good relationship with them. Be very respectful when communicating and keep all your things organized. Furthermore, it’s good to keep track of all the factories you have contacted. Factories are often very busy and you may have to follow up with them multiple times after your first reach out.

By: Kawalpreet at Maker's Row
The author of this post is Kawalpreet Singh. He leads SEO at Maker's Row, whose mission is to make the manufacturing process simple to understand and easy to access.