Starting a business has always been an uphill battle. When it comes to entering the manufacturing business, at least you may be building something that will help you climb up the hill, correct?
Manufacturing can be a bit tougher than other industries to enter because of the amount of communication and partnerships that need to be secured in order to properly succeed. You’re going to have to find sellers, buyers and work with plenty of third-party contractors in order to ultimately find success in the business. In this business, it’s a lot about who you know instead of what you know. Collect business cards, attend conferences and network like crazy. Your hand may get tired of all the greetings.
Whether you are hoping to stay small business or hoping to grow your business more, we have some tips for those who are entering into the manufacturing business.
Manufacturing has somewhat of a tricky recent history. After being hit hard by the financial crisis in 2008, the global manufacturing industry has been slow to rebound. Some experts say it wasn’t until 2011-12 that the industry starting resembling its pre-2008 level.
For that reason, job growth has been on the decline over the last few years but has seen somewhat of a bounceback in 2019. The strengthening of the US and Chinese economies has helped pull manufacturing back up and while it may never quite reach the peak again, it seems to be growing steadily.
Monitor industry trends and be sure to keep your ear to the ground so you can be an expert in your field. Meet with other people in the business in order to have a good grasp of any changes or significant movements.
That’s why you need to start small. There’s no need to rush into the business and it’s fine to take small steps to test the waters.
Make 21st Century Decisions
While the majority of the hard labor and work is going to be taking place out on the floor, there are plenty of changes and decisions you can make from the office.
For starters, it’s a great idea to turn to smart technology for a number of functions. Instead of relying on large servers, invest in the cloud in order to back up all of your data. Not only is it a cheaper option, but it’s much easier to recover precious documents if your computer decides to call it quits this weekend.
Look to tools and programs that can help manage workloads or help you streamline worker production. You can use virtual reality to train new employees with various machinery or new safety measures.
In addition, you can also outsource plenty of non-essential work. While it might be handy to have an IT person on staff, they may not be needed full-time. Same goes with HR, accounting, marketing, and other fields. This all depends on the nature of your business, but it’s worth examining.
Make smart tech purchases, buying the equipment that you know you would need. There’s no point in buying a $1,000 laptop if you’re just going to be using it for spreadsheets.
Talk and Talk Some More With Potential Partners
As stated above, you’re going to be looking for plenty of partners and strong relationships in the manufacturing field. While possible, it’s not exactly a business that most people go it alone.
You’re going to want to build up beneficial partnerships and relationships where neither of you is exclusively gaining the upper hand.
When you’re looking for vendors, don’t put all your eggs in one basket either. Be open to working with multiple vendors to not only help your brand but to keep all of your options on the table and out in front of you.
Research, Research, Research
Just like the most important rule of real estate is “location, location, location”, one of the most important rules of manufacturing should be “research, research, research”.
When searching for equipment, you don’t want to go with what the cheapest option is, instead focus on quality sources like Ceratizit. Now is not the time to cut back costs and save a little bit of money. Make sure you get what you know will be reliable and beneficial for your products.
Head to trade fairs, conferences, and network with people in your field to see what they say about certain products or companies. The more you know, the better choice you will eventually end up making and the smoother your business will be down the line.
Know the Ins and Outs
Whenever you start building up your business, hiring employees, and laying out the budget, you will have to wear many hats at once. You may find yourself helping train people on new equipment and then heading to a meeting with a contractor and finally overviewing the smart technology installation in your office.
This is why it’s important to maintain solid relations with people in and around your business as you’ll have to rely on them more and more as it grows. You might need to become an expert at the beginning, but eventually, you will be able to back off and settle down to oversee the general business direction.
Examine Green and Sustainable Options
In this day and age, it pays to be looking on the greener side of things. Not only will you be doing your community and the planet a service, but many green options are able to save you money down the line.
One of the ways you can make sure you’re business is sustainable is by making your manufacturing process as efficient as possible. Many businesses either examine this themselves or hire outside help to come in and check their progress. By making it more efficient, you’re going to be lessening the number of materials you need, reduce waste, and ultimately reduce your environmental impact.
Look for green products or request an environmental study about the impact of your business. Work with local authorities to see what you can do in order to give your company the best possible outcome.
Check out my guide on how to start your business right with tons of useful tips I learned by successfully starting, building, and selling multiple companies.