6 Tips for Entering the Manufacturing Business

Starting a business has always been an uphill battle. When it comes to entering the manufacturing business, at least you could be building something that’ll 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 and 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’re hoping to stay a small business or want to grow it more, we have some tips for those entering the manufacturing business. 

Start Small

Manufacturing has somewhat of an interesting 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 2011-2012 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 saw somewhat of a rebound in 2019. The strengthening of the American and Chinese economies has helped pull manufacturing back up, and while it may never quite reach its 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. 

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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. 

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 by only buying the equipment you’ll 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 tackle 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 the cheapest option. Instead, focus on quality sources. Now is not the time to cut back costs to 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 choices you’ll make, and the smoother your business will run. 

Know the Ins and Outs

Whenever you start building up your business, hiring employees, and laying out a budget, you’ll have to wear many hats at once. You may find yourself helping train people with new equipment, 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’ll be able to 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 your 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, reducing waste, and ultimately reducing 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.

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