You’ve made it through a lot of the struggles that come with starting your business, but now need to make the product. You might have even started looking, but are unsure of where to go next, or how to find the perfect company for you.
Keep reading to learn four of the best ways to find a manufacturing supplier that will fit your needs, as well as some tips and tricks to help you get your product ready faster.
Here are the four best ways to find good manufacturing suppliers to reduce the likelihood of you getting involved with a bad company.
There are many directories out there for online suppliers. Some are tailored directly for specific products, while others are all-encompassing. You can even find directories for domestic vs overseas manufacturing.
It is important to keep in mind that you are looking for a manufacturing supplier, and not simply a supplier. It is a distinct difference and one that can easily be overlooked during this process.
In the world of social media, it’s easy to talk with anyone, including other businesses. If you are a smaller business, try to connect with other individuals doing similar products to you. They may be able to help you by talking about their own experiences with manufacturing suppliers.
Even if you don’t talk to them directly, a lot of smaller companies share their good and bad experiences when trying to create products, and may talk about certain features they did or didn’t like with the company they chose.
NAICS stands for the North American Industry Classification System and is something almost every product in the United States and Canada should have. For example, if you are looking for a company that produces ways to fasten products, look for other companies that use fixings and fasteners suppliers that you like for their products, and research that manufacturer’s NAICS code.
This is a great way to find a company that makes products you enjoy, as you can see the work they’ve already done.
Of course, before making any final decision, it is good to do your research. Looking at their reviews on various websites. It is best not to use their website, as they can add and delete reviews they don’t like.
Instead, look at the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and websites like Trust Pilot, Trusted Business Reviews, or even just Google to get an idea of what people think about this company.
It may sound simple enough to find a manufacturing supplier that wants to work with you, but that isn’t the case. A lot of the more quality ones can be a little choosy, especially if you are wanting something specific and unique.
This is because it costs them money to make the product, and if you aren’t happy, or they make a lot of prototypes trying to figure out exactly what you want, they are wasting time and money. Also, there are a lot of businesses that go through with planning a design and then just drop the whole venture.
This can lead to some manufacturing suppliers being a bit picky about their clients.
No one expects your drawing or design to be flawless. There are going to be areas where you don’t know what size screw you need, or the best kind of material. But having an idea laid out can help you to secure a contract with a company.
If you can present what you are looking for, and go ahead and lay down any specifics you want (such as how far down you want a zipper to go, or if there is a specific material you want to use for the outside of your product), as that lets the supplier know that you have thought through your idea and are serious.
It is always good to go in with questions. This will help ensure that you and the manufacturer are happy, and aren’t stuck trying to negotiate contact terms at the end.
Here are some good questions to ask before deciding to work with a manufacturer:
- Is there an order minimum?
- Do you want payment upfront or at the end?
- What is your policy for damaged and returned products?
- What level of customization do you offer?
These kinds of questions and more can help make sure you go in with a manufacturing supplier you are happy with.