How to start a manufacturing business: 4 key tips

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Making your way in the manufacturing industry is not always easy, especially if you aim to build a sustainable business that can compete on level pegging with established rivals.

That said, it’s also a potentially rewarding option for entrepreneurs who are not afraid to get hands-on and grow a company with positive prospects ahead of it.

Here are some tips to point you down the right path if you want to create a manufacturing business and you are only just getting started.

Write a business plan before anything else

No business can hope to last long if it isn’t built on solid foundations, and having a thoroughly researched and concisely written business plan is an important part of this process.

Your plan should explore the market conditions you’ll have to contend with once your company is up and running, and also consider factors which will get potential investors onboard.

Remembering that this is not just a plan that has to satisfy your needs and expectations, but also cater to outsiders who you’ll have to get involved to make your operations viable, is key at this stage.

Work out what machinery you need … and see if you can save money by buying used

Every new manufacturing firm has to equip itself with the machinery it needs to fulfill types of jobs that it aims to complete for clients.

In many cases, you might already know what equipment you want to procure based on your past experience in the industry and the skills you’ve built up, or the abilities of the team you are putting together to help you.

As money will be limited in the early stages, driving down costs by choosing used machinery is sensible. You can get everything from second hand press brakes to pre-loved lathes from reputable online marketplaces, so there’s no need to make compromises on the quality or the capabilities of the equipment you pick up at this point.

Find a premises for your organization to occupy

Manufacturing businesses are different to a lot of other startups in that it’s not just the location of the premises they take up residence in that matters, but also the facilities on offer and the restrictions that are in place which come into play in shaping your decision.

Moving into a building that has previously been used by other heavy industry occupiers is wise, and you also need to think about things like access for material deliveries, as well as the commutability of the location and any transport links it provides.

Consider your funding options

Earlier we discussed the role that a business plan can play in getting funding for your manufacturing startup, but that isn’t the whole story. You also need to decide where the money is going to come from, and this will depend on a number of factors.

You could get a business loan from a traditional lender, you could seek outside investment from private parties, you could rely on your own assets to get the company off the ground, or you could turn to friends and family to supply the capital to get you started.

There is no right answer to this conundrum that will suit every organization, although if your business plan is robust and you want to retain ownership of the company, a standard loan might suit your plans best.

The last word

Being patient is the most important thing you can do as a small business owner, especially in the manufacturing industry.

It will take time for clients to come onboard and for the word to spread about your startup, so don’t expect to skyrocket to success overnight.

Story by Jessica Perkins

How to start a manufacturing business: 4 key tips

Christin Hakim

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