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How To Choose A Manufacturer For Your Small Business

Starting a business is an amazing achievement, but it comes with big responsibilities. From hiring employees, to getting the right insurance to setting up shop in a physical location - there is so much to do. If your business is in need of a manufacturer to meet product supply and demand, you might be struggling to figure out who to hire. After all, every manufacturing business will tell you that they are the best in the business, so how can you separate the excellent from the just plain good? Whether you need a new food supplier, a wire manufacturer or a sports equipment factory, read on to find out the key things which set the best manufacturers apart from the rest.

 

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  1. Reputation

Reputation is important in any industry, and manufacturing is no exception. To get an idea of which manufacturer will deliver on your needs within the timeframe agreed upon, you need to do your research. Avoid discussing it with other business owners, but instead visit manufacturing company websites directly. Do they have a reviews page for their clients? Do they display their good reputation? If not, you should visit industry forums and enquire about the company you are researching. If someone has had a good, or bad, experience with them, you can easily find out. That is the beauty of the online world - there’s nowhere for unreliable businesses to hide!

 

  1. Hidden Costs

 

The best businesses are transparent about their pricing. Anyone who tries to hide or disguise costs until after the job is done is not to be trusted. When asking for a quote from a manufacturer, include a breakdown of exact pricing in your request. A general quote is useful, but a full breakdown shows you exactly what you are paying for, and how much. Furthermore, if you decide to sign a contract with the company who provides the best quote, always read the smallprint - even have your lawyer read it over, too. Many disreputable companies will try to hike the prices with sneaky costs which will make a big impact on your business.

 

  1. Quality Over Quantity

If you are a small business, your manufacturers should know this. Many small businesses make the mistake of doing too much by trying to compete with larger companies, match their product range, and outsell them. This is a big no-no, as it will eventually increase your overheads when your customer interaction does not match that of a larger corporation. Rather than trying to do too much, do what you do best, and keep it small. This will allow you to work with a high quality manufacturer who provides you with quality over quantity. 

 

Quality over quantity ensures that your customer base, however small to begin with, will be satisfied with your products and are much more likely to return. Creating a solid foundation of customers who will be loyal to your brand means that when you choose to expand, you can continue to provide high quality products on a larger scale - and attract an even bigger clientele when you do. Slow and steady wins the race.

 

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  1. Going Local

If you are in need of a manufacturing company to create your products, you should prioritize a local manufacturing business. This is for a couple of reasons. Firstly, you are able to visit the factories yourself and assess the quality of the product, as well as ensuring the employees are given good conditions in which to work. Having high standards of ethics is key in this day and age; unethical or sketchy brands are not given good press, and are pretty much doomed to fail.

 

Secondly, a local business helps keep your company local and sustainable. Not only does it reduce your business’ carbon footprint, but it nurtures the local economy and helps your community thrive. All these values are not only good to hold for personal reasons, but will also appeal to your customer base who want to support local businesses which are giving back to their community.

 

  1. Asking The Right Questions

When you meet with a potential client to discuss their manufacturing business working with your company, you need to be prepared to ask the right questions. Here are some key questions to ask:

  • Are you looking to create a long term partnership?
  • How long has your business been running successfully?
  • What are your ethics as a business?
  • How do you require payment? 

 

These questions can help you navigate the kind of manufacturers you want to work with, and establish a good working relationship with all your cards on the table.