In order to find a supplier for your business, you want to know exactly what you are doing. You don’t want to purchase a plane ticket and travel halfway across the world, only to be met with confusing questions and a loose idea of what you actually want to manufacture. Even if you go with a domestic manufacturer, you want to know exactly what you are doing. This is by far the most important step. When it comes down to it, if you are a small or startup business, knowing what you want to manufacture is the best way for you to gain the trust of a supplier – most factories can only take on jobs that will prove fruitful in the long run. Here is how to find and choose a manufacturer for your product.
First and foremost, you want to do your homework. This is the challenging part, because you will be pouring over industry stats, data and you will be looking at a lot of trends. If you have a product that is really obscure – or you have a product that is relatively generic – you want to know for sure it will sell. You don’t want to put a manufacturer through the process of producing a million units of something, only to find those boxes sitting on the factory floor.
Your next step is to have a prototype. If you need a manufacturer that specializes in rubber and rubber production, you may want to go with a company like Elite Elastomers. However, you want to have an exact prototype of the product you want to mass produce before you even sit down for a meeting. If you don’t have a prototype, it will be hard to make your vision come to life. On top of having a prototype, you may also want to have a strong business plan.
Next, you want to have the capital to back up your order. In most cases, you will need to put down a certain amount of capital, but if cash flow is tight, you may be able to reduce the initial percentage payment by proving that you have purchase orders all lined up. On top of that, you may want to have a credit line opened up, so that you can cover all the expenses. Ideally, you want to have a net sixty or even a net ninety agreement set up, so that you can take your time unloading all the units. Most lenders will accommodate these agreements.
Lastly, once you have all the basics lined up, you want to go with the manufacturer that offers the best terms. This doesn’t necessarily mean the best deal – it simply means that you want to go with the manufacturer that offers the most attractive agreement. If you have a winning product on your hands – with money to back up your talk – you will most likely have a few different manufacturers vying for your business. In the end, it is up to you and your partner to make the final decision – sometimes all it takes is a gut instinct.