Before starting your business, you might think: I Need a Manufacturer to Make My Product. Here is post focus on this topic. Hope it will be helpful to your business
As an entrepreneur, you know by now that your success relies on the quality of the product you sell to the world, be it an idea, a service, or a physical product. Now, your product might not be as big as Steve’s Job’s Apple, but considering how much time you’ve spent conceptualizing the idea of that jewelry line, you might want to make sure that your product’s manufacturing takes place in the correct way possible.
And since your tangible product has to be manufactured somewhere, being the first step in supply chain process, as well as the success of your business, choosing who manufactures your unique jewelry designs is something you cannot overlook. But, this doesn’t mean going with the first manufacturer you find. From the time you introduce your customers to your stainless steel jewelry, online on Etsy, or any other platform, you must work on consistency. Your products’ design and quality must be consistent. Inconsistency sends away clients.
So, if you want to maintain a lofty standard for your jewelry designs, design standards that will survive days, weeks, and months on the market, you need a professional manufacturer to make your product. The rights manufacturer handling hard work means savings on your end because you don’t need to invest in manufacturing equipment, and by capitalizing on the economies of scale, you save more money.
But, where do you begin with many potential manufacturers, in and out of the country? Where are you to find a manufacturer to produce your product idea? Is an overseas supplier better than a domestic manufacturer?
Domestic Vs. Overseas Manufacturers
While there are several local manufacturers you can work with, there are times when working with a supplier/ manufacturer from abroad is a preferable option. To determine which of these two to choose, here is an outline of the advantages and the disadvantages of the two.
Overseas Sourcing of services
- Low cost of manufacturing
- Multiple companies to choose from
- Alibaba is one of the one-stop-shops you can choose from
- The companies are not all verifiable
- Customers perceive the products manufactured abroad to be of low quality
- There is little protection of your intellectual property rights
- Language barrier
- Shipping takes longer with product importation and clearance by customs taking a lot of time
- There is little payment security and almost no legal recourse
- The standards or manufacturing and labor are high, and you have a high level of control
- Ease of communication with no language barriers
- Ease of verifying the reputation of the manufacturers
- Fast shipping time
- Increased payment security and legal recourse
- Intellectual property rights protection is high
- High cost of manufacturing
- Few product choices
Where Should you begin your search for a manufacturer?
You’ve done the hard part – coming up with product design and creating a file with all the dimensions of your bracelets. But, now comes the harder bit – finding the person or company to do the actual work. Below are some of the recommended places you could begin your search from. They include:
The past few years have made us overly reliant on Google. The top reason for this is that Google has most, if not all, the answers to our questions. While the internet doesn’t have details of every product manufacturer or custom jewelry customs, you might be looking for, and the ones listed might be old with little information because of poor search engine optimization. If this happens, there is something you might have to do – something you haven’t done before – keep up your search on page two of the search engine result pages. You might also want to refine or change your search phrases to simplify your search.
Besides Google, your next best source of product manufacturers is the online supplier directory. There are several directories online you can try out – they have contacts and profiles of hundreds, if not thousands of product manufacturers and even suppliers. These directories are both local and international.
If this is the first time you are mass producing your jewelry designs, engaging with other designers through networking events might be just what you need for information you need for a custom casting company or any other manufacturer. But, you need to ask. Your network might have recommendations, and even if they don’t, they might know someone who knows someone else. So, look for persons who’re successful in that field too. Your social networks are also important.
Below is a list of the other resources that would help you find a manufacturer for your products. They include:
- IDSA – The Industrial Designers Society of America
The IDSA has a huge directory of members. The directory is broken down into states and in other cases, into cities. Unfortunately, you cannot focus on one specific resource.
- Core77 Design Firm Directory
Core77 is a great place for you to find your industrial designer or any other design professionals and company you might need in the design process.
If you’re looking for help creating models for your jewelry, you should consider Elance because it comes with various CAD and CAM freelance designers.
- Maker’s Row
- HKTDC based in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China
How to Patent Your Product Design
If yours is a unique design, you know that you must protect the designs from being patented. With your prototypes ready, you need to start applying for patenting. Before sending your designs to the manufacturer, you must have a Patent-Pending or a Patent Applied for label on your designs and prototypes – this makes it harder for the manufacturing company to steal your designs. And even if they do, you will have legal recourse. Some of the online resources that will guide you include:
- USPTO or The United States Patent and Trademark Office
- USPTO Patent Attorneys or Agencies Search
How to communicate with your supplier?
Having identified a supplier, approach them. While requesting for a quotation is the first thing running through your thoughts, don’t rush it. First ask about the minimum acceptable order quantity, sample pricing, production pricing, the turnaround time, and the terms of payment. Once you have these details and have come to an understanding, send them your prototype and a file with all the details about your stainless steel bracelets. Your measurements should be precise. Just don’t ask for too little/ too much, and avoid long emails.
In everything you do, your focus should be your biggest target as it determines your profit margins. So, once you identify a factory, ask for their business license, determine their legitimacy, and confirm their scope. Also, check their online presence, the trade shows they actively attend, and always cross-reference the manufacturer to make sure that they are your ideal fit.