Manufacturing your first product can be daunting. Especially if you do not know where to start. Luckily, there are a few ways to manufacture your first product. These involve little in terms of time, money, or experience in the manufacturing industry. Here is a reference guide for manufacturing. Now, let’s look at 5 methods below to help you start manufacturing!
First, you need to decide if your product is worth making. If it’s not, forget about moving forward with this process. Your next step would be to actually design the product. Then you must create a prototype or model of what you want to be made. Once you complete those steps, now you must decide how you’re going to manufacture it.
Outsourcing production to China is probably the easiest and most common way people manufacture their first products. It’s also one of the cheapest ways, especially if you outsource via Alibaba.
Alibaba is a platform for businesses to connect with Chinese manufacturers who will produce your product. They do so according to your requirements and specifications. The benefit of outsourcing in China is that you have some control over the supply chain. But, it comes with a cost.
You will have to pay for shipping, import fees, and additional costs that are associated with outsourcing overseas.
Crowdfunding platforms give your product or idea exposure to potential investors. They can offer you feedback on your design and bring your product to market.
If your crowdfunding campaign is successful, you will get the funds to produce the product. These also pay the necessary fees for manufacturing and shipping.
The downside of this method is that if your campaign fails, then you will only have a bunch of useless prototypes. Thus, you lose the money you spent developing instead of using it to fund another project.
Just like crowdfunding, kick-start for entrepreneurs gives you exposure to potential investors. Once again they can offer you feedback on your product design and help bring your product to market.
But, unlike with crowdfunding campaigns where contributors just get the products or incentives once the campaign is successful, Kickstarter allows project starters to begin pre-selling their product before you manufacture it.
This option sounds great until you realize that most Kickstarter projects never get all the funds they need. This is because most people will not donate money unless they believe in your idea. They also like to see evidence that others are already investing.
Successfully funding a Kickstarter project also does not equate success with selling your product in retail channels.
Of course, another option is to find an investor who believes in your product and business model enough to pump large sums of money into the project. This route will work if you can find an angel or venture capitalist who likes your idea and wants to take a risk on you.
The obvious upside is now you will have the money to go to a quality manufacturing partner. Plus, you have the name recognition of investors who can help you sell your product to retail customers.
The downside is that they will not only want equity for this investment, they will also want to take your idea and run with it. You will be out of the picture after that point, working merely as an engineer for your own product.
A co-op is a group of small businesses that work together to get manufacturing discounts. The advantage of this method is that you can outsource the production and focus on just your business. Rather than spending countless hours trying to learn all the ins and outs of each factory.
The cons to this method are that the profit is split between multiple companies. These can be more expensive than producing your own product. It’s also not as easy as just having one partner you work with for future orders. When you go with a co-op, you’re working with many smaller companies rather than one big factory.
No matter what you decide, the most important thing is that you get your product manufactured. Then you’ll have a much easier time promoting it knowing that you’ve already done all the hard work.
Every method will always have its pros and cons. It is up to you to decide which method is best for you and your product.