This Is How to Find a Manufacturer for Your Product
There are around 638,583 manufacturing businesses in the U.S, which means there are plenty to choose from.
Finding the right manufacturer is essential for producing a quality product and proves you’re a credible retailer who cares about helping their customers. But with so many options available, it can feel overwhelming to know how to spot red flags.
Hit the nail on the head? No worries; we’ve got you! Here’s how to find a manufacturer for your product.
Understand What You’re Looking For
Like with starting a business, it’s important to understand your goals before putting in any work. You should have a clear idea of the item you want to sell, so you know what it looks like and how it’ll function. Ideally, you should prepare a prototype that includes the necessary materials, dimensions, and how it’ll function.
If this isn’t ready, spend time working with a designer and it’ll make it easier to find the best manufacturer for your needs.
Choose Between a Domestic and Overseas Manufacturer
When finding a manufacturer, you must choose between a domestic and an overseas manufacturer.
Many retailers love domestic manufacturers as you’re guaranteed top-quality products and it’s far easier to communicate, thanks to the similar time zones.
It also means you can pop into the factory to see how the process is going and discuss anything that you’re unhappy with, whether it’s the material or how long the manufacturing process is taking.
But it does come with a range of downsides. For instance, domestic manufacturers are often more expensive, and fewer business products are available as many items are discontinued in North America.
In contrast, you can work with an overseas company, like this manufacturer. The beauty about this option is that it’s cheaper and you have a huge selection to choose from, which is great if you’re not happy with the first few choices. Plus, many one-stop services make it easier to find the perfect manufacturer for your needs.
Familiarize Yourself With the Manufacturing Process
Before creating a product, it’s wise to familiarize yourself with the manufacturing process.
First, you’ll submit the design of your product idea and dive into the development stage, where you create a detailed plan for the product. This should include the item’s dimensions and requirements, especially if you need to test it.
Then, the manufacturer will produce the product, which includes mass production. For instance, the company will handle the packaging, labeling, and shipping on your behalf. Once this is completed, it’s your responsibility to market the product and drive sales so your business stays afloat.
The best place to start your search for a manufacturer is online. A popular place is Alibaba where you can instantly contact overseas companies to create your custom products. To do this, enter the products you’re after and note down the various manufacturers.
Another popular option is using Google. Spend time sifting through the first pages because not every stellar manufacturer has a recently optimized page.
Make sure you use relevant keywords to increase your chances. For instance, include “manufacturer”, and “factory”, and include the type of product you want to be made.
Also, to further your reach, add a filter to your search. You should include the specific type of manufacturer and the geographic location, especially if you’re searching for a domestic one.
Look for Referrals
If you’re struggling to get results online, consider looking for referrals. Ask friends and family whether they have any recommendations, especially if they’re in a similar industry to you. You should also harness the power of social media to contact manufacturers on Facebook or LinkedIn.
Note, only reach out to manufacturers who have a collection of great reviews. If there is a consistent negative comment or the feedback seems false, that’s a red flag. Instead, continue your search because your reputation depends on the quality of the products you sell.
Search Using NAICS Codes
Small businesses can also find manufacturers using the NAICS code.
NAICS refers to the North American Industry Classification System and every product that has been manufactured has one.
Most reputable companies display their code, so it’s easier for small businesses and suppliers to find. It’s important to note, that you can find this in your local library or online.
Once you’ve narrowed down your options, submit their code to the Better Business Bureau (BBB). This will reveal whether their businesses have filed a complaint against the manufacturer and if there are any other issues.
Ask the Right Questions
Meet with your top three options and come equipped with the right questions. Ask each one about the companies they’ve worked with in the past and whether you can see their business license.
You should also ask to flick through their portfolio and ask about their turnaround time, especially if you’ve got a deadline.
Discuss Payment Terms
Although agreeing to any price is tempting, there’s always room for negotiation. Don’t sign anything until you’re happy with the cost and always read the fine print.
Note, reputable manufacturers won’t ask for the complete payment before shopping, so ask for 50% first, and then 50% post-shipping. This means you’re both responsible for the order.
How to Find a Manufacturer for Your Product?
Hopefully, you now know how to find the manufacturer of your dreams. There are many ways to find a great manufacturer for your business, such as using Google or searching with NAICS codes.
When you’re ready, make sure you ask the right questions and agree on payment terms before signing a contract. Good luck!
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