We do not live in a post-industrial age – and that’s something that a lot of budding entrepreneurs are beginning to clock onto. A lot of people are under the impression that a service-based economy is the natural evolution from one based on manufacturing and industry. That riches are only to be found in web development, consulting, finance, gaming, and the like.
But a good service economy needs a good manufacturing sector – and, despite many people claiming the contrary, the manufacturing sector is not dying any time soon. It’s way too important to the prosperity of a country. So starting up a new manufacturing company isn’t the bone-headed idea that those who claim we live in a post-industrial society would claim.
Of course, you need to know how to stand out from the crowd and truly excel in this sector. We’re going to take a quick look at the stuff you’re going to need if you want to make it in manufacturing. There are riches to be made – as long as you don’t make too many mistakes.
A lot of capital
Funding a new manufacturing company is rarely as simple as getting a successful Kickstarter together (and even that’s nowhere as simple as people make it look!). A lot of entrepreneurs will attempt to get a federal grant, which is an avenue you can consider if the government considers your manufacturing business to be something that will benefit the city in a big way. You can also look towards angel investors – though it’s doubtful only one will be required in order to fund an entire manufacturing company! One thing you need to remember during the funding process is that you’ll need to retain control of the company in the future. Investors and shareholders shouldn’t be in a position where they’re the ones calling the shots in your business!
The right contacts
Successful manufacturing businesses rarely do everything on their own; they work with other businesses to ensure that the products they’re making are completed at the required level of quality while remaining on a fast schedule. A factory may work with a specialized outsourcer if they want to ensure they get the best polyurethane moulding, for example. So you need to make sure you do your research when it comes to connections in your industry that can help you in the long-term. Networking will also help you get in touch with the right people.
In-depth product knowledge
An alarming number of business owners in manufacturing don’t actually know all that much about the process and the product. This is because so many entrepreneurs take a pretty hands-off approach when it comes to this sort of pursuit. They leave the actual running of a factory to foremen and safety inspectors instead of really getting to know how things work. This is going to put you at a serious disadvantage, as well as make you look a bit “basic” when compared to other entrepreneurs. Just look at someone like Elon Musk for someone who’s currently doing it right!