Mass production is often something that is associated with big-league businesses. Companies like Microsoft, Hasbro and Sony are probably some of the names you think of when it comes to mass production. A company like Microsoft has to push out everything from Xbox computer game consoles to discs of their latest copy of Windows.
But even if you’re currently working at home and crafting products out of plastics and papers for your customers, that doesn’t mean you have to stop dreaming about mass production and getting your products into the hands of a global audience. In fact, it could be easier than you imagined having your products mass produced and sold to everyone in the world.
If you believe that you have a truly great product in your hands that you produce by yourself, then read on to find out how you can grow your product with the help of mass production.
Unless you already have your very own storefront to sell your products, you’re probably relying on a third-party service such as Etsy. Although it’s probably enough for your current workload, customers will take you more seriously if you have your own storefront or website. In addition to having a personalized store to show all your products, it’s easier to remember and you won’t have to pay additional fees or operating costs to another company.
You don’t have to own a company to start mass producing. All it takes is a phone call or email to a third-party manufacturer, and after a couple of successful talks and meetings, you might be able to strike a deal to have something mass produced according to your specifications. Unless they’re a turnkey solution, you might have to invest in other services such as mould tool services, sourcing raw materials, and possible distribution and storage. These manufacturers are professionals so you’re going to be paying more money for their services, but the quality you get will undoubtedly be better than the alternatives.
Supply and Demand
You’re not going to make much money if you mass-produce a product that hasn’t been tested in the waters. Ensure that you have enough attention and interest in your products before you sign that contract to mass produce your items so that it doesn’t go to waste. A handful of sales aren’t enough. You’re going to need to be selling out on a regular basis with a huge log of back orders to warrant setting up a deal with a manufacturer.
Mass Production from Home
Using new technology such as a 3D printer is another way of mass producing. The quality might not be as great as a third-party manufacturer and you can only work with certain materials, but it’s arguably the cheapest and easiest way of pumping out your products without having to sign a contract or worry about the logistics of storage and delivering your items. 3D printers don’t cost very much and the price of operating and maintaining them is going down as the years go by, making it a viable choice for a small-time designer that works from home.
Of all the startup types out there, manufacturing is definitely one of the most expensive. There are a lot of businesses out there that you can actually start with little or even no capital. Manufacturing isn’t one of them! So it’s vital that you find ways to save money. This doesn’t mean you should be cutting corners. But when you’re devising a business plan for this endeavor, you need to start thinking seriously about the ways in which you can make your capital amount go as far as it can. Here are a few of the ways in which you can do this.
The materials you use to make your products can come from a variety of sources. You need to look toward the more sustainable, recycled market. This can often work out much cheaper for you. Another thing you need to keep in mind is that possibility of you recycling your own raw materials. Manufacturing often sees a lot of excess material – make sure you find ways to use all of it.
You don’t have to buy all of your equipment brand new and at full price. This may seem like the obvious thing to do, probably because “second-hand” is often used as some sort of dirty word in business. But if the equipment has been checked and is working fine, then this can be a great way of saving money. You could look into getting some used compressors, for example, which can save you a lot of money on one of the most expensive items in any manufacturing business.
“Outsourcing” is another word that is often treated as a dirty one in this line of work. But outsourcing is often a necessity for businesses that need to save money – and can also get you the best quality of output, as well. Outsourcing certain jobs brings you flexibility and saves you money, allowing you to get the job done without having to hire the amount of employees you would need to do it in-house. Remember: employees are the most expensive long-term investment you’ll make.
The Factory Lease
Don’t be afraid to look for out-of-town factories that can often be much cheaper than factories in the city. But remember that these will often require you to pay more when it comes to shipping things to and from your workplace. Consider all of the costs associated with your property decision. And when it comes to the lease itself, you shouldn’t assume that you can’t negotiate a better deal. It’s often easier to negotiate a factory lease than it is to negotiate residential leases.
Built to Last
Earlier, I wrote that you shouldn’t be cutting corners. By that, I meant that you need to save money but without sacrificing quality too much. Because you also need to start seeing these assets as an investment. If the things you’re buying aren’t going to last very long and can’t keep up with the work you need them to do, then you’re making a bad investment. In the long run, it can end up costing you even more money. So be very careful with your money-saving methods.